We're excited to announce that one of our favorite ethical brands Kowtow's largest selection in the US is now being carried at local boutique Swords-Smith in Williamsburg!
Swords-Smith teamed up with Kowtow to launch the Sustainable Marketplace Pop-Up in their space from now through September 17th, featuring Kowtow's new Fall 2017 line and their long-awaited organic ethical denim.
We took some time to ask Kowtow about their new line, their organic denim and their commitment to sustainability.
Kowtow is committed to ethical production, fair trade practices, and using organic materials. How do you communicate your values to your consumer who has never heard of Kowtow?
We are really proud of our ethical and social commitments and make sure this information is available on our website. We made our "From Seed to Garment" film, which was shot on location at fair trade certified organic cotton farms in Orissa and at our manufacturers in Mumbai and Kolkata. Like our clothing, the film is a beautifully crafted and further illustrates our values of fair trade practices and organic materials.
We love the architectural silhouettes and neutral color palette of the FA17 pieces. What inspired the collection?
Pace Forward is the result of one year of travels for Kowtow: Europe and USA's most cosmopolitan cities — NYC, London, Paris, Rome and LA set the tone of the label's latest colorful and optimistic collection.
We’re so excited about your first ethical organic denim collection! The denim industry is notorious for being a huge consumer of water. What steps has Kowtow taken to ensure their denim is produced sustainably?
Our denim took over a year to develop. Other than being made from ethical organic cotton, all our prints, dyes and washes are Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) certified. GOTS ensure sustainable use and treatment of water used in our processes. Our denim is washed with a GOTS approved enzyme recipe to create a unique shade and increase softness.
What is the central piece of the denim collection?
When most people think about denim, they think of great pair of jeans, and when you find the perfect pair you wear them until the end of their life. Being sustainably and ethically driven, it made sense for us to design our own. Our Turnaround pant is a classic straight leg, mid-rise jean and it compliments our collection and basics perfectly.
Kowtow is based in New Zealand, which has a wide interest in ethical fashion and a strong community of conscious shoppers. The US market is still in many ways very unaware of ethical brands like Kowtow. How can you tell your story and inspire American shoppers to shop ethically?
For one month we are popping up in Brooklyn, New York. We have teamed up with one of our retailers, Swords-Smith to curate a sustainable marketplace. Swords-Smith will have the largest offering of Kowtow available in the USA, alongside accessory and product designers who share the same commitment to sustainability and elevated design: Noto Botanics, K/ller Collection, Bario Neal, Tangent GC, Manready Mercantile and Swedish Stockings. We are really excited to be collaborating with these inspiring like-minded brands to share the message that ethical and sustainable alternatives do exist and are here to stay.
Swords Smith carries an array of independent designers and handmade jewelry in their beautiful space on South 4th street. We asked store owner Briana to answer some questions about Swords Smith and how they foster a community of conscious consumerism.
Swords-Smith will carry Kowtow’s largest offering available in the US along with new organic denim collection. What made you choose Kowtow as a partner?
We love Kowtow's minimal aesthetic and architectural silhouettes. The brand offers a big collection, which enabled us to curate a large selection for the sustainable marketplace pop-up. We also feel it's an important time to discuss sustainable and ethical practices in fashion. Climate change policy in the US is taking a big hit under the current administration. We believe that climate change is real and want to promote and support designers and brands like Kowtow, who are using sustainable production practices.
Swords-Smith carries a very tightly curated assortment of clothing and accessories by independent designers and artisans. How do you find these brands? What advice would you give someone who is looking to shop ethically?
We work tirelessly to seek out new designers - it's a huge job, but it's important to us to offer new, exciting designers/style every season. An easy first step toward shopping ethically, is to shop at independent businesses and ask questions about what you're buying.
Your beautiful store is in the heart of Williamsburg. What are some things you’ve learned about your clients and their interest in ethical fashion?
Interest in ethical fashion really runs the gamut - everyone has their passion point on the spectrum. Some people seek out sustainability, others care about fashion made in the USA and some people don't care at all - it's just an added bonus. Or not. We typically try to meet people wherever they are on that spectrum. If you are interested in sustainability, we will gladly take you through our designers who are sustainable. If you are only interested in fashion - that's completely ok.
Swords-Smith does a lot of events and collaborations. What are some things you are doing in the Brooklyn community to foster conscious consumerism?
We're super knowledgeable about the designers and product we carry - our clients receive a very high level of personalized customer service in-store and online. It's a totally different experience than you get with fast fashion or mass-consumed items. Our clients are typically very thoughtful people who make an effort to seek out independent fashion.