Kowtow’s Gosia Piatek Doing Things Differently
Some designers are doing things differently: rethinking the business model and coming up with better ways of doing things, like Kowtow founder, New Zealander Gosia Piatek, who The Guardian’s Alexandra Spring features in an article about sustainable and ethical “Australian” [sic] fashion labels.
Piatek has long focused on sustainable fashion, Spring writes for the UK newspaper. The designer started Kowtow in 2007, working only with fair trade organic cotton to make the entire production chain, from seed to garment, traceable. Her elegantly designed clothes have a devoted following, and Piatek says there’s a real opportunity now for conscious business. “The reason for our success is our genuine ethical and sustainable values mixed with our design aesthetic. Old school businesses that are not willing to be nimble and change with the times may be struggling, but this does not apply to us.” Kowtow is sold around the world including New York, Stockholm, Tokyo, Paris, Dubai and has a flagship store in Wellington.
But while there has been some progress, all the designers The Guardian says they spoke to said more must be done. Piatek was critical of some high street brands who are “green washing” because it’s good marketing. “We are at a critical point and the planet will not be able to handle much more if we continue operating as we are, so how can we justify virgin polyester fabrics in production in 2019? The fashion industry should be ashamed of itself for being one of the world’s largest polluters, whilst enslaving the people who work in it.”
Original article by Alexandra Spring, The Guardian, May 16, 2019.
Photo by Kowtow.