Ethics & Sustainability
“The World Health Organisation estimates that 20,000 people a year die in developing countries from pesticide poisoning, and a further 3 million people suffer chronic health problems”
Kowtow only uses 100% fairtrade certified cotton, as certified by the Fairtrade labelling Organisation and the benefits are:
- The Fairtrade guaranteed minimum price covers the costs of production and provides a sustainable livelihood for Kowtow cotton producers.
- The Fairtrade 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 fairtrade producers benefit from advance payment and long-term relationships with buyers.
- Kowtow fairtrade producer groups are democratically run and respect the rights of farmers and farm workers.
- Fairtrade production standards encourage sustainable agriculture and protection of the environment.
“Cotton covers 2.5% of the world’s cultivated land, yet it accounts for 25% of the world’s insecticide market and 10% of global pesticide sales, making it the most pesticide-intensive crop grown on the planet”
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.
The factory in Kolkata, India where Kowtow garments are made has the following benefits:
- Only works with certified organic cotton.
- Factory sponsors projects such as Girls Education, Cow Shed and Cow Donation programs in the farmers villages.
- All fabric is dyed using Global Organic Textiles Standard (GOTS) approved dyes which are free of hazardous elements such as nickel, lead, formaldehyde, amines, pesticides and heavy metals.
- Employees receive a living wage and factory pays for their social security and pension funds.
- Employees receive House Rent, which is 5% of their basic wages.
- Employees receive free transport services to the factory.
- Employees receive paid holiday leave, sick pay, medical insurance, subsidies lunches and overtime pay.
- Employees children all receive free schooling.
- Employees work in a well lit, well ventilated and spacious working environment.
- Benefit from work place unions.