To kick off the first blog post of our series, The Label, in which we give you all the deets on our favourite socially conscious and environmentally aware designers/labels, we present to you New Zealand-based 100% organic cotton clothing label, Kowtow Clothing

For a long time, many of our consumer habits appeared to have no consequence, resulting in a large disparity in living standards throughout the world. Encouraged by the West's continual exploitation of cheap labour markets in third world countries, the imbalance between luxury and poverty has become increasingly unsteady. So, in order to combat the fast fashion movement and slave trade economy fuelled by the mainstream fashion industry, kiwi designer and director Gosia Piatek created Kowtow.

Kowtow Clothing: sustainable and fair trade organic cotton Kowtow Clothing: sustainable and fair trade organic cotton

Every Kowtow garment is made entirely from premium certified fair-trade organic cotton and is dyed with Global Organic Textile Standards approved dyes. This means that while each garment is free of hazardous dyes and chemicals, you can be sure that affiliated Kolkata-based organic cotton farmers and factory workers all receive a fair living wage (and just in case you're wondering, other benefits include house rent, free transport services to the factory, free schooling for their children, paid holiday leave, medical insurance, sick pay, subsidized lunches, overtime pay, paid social security, a well-ventilated, well-lit and spacious working environment, and benefit from work place unions and Kolkata projects such as Girls Education, Cow Shed and Cow Donation programs in the farmers' villages). Rad clothes with a conscience? We think so. 

And just in case you're not too familiar with the terms "fair trade" and "organic", here's exactly what we mean:

FAIR TRADE
ORGANIC

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.

Kowtow only uses 100% organic certified cotton, as certified by SKAL International and the benefit are:

  • Never uses genetically modified seeds.
  • Conserves soil though 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.

So, there you have it. Everything there is to know about Kowtow. If you've been liking what you're reading, we're sure that you'll like what you'll see. Check out our selection of Kowtow clothing right over here

Adapted from KowtowClothing.com. All photos courtesy of Kowtow Clothing.