DATA

THE PROS:

Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified cotton, as certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLOI).

The brand only uses GOTS 100% organic certified cotton, as certified by SKAL International.

Kowtow reports that employees at its supplier factory in Kolkata, India, receive a living wage, and the factory pays for their social security and pension funds.

THE CONS:

Kowtow does not report annually on sustainability practices and progress.

The brand does not share any goals regarding how it is working to improve environmental and social conditions in its supply chain. Do you know of any?

We don’t have any information on how many people the brand employs in its supply chain, how many suppliers the brand uses, annual revenue, lead times, the number of garments made annually, how many collections the brand releases annually, or how long its products are designed to last.

/ Kowtow reports it produces certified organic, fair trade clothing.

/ Kowtow products are sold by 150+ retailers worldwide.

/ We don’t have any information on how many people the brand employs in its supply chain, how many suppliers the brand uses, annual revenue, lead times, the number of garments made annually, how many collections the brand releases annually, or how long its products are designed to last.

 

/ Kowtow uses a supplier factory in Kolkata, India. It is unclear if the brand uses more than one factory to make its garments.

/ The brand does not report annually on sustainability practices and progress.

/ Kowtow shares media including video and images that documents the entire supply chain of its cotton from seed to garment.

/ The brand shares a product video documenting how it’s Gridline scarves are handwoven.

/ Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified cotton, as certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLOI).

/ The brand states that the Fairtrade premium enables co-operatives that it works with 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’s garments are made at SA8000 certified factories.

/ The brand reports that employees at its supplier factory in Kolkata, India, receive a living wage, and the factory pays for their social security and pension funds.

/ Kowtow reports that employees at its supplier factory in Kolkata, India, receive paid holiday leave, sick pay, medical insurance, subsidised lunches and overtime pay.

/ The brand states that the children of employees at its supplier factory in Kolkata, India, receive free schooling.

/ We don’t have any information on if the brand invests in any training to improve operations.

/ Kowtow only uses GOTS 100% organic certified cotton, as certified by SKAL International.

/ The brand’s cotton conserves soil through crop rotation.

/ Kowtow cotton retains water more efficiently due to increased organic matter in the soil.

/ The brand’s factory in Kolkata only works with certified organic cotton.

/ All fabric dyed at Kowtow’s supplier factory is done using Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) approved dyes which are free of hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals.

/ Kowtow’s dyeing unit is powered by rice husks.

/ The brand does not have a product take back recycling program.

/ Kowtow does not share any goals regarding how it is working to improve environmental and social conditions in its supply chain. Do you know of any?

/ The brand does not publicly disclose that it is a part of any multi stakeholder initiatives to improve the social and environmental impact of its supply chain.

/ Kowtow’s supplier factory sponsors projects such as Girls Education, Cow Shed and Cow Donation programs in the farmers’ villages.

 

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

/ There are no reported management scandals or issues.

 

/ Kowtow’s dyeing unit is powered by rice husks.

/ The brand only uses GOTS 100% organic certified cotton, as certified by SKAL International.

/ Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified cotton, as certified by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLOI).

/ The brand states that its fair trade producers receive advance payment and form long-term relationships with buyers.

VOICES

NADINE FARAG | MAN REPELLER

“Kowtow is one of those rare apparel companies that has nailed the formula for both social and environmental responsibility. Production for the brand takes place in Kolkata, India and adheres to a strict set of standards. The company exclusively uses 100% certified fair trade organic cotton. Attention is paid to the sustainability of the dyeing process as well as to details like the use of recycled hemp buttons.” – 04/22/2016


 

GOSIA PIATEK, FOUNDER | QUOTED BY SIGRID THORNTON FOR INTENT JOURNAL

Brands need to be putting in that extra bit of effort to understand who is making their clothing, what process it follows, and how complex the value chain is.”

We’re trying to appeal to a wide range of people, and have actually just removed the Fairtrade logo from our branding … but we still write ‘ethical and sustainable cotton’ on them in the hope that people will still pick up that language and it will subtly lead to them thinking more about it.

I really want to concentrate on the craftsmanship, and show people how insane this entire process is. Cotton has to be grown in an acre of land, this family then picks it and puts it in their living room. It’s an intimate and amazing process. They actually grow lentils every second row to put nitrogen into the soil.”