As some of you might know, I’m super tall (180/5’11”), which makes it quite hard to find jeans that are long enough. Most of the non-cropped jeans are still cropped on me. Cropped jeans are most of the time very awkward bermuda shorts for me. Therefore I’m always looking for denim brands that do have a length 34. So when I was doing research recently, I came across Kuyichi. Kuyichi is a Dutch based brand, focussing on timeless denim and staple pieces. And I’m very excited to tell you more about them!
This blog post is based on an interview with Sara, the marketing manager at Kuyichi and the founder of her own blog, When Sara Smiles.
Let me introduce you to Kuyichi!
What does Kuyichi stand for?
Kuyichi is a sustainable denim brand that wants to make a positive change in the fashion industry. They produce all of their pure goods in a sustainable way, with a focus on quality denim with a perfect fit. They’ve stopped making seasonal collections and doing sales and discounts to make a statement against fast fashion. Instead, they focus on making timeless garments that are designed to last a long time. Sara says: “We’re here to inspire people to buy more consciously – it’s much needed in today’s industry.”
What was the reason to start the brand?
Kuyichi has started in 2000 to make a positive change in the cotton industry. The journey started in the early 00s in Peru, South America. The founders of Kuyichi were exploring the cotton industry in Peru. They were shocked by the pollution and the poverty they saw. This had to change and therefore they started to collaborate with local cotton farmers. They started rewarding them and everyone involved in the supply chain, for their hard work. Besides that, they were constantly stimulating them to produce fair and organic cotton.
However, no brands were interested in buying organic fabrics and end products at that time. The main reason was money; it was too expensive. That’s when they’ve decided to start their own brand, as they wanted to create a market for fair cotton and change the fashion industry. A pair of jeans is the most commonly worn product in the denim industry, and it’s made out of cotton. Besides that the denim industry is one of the most polluting segments in the fashion industry. To be that change, they’ve started making 100% organic denim as the first brand ever. And Kuyichi can very proud of this!
And what about sustainability?
Kuyichi tries to look at sustainability in the most holistic way possible. In everything they do, they strive for true sustainability. True sustainability goes way beyond a clean production process and a circular mindset. To them, it’s also about only working together with likeminded people. It’s about designing timeless items and striving for the best quality and comfort possible. It’s about escaping the bi-annual rat race of sale and fast paced seasonal collections. It’s about helping people extend the life span of their clothes, by taking good care of them. It’s about encouraging customers to have it repaired when it gets ripped or broken, instead of pushing them to buy a new one. This all combined is the true sustainability spirit of Kuyichi.
Let’s talk about materials, how do you source and trace them?
The supply chain is very complex and it’s quite a task to trace back every single detail in the chain. Kuyichi is very close with their suppliers, both on cut-make-trim (sewing factories) and fabric/raw materials level. They know where their fabrics and raw materials come from.
Besides that, they work with certified materials and material supplier as much as possible. For example, all of their organic cotton is GOTS certified. This will assure you that all cotton is sourced in a sustainable and ethical way. When you want to read more about GOTS certification, you can check out this page. But not only the natural materials are certified, also their manmade fabrics are. These fibers come from Lenzing, a supplier with high sustainability values as well. For example, Lenzing uses sustainably sourced wood (FSC) for their Tencel. Also when it comes to recycled fibres they use certification to make it credible, such as GRS certification.
Kuyichi’s tip to shop more ethically and sustainably
First of all it’s important that we stop buying more than we need and think twice before we buy something. Ask yourself: Do I really need it? Will I still like it after many wears and many years? Secondly, you have to take care of your clothes well. Reuse and repair your clothes as long as you can. What makes Kuyichi truly unique is their brand communication. Sara: “We focus on inspiring people to buy more consciously. We’d rather have less customers who enjoy our pure goods for a long time and come back after a couple of years, instead of pushing people to buy as much as possible. It’s our absolute responsibility as a brand to change the system as a whole. It’s what Kuyichi is here for, after all.”
It is very refreshing to read about this from a brand’s point of view. Consumers should take a deep dive into what they really need, instead of following empty marketing campaign. And support the brands that support you. Support the brands that are trying to make a change and which are trying to help you find your next favourite item.
I’m sure you’ll like Kuyichi as much as I do.