Fairtrade is one of the largest movements in the protection of workers’ rights. When you choose certified Fairtrade, you’re making a direct contribution to a better life for farmers, workers and their families. From Kowtow's inception in 2006, we have worked with Fairtrade-certified partners throughout our supply chain, and have retained our close partnership with the same manufacturers in India over this time and visit them regularly.
Certified Fairtrade from Seed to Garment
All our garments are certified by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) and made in a traceable supply chain, which works with Fairtrade-certified farmers and manufacturers from seed to garment. Our commitment to fair wages, no child labour, workers’ rights, gender equality and grower community has been at the heart of Kowtow since day one.
Protecting the People in our Supply Chain
Our manufacturers are SA8000 certified organisations. The SA8000 Standard encourages clothing manufacturers to develop, maintain, and apply socially acceptable practices in the workplace. SA8000 organisations are audited by certification bodies accredited by Social Accountability Accreditation Services (SAAS). SA8000 helps ensure the workers at our production facilities receive the following benefits: guaranteed minimum wage, social security funds, pension funds, paid holiday leave, sick pay, medical insurance, subsidised lunches, overtime pay and workplace unions.
All of our garments are made entirely from 100% organic cotton. Organic cotton is a natural, biodegradable and renewable resource grown from non-genetically modified seeds and without harmful chemicals. Grown on small lots alongside food crops to feed farmer communities and promote soil fertility. Crops are exclusively rain-fed and hand-picked.
Not all Cotton is Created Equal
The organic cotton we use is certified by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO), which empowers farmers to negotiate with buyers to secure better prices for their cotton. We pay a premium on every garment we make for local farming cooperatives to reinvest in their business or community.
Organic farming is achieved through companion planting, crop rotations and on-site green waste composting, which helps to preserve entire ecosystems. Crops are exclusively rain-fed and hand-picked several times during the season. Our cotton is grown from non-genetically modified seeds and organically farmed without harmful chemicals.
Low Impact Dyes & Washes
Our organic cotton is processed using Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) allowed inks and dyes, which are free from chlorine bleach, toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde and aromatic solvents.
We use GOTS allowed washes to process our garments, which ensure no harmful substances are used, and the sustainable use and treatment of wastewater.
A Naturally Versatile Fibre
We design our collections exclusively with organic cotton, a natural fibre that is breathable, durable and easy to care for.
The design process starts at the fabric, allowing our team to determine every stitch, weave, print, and colour in house this means that every design is unique to us. This process takes 18 months from initial concept to delivery. This philosophy of slow fashion is at the core of every garment we design.
Our design team is passionate about exploring the versatility of organic cotton across our seasonal collections of basics, knitwear, denim and wovens.
We strongly believe we are responsible for what we produce. A responsibility that extends to the end of a garment’s life.We consider every detail of a garment and whether it sits within our values, and only use materials and trims that are responsibly sourced and use them mindfully. We design with the entire lifecycle in mind, and are closing the loop to attain full circularity.
Promise of a Free Repair
Cherished clothes deserve to last a lifetime, which is why every Kowtow garment comes with a promise of free repair to extend its life.
Our repair program is free for all minor repairs, including mending seams, broken stitching, small holes or tears, and replacing buttons.
For larger rips or stains, we also offer the Japanese patching technique Sashiko for a small fee. This bespoke option is about valuing and extending the life of the garment by not only strengthening it, but taking the time to make it beautiful as well.
Since the inception of our repair program in 2019, our in-house team has repaired over 500 garments.
For advice on repairing a beloved garment, email our team at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit us in store.
Closing the Loop
We strongly believe we are responsible for what we produce and want to ensure that all of our garments can be recycled or repurposed at the end of their life, to prevent them ending up in landfill.
In 2019 we implemented a Take Back Programme, for our customers to return any Kowtow garment that has reached the end of its wearable life. This next step is key to closing the loop so we encourage you to drop any Kowtow garments you are finished with into our stores or post back to our workroom. We are currently researching solutions to attain full circularity and will update you as these are developed. For more information on our Take Back Program, email email@example.com
Entirely Recyclable 0% Plastic Packaging
Our packaging is Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) allowed, and printed with soy-based and petroleum-free inks. FSC ensures forests are managed in a way that takes care of the animals and plants who inhabit it, and the workers and local communities who rely on them for their livelihood.
Every aspect of our packaging, from our swing tags, to our retail bags, is 0% plastic and designed to be fully recycled at the end of its use.
Responsibly Sourced Trims
Every trim and component used to make our garments are considered, and chosen in line with our values.
We use responsibly sourced buttons made from agoya shell and corozo nut, both natural products. Our denim garments are finished with nickel-free tacks, which can be taken back and repurposed at the end of their life.
In 2022 we have replaced even more synthetic elements with natural alternatives. Our elastic is now made from natural rubber, which is finished in an organic cotton casing, and our fusibles are now made from 100% organic cotton.