The name KUYICHI is derived from the Peruvian god of the rainbow who brought colour in society as well. Why Peru ? The first organic cotton we used was Tanguis cotton from Oro Blanco in Peru.
EasySize starts the blog posts series interviewing and talking with the fashion companies which are innovative and inspiring in what they do. For the opening blog post, we contacted Kuyichi company from The Netherlands. Kuyichi was the first company to start producing organic jeans.
We started the organic revolution as being the first brand to produce organic jeans. And we still are and want to be innovative in many ways, not only in our collections, but also on a sustainable level. Embracing the principle of the recycling process and aiming for a completely closed-loop collection- we’re happy to see that we raised the bar for many companies around us and hope to inspire many more to come.
Tell us a bit how Kuyichi was started and how you were pioneers in what you did?
In the year 2000 the founders of Kuyichi, NGO Solidaridad, wanted to introduce organic cotton in the clothing industry. During their experience with the development of fair trade organic coffee and fruit business in Latin America, they found the cotton industry caused a lot of pollution and poverty among indigenous Indians and factory workers.
Therefore, Solidaridad decided to make a change. First, Solidaridad tried to convince the big players in the denim industry to use the organic cotton, in order to improve the working and living conditions in the developing countries.
None of the brands were interested, therefore Solidaridad started their own fashion brand in response.
In 2001 Kuyichi brand was born.
What was the most challenging thing for Kuyichi during these years?
It is much easier for us now to find the sustainable fabrics and there are more factories who are committed to the better social circumstances. Like most (denim) brands, Kuyichi does not have its own fabric or sewing factories. Instead, we work with several suppliers. These suppliers are usually responsible for a part of the production process. For example, we work with a couple of suppliers that make the yarn and weave the fabric, and with a number of sewing factories that produce the garments, the so-called Cut Make Trim (CMT) factories. In addition, we order small items such as buttons and zippers from other factories.
What are the 3 aspects of business, in which, you believe, a new sustainable fashion brand should invest resources?
1st step. Know where your fabric comes from. You can only know this by buying certified fabrics.
2nd step. Make sure that your fabrics are sewn in factories who are committed to the Code of Labour Practices from Fair Wear Foundation, which include:
1. Employment is freely chosen 2. Freedom of association and the right to collective bargaining 3. There is no discrimination in employment 4. No exploitation of child labour 5. Payment of a living wage 6. Reasonable hours of work 7. Safe and healthy working conditions 8. Legally binding employment relationship
3rd step. Work on a step by step process to clean up your production process.
Innovative fashion companies can be a good example of breaking the old fashion stereotypes in doing something different from what it was before. They are inspiring and thought provoking- what inspires them to start something entirely different?
If you find this topic interesting and you know a fashion company which we should interview, please let us know by simply sharing and reaching us out!