We get it. It's really hard to start a new label as a designer and not be tempted by the lowest cost fabrics. Especially with the pressures of fast fashion companies piling pricing and 12-24 collections per year expectations on the unsuspecting public. It's hard to compete, and many who are desperate to grow, find themselves selecting plastic based unsustainable fabrics in the main for their designs, sheerly as a way to survive long enough to get a foot in the door as an emergent brand. At KonaCoco we made a conscious decision to point towards to sustainability. Now, we'd love to say that we are completely sustainable already but that just wouldn't be true. It's a process of transformation as everything from branding materials and stationary, to work practises and the suppliers we work with are reviewed, revised and released. What we cannot do is do nothing. And as a young brand we have made great steps to a sustainable company just this year. We had to make some decisions for ourselves as our guiding principles.
Some of them not so easy, and some costly, but all very well worth it. KonaCoco decided:
- We will not use plastic based fabrics anymore - that means no nylon and synthetics based fabrics
- We will choose eco friendly and sustainable trims for our clothing wherever they are available - we've switched to shell, cotton and Oeko-tex trims
- We do not work with production houses who don't treat their workers well - we fired a new prodcution house when they pushed their workers to sew during lockdown
- We will not use plastic for our brand packaging - we use recycled/recyclable and biodegradable materials
- We will hand hold our sister company, reGLAM, in the upcycling journey - we will house them and coach them whilst they get on their feet
- We will support local talent wherever we are able - we actively seek talent to work with
As a result our new Reflections collection was born. Made primarily from sustainable fabrics such a Tencel, Cotton and Linen this beautifully detailed collection yields superior quality made for lasting wear using versatile designs. We swapped using silk for Tencel so dry cleaning wouldn't be a mandatory part of the garment care process. And we have managed to keep the prices consistent with our label despite an increase in overall costs and sustained conservative production levels. We hope that our designs live on in a timeless manner, leave an ever-lighter footprint on the environment, and a smile on the entire value chain that brought it to life. But most of all, we hope you enjoy our #urbanislandluxe immensely too.