26/04/18 Who Made My Clothes?

Blue jean baby. They’re the fashion essentials we love to have on standby. Your denims are like your fashion back-up plan. The fashion staples we can always rely on; be it for the jeans you wear on repeat, the jacket you layer over every summer dress or the effortlessly styled jumpsuits, perfectly paired with a set of heels.    

Yet, there’s no getting around the fact the process of manufacturing denim is a very long and painful one for our planet, with regards to the water-intensive processes often associated. For example, in the growing of cotton to the dying techniques used to colour the fabric. Though, it doesn’t have to be this way.


Image courtesy: Kings of Indigo

Turning things around is Kings of Indigo (K.O.I), the Amsterdam-based label founded in 2010 by Tony Tonnaer, a respected veteran of the denim industry. The name K.O.I. was inspired by a tattoo on the founder’s right shoulder: a Koi-fish, dedicated to his mother. Koi-fishes are intelligent creatures, who swim against the stream. 

Much like its namesake, the label set out to pioneer a new kind of denim brand. Incorporating a host of ethical and sustainable business practices, this stretches from foregoing the usual denim for pure denim, as much less water is used up in the production process.


Image courtesy: Kings of Indigo

Dedicated to transparency at every stage of the production process, all suppliers are known and openly shared on the brand’s website, so customers and retailers can easily understand the travel route of the garments. Reassuringly, it’s not a long one; fabrics are sourced and provided by European suppliers and manufactured around the Mediterranean. 

Getting down to the materials themselves, Kings of Indigo’s collection consist of at least 90% sustainable fibres. Most garments contain GOTS certified cotton or material that is environmentally friendly in its growth and production, such as linen, hemp, modal or TENCEL lyocell, recylced cotton, bio wool and recycled wool. Meanwhile, the label works closely with their fabric mills, of which they are REACH, OEKEO TEX, GOTS or GRS certified, to ensure the creation of beautiful and innovative fabrics, while continuously trying to find even more sustainable solutions.


Image courtesy: Kings of Indigo

The label is intent on this, resolute in their commitment to moving towards 100% sustainable fabrics within three years. Currently, they still rely on lycra (max 2%) for stretch and polyester for recovery and strength (max 10%), though they are looking into ways of replacing the normal version with the recycled lycra/polyester, such as techno-fabric made with Econyl® – the 100% regenerated fibre from post-consumer materials.

A member of the Fair Wear Foundation since 2012, the brand has never been content with only focusing on producing beautiful products in environmentally friendly production processes, but is committed to ensuring fair working conditions and fair wages for all the people that work for the brand. The international verification initiative FWF made it its mission to improve the working conditions in the garment supply chain worldwide.

With such ambitious goals, including becoming the worldwide number one jeans brand, this is a clothing label you’ll be proud to flash their label.

Shop K.O.I. here.