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Sustainability / Company

Company

 
We design and develop for a new tomorrow.
Determined to be one of the game changers
– we take action by sustainable innovation.
Sustainability is the core of our business
Here at KnowledgeCotton Apparel, we believe in sustainable clothing that makes a difference. To us, fashion is much more than the fabrics we wear on our body. It is also about respect for people and the environment.

From the very beginning, sustainability has been at the core of our business. Motivated by our 1969 heritage, we make clothes that take a stand. Our mission is to provide the conscious consumer with sustainable fashion choices, without having to make any compromises when it comes to style, comfort or quality.

Staying true to our cause, we make timeless, long-lasting products and promote clothing that is as clean and as natural as possible. All our garments are produced by certified manufacturing partners using sustainable methods and materials. It’s fundamental.
What motivates us
Clothes are a human necessity. We all need them. But how often do we stop to think about the impact our clothes have on the environment?



We have been in the textile industry since 1969 and have seen the inner workings of an industry that is responsible for making a huge impact on both the environment and on the well-being of people and animals.



Our take on this is to make people aware. To inspire people to make responsible choices that will force the clothing industry to change. At the same time we want to present an authentic alternative – quality clothing for a sustainable lifestyle.



Born out of the refreshing 1969 spirit that we can actually change the world together, sustainability has never been a question for us.
 
Small enough to think big
As a fashion company we're not really among the big guys, meaning we're small enough to do things differently. This makes us flexible and innovative. It enables us to produce specific product lines, choosing new sustainable materials and technologies. And to partner with genuine suppliers and innovative entrepreneurs.

In fact, our way of working is rather unique in this business, since it is quite the challenge commercially. However, since our mission is to put responsibility in the front seat, there really isn’t anything that prevents us from doing the things we believe in. We intend to go the distance and do the things we want to share with our conscious consumers.

To make sure we are constantly developing and getting better at what we do, we believe in surrounding ourselves with friends, organizations and partners who are the best in their respected fields. It forces us to challenge ourselves, push our methods and mindset, and makes sure that we stay innovative.

As you probably figured out by now, we believe in change. And we think that many people share this attitude. Together we can turn knowledge into action and make real change. Let's share our visions – with respect for people and the environment.
Designing for tomorrow
Tomorrow’s consumers not only demand quick access to new designs, they want to know that production doesn’t occur at the expense of ecological and social balance.

We are perfectly clear about where we stand in this as a company and greatly welcome this modern and aware consumer behavior. Here at KnowledgeCotton Apparel we design and develop for a new tomorrow – for a new world where the conditions, opportunities and requirements have changed.

This means that we choose our collaborations carefully and place high demands on our partners in terms of fair working conditions, organically approved fabrics, use of chemicals, and traceable recycling processes. Determined to be one of the game changers – we take action by sustainable innovation.
Carbon neutral certified company
In 2017 we launched our carbon neutral strategy at KnowledgeCotton Apparel. As of 2019 we are a carbon neutral certified company. Through a combination of internal reductions and carbon finance projects around the world we have reduced our emissions to net zero in accordance with The CarbonNeutral Protocol. As a result, we have achieved CarbonNeutral® status.

Certified CarbonNeutral®
The CarbonNeutral® certification applies to three key areas in the company’s operations:
  • The company – for example usage of heat, water, electricity as well as employees traveling and daily actions.
  • Delivery – all shipping of goods from suppliers to the company and from the company to customers.
  • Packaging – looking at the used packing materials and the recycled content and the distance it travels.
But we don’t stop here
Climate crisis is global and therefore we must also act globally. Our objective for 2025 is to become 100% carbon neutral throughout our entire supply and distribution chain. We are investing in carbon neutral factories around the world and are also supporting our existing manufacturing partners in becoming carbon neutral.
Knowledge forrest
Planting trees to offset our carbon footprint
We love trees. Not just because they are beautiful, but because they are magical. Growing trees naturally capture carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping us reduce greenhouse gases.

As a part of our climate neutral strategy, we plant trees in different parts of the world to help compensate for the carbon emissions caused by the production of our garments.

We believe planting trees is a great way to help fight climate change, but also to contribute to biodiversity and to provide a good environment for both animals and people. This is why we have invested in our own Knowledge Forest in India.

It is our intention to grow and care for our magic forests and make them valuable pieces of nature for the planet. We plan to increase our forests considerably in the future to offset our carbon footprint.
We love trees. Not just
because they are beautiful, but
because they are magical.
 
Certifications
Working with certifications has always been a big part of our traceability and integrity strategy. To us, it is a matter of credibility. Having the right certificates shows that we are a company that is serious about sustainability and determined to make a difference.

