BEHIND THE BRAND: KOWTOW
New Zealand based Kowtow has been a longstanding favourite at Gather&See offering a minimalist design and beautifully made organic and Fair Trade staples. We need more transparency in fashion and Kowtow is a brilliant example of a brand doing it right - pure and simple. Find out more about their production below:
Every decision made at Kowtow is based on a set of ethical and sustainable values: to protect the environment and the people who make our clothes. Gosia, Kowtow's founder, chose to partner with Fairtrade from the start of the business, 10 years ago. This ensures Kowtow's cotton is supplied by farmers who are rewarded fairly for what they do, without being exploited. Being Fairtrade certified also means their supply chain is regularly audited & meets ethical workplace standards.
Our cotton is grown pesticide & herbicide free with sustainable farming practices such as crop rotation, composting, no genetically modified seeds and biological pest control. Kowtow only uses 100% organic certified cotton, as certified by SKAL International and the benefits are:
- Never uses genetically modified seeds.
- Conserves soil through crop rotation.
- Retains water more efficiently thanks to increased organic matter in the soil.
- Controls weeds through physical removal rather than chemical destruction.
- Controls insects by maintaining a balance between “pests” and their natural predators through healthy soils.
Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified cotton, as certified by the Fairtrade labelling Organisation and the benefits are:
- The Fairtrade guaranteed minimum price covers the costs of production and provides a sustainable livelihood for Kowtow cotton producers.
- The Fairtrade premium enables co-operatives to fund projects that benefit the organisation and wider community: business and agricultural training; drilling bore holes for clean water; building schools and clinics.
- Kowtow fair trade producers benefit from advance payment and long-term relationships with buyers.
- Kowtow fair trade producer groups are democratically run and respect the rights of farmers and farm workers.
- Fair trade production standards encourage sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment.
All fabric is dyed using Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) approved dyes which are free of hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals. Our dyeing unit is powered by rice husks, a renewable and non-polluting form of energy.
The factory in Kolkata, India where Kowtow garments are made has the following benefits:
- Only works with certified organic cotton.
- Factory sponsors projects such as Girls Education, Cow Shed and Cow Donation programs in the farmers' villages.
- All fabric is dyed using Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) approved dyes which are free of hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals.
- Employees receive a living wage and factory pays for their social security and pension funds.
- Employees receive House Rent, which is 5% of their basic wages.
- Employees receive free transport services to the factory.
- Employees receive paid holiday leave, sick pay, medical insurance, subsidies lunches and overtime pay.
- Employees children all receive free schooling.
- Employees work in a well lit, well ventilated and spacious working environment.
- Benefit from workplace unions.