It was about seven years ago Gosia Piatek and her partner, like cowboys with little experience and know-how, started an ethical and sustainable fashion business on a $5000 grant from the government that lasted about two weeks. Luckily, her parents believed in their vision and hooked them up with a bit more capital. Gosia's family first arrived in New Zealand in the mid 80's from Poland as political asylum refugees - now Kowtow is a 100% premium certified fair trade organic cotton fashion label from New Zealand.
Gosia always wanted to start her own business doing something ethical and sustainable. Over dinner one night a friend mentioned to her the idea of starting a fair trade organic cotton clothing business, so the obsessive person that she is, went off and researched this idea on the internet pretty extensively until she got totally fixated on it. Although the first three to four years were difficult, trying to figure out the market they belonged to; the last couple of years Kowtow has really found its groove.
The Kowtow Philosophy
For a long time, many of our consumer habits have appeared to have no consequence. It is now quite apparent that there is an imbalance in standards of living throughout the world which is fueled by the Wests continuing short changing and exploitation of labor markets in the so called third world. We don't believe anyone who is truly aware of what is going on in the world would want to turn their heads and support a slave trade economy. Being into clothes we decided to do something about it. Certified fair trade organic clothing that is ethically and sustainable made from seed to garment.
Kowtow only uses 100% fair trade certified cotton, as certified by the Fair trade labeling Organisation and the benefits are:
- The Fair trade guaranteed minimum price covers the costs of production and provides a sustainable livelihood for Kowtow cotton producers.
- The Fair trade 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.
Shop our Collection here.