Every week we feature a sustainable brand on our blog. This week's featured brand is Kowtow.
New Zealand based Kowtow's philosophy is simple: 'certified fair trade organic clothing that is ethically and sustainably made from seed to garment'. Of course this is easier said than done in the highly competitive apparel industry but Kowtow is committed to this goal. It's difficult to turn a blind eye to the damage done by the fast fashion industry once you become aware of it:
The World Health Organization estimates that 20,000 people a year die in developing countries from pesticide poisoning and a further 3 million people suffer from chronic health problems
Cotton covers 2.5% of the worlds cultivated land, yet it accounts for 25% of the worlds insecticide market and 10% of global pesticide sales making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet
To address these problems, Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified organic cotton and produces their garments in a Kolkata factory that pays its employees a living wage among other benefits.
I would describe the aesthetic of their clothing as minimalist, with the ability to use most of the pieces as building blocks for a wardrobe that you can mix and match with other pieces. Though they are based in New Zealand, they do ship to the US and also have local stockists for those that prefer in person.