Fashion Revolution Week: Kowtow – Less Waste, More Wear

kowtow AW23

Kowtow’s own Sustainability Strategy has a goal to achieve zero percent plastic in all garments by 2023

Fashion Revolution Week brings together the world’s largest fashion activism movement for seven days of action until 29 April. This week marks 10 years since the Rana Plaza tragedy, where the Rana Plaza factory in Bangladesh collapsed in a preventable accident.

More than 1100 people died and another 2500 were injured, making it the fourth largest industrial disaster in history. This exposed the widespread absence of transparency across global supply chains and how, without transparency, issues remain hidden and unresolved at their root.

To support Fashion Revolution Week, FashioNZ is showcasing New Zealand brands that truly lead the way when it comes to sustainability and transparency.

Wellington-born label Kowtow Clothing is a pioneer in this space. Since launching in 2006, Kowtow has led the charge in terms of transparency around its fabrics, ethical manufacturing, and using renewable and sustainable fibres. The presence of plastic in everyday clothing is unspoken and not talked about enough. Kowtow is eliminating the unnecessary. From ribbon closures and natural rubber elastic to mussel shell buttons, every single aspect matters. The B-Corp brand uses fashion as a vehicle for a bigger goal.

Kowtow respects each of the processes needed to bring its creations to life, using only 100% Fairtrade organic cotton and fabrics dyed using Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS), through to ensuring all employees are paid a fair and living wage.

Kowtow’s own Sustainability Strategy has a goal to achieve zero percent plastic in all garments by 2023. Along the way to achieving this (and one of the last steps) is replacing the ‘industry standard’ polyester/cotton thread in its clothing. Also as part of these efforts is using natural buttons (made from either nuts or shells) and elastic made from natural rubber and organic cotton. Kowtow knitwear uses no excess yard in its production process.

The brand’s authenticity to its goals extends right down to choosing to revisit traditional signs of signwriting for its window displays, with hand-painted words removing the need for plastic vinyl. Fabric offcuts are used to create scrunchies and accessories such as the Mini Market Bag and then there’s Kowtow’s dedication to choosing repair over replace.

kowtow AW23

Every Kowtow garment comes with a promise of free repair to extend its life. Since the launch of its repair programme in New Zealand in 2018, Kowtow has repaired and extended the life of almost 700 garments.

Kowtow AW23

Strides towards Kowtow’s zero percent plastic goal by the end of 2023 can be physically seen in this season’s garments. The most recent drops from Kowtow’s winter collection include the season’s must-have quilted jacket, made from 100% certified Fairtrade organic cotton padding. Details in the jacket’s design illustrate Kowtow’s shift towards zero percent plastic by the end of 2023, with tiny moments such as delicate bow ties instead of buttons to close the jacket. Aviation-inspired, the jacket also features a unique flight strap inside.

kowtow AW23

The Blanket Vest is an oversized knitted vest with a deep v-neckline, featuring wide, contrast ribbing at the neckline, hem, and cuffs. Made from 100% certified Fairtrade organic cotton, it has been individually knitted to prevent yarn waste during production.

kowtow AW23

The Geo Shirt features a statement pleated frill collar and balloon sleeves that finish in a narrow cuff. It has a neat fit across the shoulder that falls to an A-line shape through the body. This style is made from 100% certified Fairtrade organic cotton in crisp poplin shirting and is finished with natural shell buttons.

kowtow AW23

Sailor Jeans in Chartreuse Denim are Kowtow staple high-rise jeans with a straight wide leg, made from a mid-weight 100% Fairtrade organic cotton denim. The jeans have front and back pockets and are fastened with nickel-free tacks with a button fly. The chartreuse is a rich colour that takes the light differently; physically it leans on the green side.

kowtow AW23

Designed to be layered, or worn on its own, the Pinafore Dress is a sleeveless, pull-on style with a relaxed fit. It has shoulder button openings and is detailed with wide pleats through the body that fall to an effortless, midi-length. Inseam pockets add to the ease of wear of this versatile dress. Made from 100% certified Fairtrade organic cotton in a poplin shirting.

kowtow AW23

Kowtow’s newest collection is available online and in-store, with a fresh drop arriving soon.

Images supplied