Founded in 2006, Kowtow is committed to creating positive change. We believe in preserving the planet and protecting people in everything we do.
Our decision making is centred around circular design, ethical manufacturing and sustainable fibres. This strategy outlines our roadmap to creating incremental change across each of these founding values.
Our strategy is structured across the pillars of ‘People’, ‘Planet’ and ‘Prosperity’. Under each of these pillars we have identified our most material impacts, goals and corresponding annual targets that we aim to achieve by the end of 2024.
We recognise the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals as the benchmark for sustainable business practices globally, therefore have aligned our strategy with these goals.
This sustainability strategy will keep us accountable to our ambitions as we continue to challenge ourselves in how we can most positively impact people and the planet.
We are responsible for what we produce. We need to be part of the transition away from society’s current ‘take make waste’ consumption habits to a regenerative, circular economy. We are committed to ensuring that zero materials are being sent to landfill or incineration.
By end of 2023 - Zero materials will be sent to landfill from all our sites.
By end of 2024 - Ensure every Kowtow garment has a clear end of life pathway, which is easily accessible to our customers, in every market we sell in.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Energy
We know that greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption are taking a toll on our planet and we need to play our role in being part of the solution. We commit to reducing our emissions as much as possible, and to become a ‘climate positive’ business.
By end of 2024 - Obtain climate positive certification.
Water, Chemicals and Biodiversity
The fashion industry is responsible for 20% of global industrial water pollution and has a multitude of impacts on land-use and biodiversity. Kowtow feels a particularly strong desire to mitigate these issues. We are determined to demonstrate that it is possible for clothing to be created without having negative impacts on water and biodiversity.
By end of 2023 - Ensure all of our suppliers have a robust environmental management plan and are regularly audited by an independent third party.
Develop a plan to support our suppliers to implement closed-loop water systems at their sites and set a target for 2024.
Accessibility, Diversity and Inclusion
The fashion industry can isolate and cut off minority groups. Kowtow strives to be a brand that is diverse, inclusive and accessible, and we will actively take action to grow our understanding and remain accountable.
By end of 2023 - Ensure our staff have a strong awareness of what diversity, equity, inclusion and unconscious bias mean to Kowtow.
Working with Kowtow
The health and wellbeing of workers are at the core of our values. We want to ensure that we improve the lives of people connected with the Kowtow brand.
By end of 2023 - Develop and publish a Modern Day Slavery statement to explain our actions regarding modern slavery in our supply chain.
We have a strong platform that can empower business and people in the transition to a circular, regenerative economy. We are committed to using our voice and influence to educate and inspire positive change in our world, and challenge our community to join us.
By end of 2024 - Be recognised as industry leaders at educating and inspiring positive change in our world.
Community Partnerships and Collaboration
The bottom line is not the be-all-and-end-all for our business - we want to positively contribute to our wider community through our operations. We will continue to have an engaged and active presence that gives back to the communities we operate in.
By end of 2024 - Through collaborations achieve significant positive impacts on regenerating biodiversity.
The fashion industry does contribute significant harm to both people and the natural world and we believe that transparency is part of the solution. We pledge to demonstrate that full transparency in a fashion supply chain is possible, and we will continue to use our position of influence to inspire others.
By end of 2023 - Publish our Sustainability Impact Report
Download the full Sustainability Strategy HERE
From our Founder, Gosia Piatek
“The entire reason why I started Kowtow was to create a positive impact for people, through our Fairtrade certification, and the environment by using only organic cotton. We are here to disrupt the industry! Not only the clothing industry, but how businesses in general can be run differently. Publishing our Sustainability Strategy means we are asking everyone in our community to keep us accountable as a business to constantly evolve. To break the clunky norms of the current world and consider the entire lifecycle of our product."