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Kings of Indigo has been awarded the Project JUST Seal of Approval for Denim. Learn more about the Seal of Approval here.

DATA

THE PROS:

Kings of Indigo states that at least 90% of raw materials used in its collection may be defined as sustainable.

Kings of Indigo uses recycled yarns as much as possible. The brand cuts old fabrics and clippings into fibers. Then it spins these fibers into yarns, and finally these yarns are woven into new fabric for Kings of Indigo jeans and tops. The brand reports that the process saves lots of chemicals and water used to grow new cotton.

Kings of Indigo has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2012. 95% of the brands manufacturers have been fully audited and approved as socially compliant, the last 5% will be audited in 2016.

THE CONS:

The brand does not have a policy in place to ensure the responsible sourcing of leather.

We don’t have any information on if the brand has measured its greenhouse gas emissions for its supply chain and what the brand is doing to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions in its supply chain.

/ 90% of Kings of Indigo’s production volume comes from factories that are either audited or are based in low-risk countries such as Greece, Italy, Spain and Portugal.

/ Kings of Indigo produces two collections per year (spring/summer and autumn/winter).

/ Kings of Indigo aims to work with factories that are within Europe and closer to the brand’s head offices in The Netherlands.

/ Varova Fashion Holding (VFH) is the holding company for Kings of Indigo, Ontour, G-sus, Tumble ‘n Dry, Sissy Boy, Men At Work and Open32. VFH is in the process of becoming a BSCI-member on behalf of all the companies within the holding.

/ Kings of Indigo is stocked at 326 retailers.

/ Kings of Indigo has mapped out it’s entire supply chain, and states that they know every factory and its sub-contractor.

/ The brand has a map on its website that details its supply chain.

/ The brand is transparent about its pricing strategy.

/ Kings of Indigo sources its denim fabrics from Italy (Candiani) and Turkey (Orta, Calik, ISKO), and a very small percentage from Japan (Collect). The denims are stitched in a stitching factory in Tunisia (Carthago), washing and finishing is done in Italy (Elleti, Martelli) and Tunisia (Interwashing). Leather goods are made in the Netherlands (Arti) and tops and apparel in Turkey (Konnekt, Avelice, Karadag), Italy (Salgari) and Greece New power). The brand uses one factory in India (Indy Blue) is where it produces natural indigo items. This is where the indigo originates and where the dipping is done with passion for the product.

/ It is unclear if the brand can trace its entire supply chain.

/ Kings of Indigo has been a member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2012. As a member of the Fair Wear Foundation, KOI enforces the FWF Code of Labor Practices.

/ 95% of the brands manufacturers have been fully audited and approved as socially compliant, the last 5% will be audited in 2016.

/ Kings of Indigo states that it visits its factories on a regular basis, not just the offices.

/ The brand states that workers at its production facilities are being educated to become more aware of their rights.

/ The Fair Wear Foundation conducted a brand performance check on Kings of Indigo in 2015. The report states the following:

  • 53% of Kings of Indigo’s own production is under monitoring. This is below the 90% required of brands in 3+ years of membership. Because K.O.I.does not continue its relation with one of the main suppliers, FWF and K.O.I. agreed that this supplier did not need to be monitored.
  • Kings of Indigo was given a score of 55/100 and was rated as ‘Good’ by the FWF.
  • Last year K.O.I. was suspended, but now K.O.I. meets most of FWF’s management system requirements.

/ Kings of Indigo introduced a triple-R philosophy promoting Recycling, Repairing and Reusing garments by gifting branded repair kits, producing with recycled materials and organizing repair events in stores to help consumers enjoy their garment longer. Deadstock fabrics are used for delicate patchwork and repairs.

/ Kings of Indigo states that at least 90% of raw materials used in its collection may be defined as sustainable.

/ 90% of all the cotton the brand uses is certified as organic cotton by GOTS and other certifications.

/ Kings of Indigo uses recycled yarns as much as possible. The brand cuts old fabrics and clippings into fibers. Then it spins these fibers into yarns, and finally these yarns are woven into new fabric for Kings of Indigo jeans and tops. The brand reports that the process saves lots of chemicals and water used to grow new cotton.

/ The brand uses one factory in India (Indy Blue) is where it produces natural indigo items. This is where the indigo originates and where the dipping is done. The prints on the natural indigo items are also applied by hand, either with a block of wood or with a screen-print. Both techniques are performed with the same materials but the screen printing ensures that the details of the prints are sharper. A mud-resistant substance is freshly made from natural materials, this substance ensures that where the print is mounted on wood block or screen, the fabric remains clean after the indigo dipping, creating a print.

 

/ Kings of Indigo aims to work with factories that are within Europe and closer to the brand’s head offices in The Netherlands.

 

/ Founder Tony Tonnaer gives lectures at colleges, universities, seminars, etc. on a regular basis.

 

/ We don’t have any information on how much the CEO made in the last financial year.

/ There are no reported management scandals or issues.

 

/ Kings of Indigo introduced a triple-R philosophy promoting Recycling, Repairing and Reusing garments by gifting branded repair kits, producing with recycled materials and organizing repair events in stores to help consumers enjoy their garment longer. Deadstock fabrics are used for delicate patchwork and repairs.

/ Kings of Indigo launched a collection made from post-consumer recycled cotton made from jeans worn in Amsterdam.

/ In May 2016, Sportswear International reported that Kings of Indigo launched a Veggie Denim capsule collection, an edition of jeans that is 100% vegan. At Turkish denim fabricant Orta Anadolu, the label discovered the veggie denim fabric, an organic denim that is solely dyed plant-based. Walnut shells create brown hues while indigo pants create a deep blue. Furthermore, veggie denim is free from synthetic chemicals, saves 70 liters of water per kilogram of fabric, uses 30% less energy for the production and all materials are GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. The cotton that is used exclusively consists of pure organic cotton or recycled cotton fibers. The collection will be released in fall 2016.

 

VOICES

VIVIAN HENDRIKSZ | FASHION UNITED

“Kings Of Indigo is not your average denim brand, and Tonnaer is not your average founder.” – 03/14/2016

 

TONY TONNAER, FOUNDER | 2015 KINGS OF INDIGO SOCIAL REPORT

“More and more people are becoming aware of the fact that they can make a difference. That their small wave becomes a bigger wave, affecting other people, companies, national governments and in the end even international politics. We want to help to make those small waves bigger.” 

TONY TONNAER, FOUNDER IN AN INTERVIEW VIVIAN HENDRIKSZ | FASHION UNITED – 03/14/2016

More is not always better. It creates inflexibility, less passion and places more focus on the numbers.”

Of course, I do not want Kings Of Indigo to be a niche brand and we want to sell to as many people as possible. But I don’t want to be on every corner on every street – I don’t want to be a mass-market retailer. I don’t want to be a G-star – no way.”

I could never have done it any differently. I was the face of Kuyichi for 7 years, I could never start my own company and do dirty denim. I want to be the example company for sustainable denim.”