We celebrate goodness.
There are hundreds of people involved in making our clothing.
We share the 6 stage process, so you can see for yourself how it creates a little more goodness in the world.
Extracted from a plant, conventional cotton is grown on a huge scale in India, often with the heavy use of toxic chemical pesticides.
This method doesn’t do much good to the farmers, the environment... or our skin!
We wanted our cotton to come from people that share our vision
for a more sustainable & transparent way to make clothing.
We found it in Indore, India through our incredible production partner, Mila, who source our Fairtrade and organic cotton from Pratibha Syntex.
FLO certified (a global Fairtrade body) they seek to provide safer working conditions, keeping their farmland free from harmful chemicals.
We also work with Chetna Organic Farming Co-op, a 100% farmer owned co-operative based in Telegana, India.
Chetna’s farmers produce Fairtrade cotton with
× no child labour × no synthetic fertiliser × no GM (conventional) seeds.
They provide training on food security, so farmers can grow food crops alongside their cotton.
This enables small and marginalised farmers to improve their livelihoods through sustainable agriculture - which is awesome all round.
Ginning is where the cotton fibres are separated from the seed and ‘cleaned’.
We use Sagar Fiber and Pratibha Syntex for this process as they specialise in Fairtrade and organic cotton.
Access to this stage isn't always given freely in factories
so we've got a lot of respect for those offering this kind of transparency
The cotton is sifted to loosen the seeds, then cleaned to ensure top quality fibre.
Only the fibrous part of the cotton can be used to make fabric, so the seeds are leftover as a by-product.
Extracted seeds are either ground up to help make industrial oil,
or they’re used to make animal feed for farms in the surrounding area.
The fibres are compressed into blocks and graded by quality.
The best fibre is used for our KTO fabric, and the lowest quality for stuffing mattresses.
Spinning is the conversion of fibres into yarn (threads), so they can be used to create fabric.
Our cotton is spun at Sara Spintex and at Pratibha Syntex
(part of the FLO certified Mila factory partnership), facilities in central India.
Similar to ginning, spinning is often hidden in supply chains, so we have huge respect for their transparency.
Cotton fibres are pulled into one long continuous line of rope called sliver, which then goes through the drawing process
where fibres are blended, straightened and reduced to get the right thickness.
Once the cotton has become smaller strands, it is twisted then wound onto plastic bobbins.
After the yarn is spun, it’s sent to Tirupur and Kolkata, two areas of India where our cotton jersey is made.
Shakthi Knitting (based in south India) works in close partnership with our 'Cut & Sew' facility, Mila.
RCM is a factory pioneered by Rajat Jaipuria. His factory specifically handles organic and Fairtrade cotton textiles.
Both factories are GOTS and FLO certified – the highest certifications in the industry.
Each employee is represented by the Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU).
The factories provide a variety of benefits for their staff, such as transport to and from the factory each day,
a subsidised canteen, pensions, medical benefits and funding for their children’s education.
Dyeing is one of the most difficult stages to make both environmentally friendly and commercially viable.
Using vegetable dyes are preferred by hardcore environmentalists, and fair play to them!
But, there are huge limitations on the uniformity and range of colours, and they often fade very quickly.
We are totally open to anyone who can prove otherwise!
We’ve gone for a mix of aesthetic quality and environmental care with Global Organic Textile Standard dyes.
low impact dyes × no toxic metals × azo-free (no release of harmful carcinogens)
Our fabrics are dyed at Mahadev fabrics and at Shakthi Knitting.
Mahadev is based in Kolkata, and connected to the RCM Fairtrade cut and sew facility.
All wastewater from the dye process is filtered to clean it of all chemicals.
It’s then recycled for use again in agricultural irrigation in the surrounding area.
Clean pure water.
After the dyeing process, water from the factory filter was so clean that our co-founder Charlotte was able to drink it. That's good to know isn't it.
Shakthi Knitting is based in Tirupur, and is part of the Mila partnership (FLO certified).
Their filtration system links to the entire plant, so they can filter all the dye water that passes through.
95% of all the water used is then re-used for running the factory and continuing its production processes.
5% is evaporated and any remnants from the dye process are used to make bricks and for laying roads.
CUT & SEW
Mila factory shares our vision to see every worker treated fairly.
GOTS and Fairtrade certified, all of their tailors earn a living wage and are treated with the utmost respect.
Employees have access to medical insurance, retirement and pension funds
and they only source materials from GOTS/FLO certified farms and mills (what more could you want?)
Transparency is at the core of Mila.
With an open door policy, everyone is invited to visit their mills and cotton farms.
The vast majority of their fabric producers (spinning, knitting and dyeing units) are situated within 40km.
This means CO2 emissions are dramatically reduced.
We also use Mandala factory, founded by Anjali Schiavina
with the purpose of creating social transformation in Pondicherry, south east India.
She started small (as all great things do) with just one vegetable dyeing unit,
one tailor, one pattern master and 8 handloom weavers from the local community.
Anjali realised in order to truly make an impact with her work,
consideration had to be given to both the community & the environment.
Mandala is now a Fairtrade factory, which remains committed to leading the way on training and wage standards.
We hope you enjoyed the KTO clothing journey.