Our certifications give the consumer reassurance that the product they buy in fact has been certified and inspected by a third party. This gives a guarantee for the raw fiber input, the production process, the chemicals used and the people involved is all done in the best possible way and that they meet the world leading standards for integrity and transparency.

You can find the certification labels inside your KnowledgeCotton Apparel garments next to the care instructions label. We have our products certified because we want to ensure the integrity of our sustainability claim and prove that we are transparent, credible and trustworthy.
GOTS
Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) is the world’s leading certification standard for organic textiles including both ecological and social criteria. GOTS covers every step in the production process from the fibre to the finished garment.

KnowledgeCotton Apparel is certified by Ecocert Greenlife, Lic.No. 151833.

GRS
The Global Recycle Standard (GRS) is the world’s leading certification standard for recycled textiles including both ecological and social criteria. GRS covers every step in the production process, from the fibre to the finished garment.

KnowledgeCotton Apparel is certified by CU, Lic.No. 847594.

OCS
Organic Content Standards (OCS) is a certification that verifies the amount of organic cotton in the final product and only takes into account the content of the fibre.

There are two levels in OCS certification: OCS 100 is only given to products that contain 95-100% organic fibres. OCS blended certification is used for products that are a mix of organic material blended with conventional materials. The exact percentage of organic content can always be found on the label inside the garment.

KnowledgeCotton Apparel is certified by Ecocert Greenlife, Lic.No. 151833.

KCA Requirement
KCA is our own label for a pool of products which for some reasons do not fit into a certification standard or that are in the process of converting from KCA Requirement to third-party certifications.

The reason we use KCA Requirement is to push the boundaries and develop new sustainable products. You can rest assured that the fibre and fabric content always comes from a sustainable source and that the production is done according to our own high requirements for quality and social compliance.


Our supply chain also holds the following standards:

SA8000
The SA8000® Standard is the leading social certification standard for factories and organisations across the globe.

BSCI
BSCI is a supply chain management system that supports companies in driving social compliance and making improvements within the factories and farms in their global supply chains.

Fair
We contribute to fair and sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers.

Corporate Social Responsibility
At KnowledgeCotton Apparel, we acknowledge the responsibility we have towards people. Not only the people in our direct vicinity, but also those working in our supply chain in various countries. We do not own our own production facility, but still take the responsibility for the people whose lives we are affecting very seriously.

Sustainability applies to everyone in the supply chain. This means that all supplier steps should be able to make a healthy business and the people working in the factories and at farm level should be paid a living wage and treated fairly. There are a lot of women working in the textile business and it is important that they receive the same treatment and salary as men. Several of our suppliers have educational programs for socially vulnerable women and other arrangements that make their lives better. We often find ourselves impressed by the dedication and eager “do better” attitude we encounter with our suppliers. Working with sustainable materials and fibers means that workers should not be exposed to any harmful chemicals, dyestuffs or processes on any level of the production chain.

It is difficult to ensure fairness with suppliers and even more with sub-suppliers. This is also the reason why we, in addition to our own visits, rely on third-party certification. Social compliance is a part of GOTS that each production step in the chain must comply with. This gives us the opportunity to ensure the CSR conditions throughout our supply chain and not only with our direct supplier. We believe it is about knowing the full supply chain and we monitor and follow each supplier and their compliance.

To ensure social responsibility, our suppliers are third-party certified by SA8000, BSCI and Fairtrade, which independently monitor the social labor situations in the factories and on the cotton fields.

Here at KnowledgeCotton Apparel, we have our own code of conduct according to the ILO standards, the Global Compact, the Declaration of Human Rights 1948, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and in compliance with the local laws, which are aligned with our third-party certifications.
Consume responsibly
Certified carbon neutral shipping
All shipping of goods from our suppliers to our company and from our company to our customers is certified carbon neutral. This includes packaging materials which all come from responsible sources and is fully recyclable.

Packaging & trimmings
Knowledge hangtags are made of recycled FSC certified paper. Items are bagged in recycled Poly Bags made of upcycled plastic waste. Export boxes consists of 85% recycled FSC certified materials, care labels are made of recycled polyester and we use paper tape. All packaging is certified and fully recyclable.

Low return rate is sustainable
We are proud that our rate of returned goods is just 1.3%. High-quality production and a low return rate is part of a sustainable mindset. It minimizes waste, transports, and results in happy consumers. We work hard to create a smooth consumer experience where good size guides, clear product information and eco-friendly choices provide a satisfactory purchase.

You can help reduce environmental impact by consuming responsibly and thus minimizing your returns. In order for us to take full environmental responsibility in our distribution, delivery times may vary due to optimized transports and we need to charge a fee for returns linked to certain conditions.

Thank you for consuming responsibly.