KOTN is a Canadian-based brand that specializes in everyday essentials ethically sourced from Egyptian cotton. I needed some solid turtlenecks and was blown away by their high quality, softness, and warmth. The fitted turtleneck is the most comfortable, versatile addition to my fall wardrobe. Perfect for layering under a sweater or tucking into high wasted jeans.
I asked Co-founder Ben to answer a few questions about KOTN, the story behind the brand and their commitment to ethical production practices.
What makes KOTN different from other brands that specialize in basics? Why should we shop KOTN? What separates Kotn from other brands first and foremost is our focus on one fibre, Egyptian cotton. Beyond that, we aim to create simple, thoughtfully-designed, high-quality basics that are made ethically and don’t cost a fortune.
How do you communicate the heart behind KOTN and share it with your customers? Our heart is our team, our customers, and our partners, so we primarily share what’s happening in the lives of our Kotn community. We primarily post on Instagram (@kotn) for short-form content, and on our journal (journal.kotn.com) for interviews, lookbooks, and other long-form content.
We love what you’re doing to build the local community in Egypt by investing in education. What are some things that we can do to help as consumers? Thank you! We’re just trying to play our part in building something that gives back to the community and helps it thrive in the future. If you want to get involved with us specifically, feel free to reach out.
Cotton is one of the most water-consuming raw materials. What practices are you putting in place to stay sustainable? Great question. At the moment, our ability to monitor our water use isn’t great, but addressing our water consumption is one of our top priorities in terms of aid and development. There are a couple of organizations (like Better Cotton Initiative) that specialize in this area, so we hope to be able to partner with one of them as they expand into Egypt.
KOTN produces all their pieces responsibly and provides fair wages. Why is it important to build ethical practices in your production? What difference has it made for you from a business standpoint? We’re only able to maintain our high quality of products through the hard work of our fantastic craftspeople in the Nile Delta. We recognize that they are fundamental to our success, and believe it’s not only the right thing to do morally, but the best practice to uphold from a long-term business success standpoint. We can only be as strong as the foundation we’re built upon.
Do you think the conscious movement is gaining momentum? If so, why? Of course! It’s gaining momentum through people like you and the incredible platforms we have to connect on. More now than ever, people are recognizing the importance in looking beyond themselves and to the wellbeing of the global community. I think this is largely due to social media's impact in connecting people across the world; it really exposes us to the steps we need to take to improve living conditions in Egypt, one Kotn craftsperson at a time.
What inspires you as a brand? What do you see for the future of KOTN? We find most of our inspiration in "ordinary moments". They’re the everyday things that make you smile when you think about them, but you’d never think to photograph them. My favourite of these is walking onto the platform just as the train is pulling in. We like to design products made for the compendium of these moments, which could range from more clothing, to home, and more. We’re not ready to say exactly what’s coming in just yet.