Confession time: I’m a little bit in love with Know The Origin. I’m a big believer in supporting local, so whenever I have the chance to chat to British ethical and sustainable brands I’m keen to jump in. Luckily for me, it turned out KTO’s head office was ten minutes down the road from my own studio, so I popped in recently to learn more about them.
KTO founder Charlotte first became passionate about ethical fashion after spending time with the survivors of the Rana Plaza factory collapse. Though she originally studied fashion buying and merchandising she knew she didn’t want to be part of the fast fashion industry, and decided that setting up her own company was a way to create clothing that also supports those working in the right way, and those trying to change the industry overall, whilst also showing that ethical fashion can be affordable.
Since then Charlotte has travelled extensively to India, Bangladesh and Burkina Faso to understand how, and most importantly who, makes our clothes. Know The Origin proudly say you can trace their chain from seed to garment, and their ethical and transparency credentials are substantial. They use fairtrade organic cotton, and dye in a zero waste unit using Oeko-Tex & GOTS certified dyes. Know The Origin’s website deserves all the transparency gold stars as they don’t just tell you about each stage of production, they include heaps of information and photos that break down the process and people involved. Their clothes are GOTS and FLO certified, and employees at various stages in production are treated well and paid above living wage, with benefits such medical insurance and pensions, and some are represented by Centre of Indian Trade Unions (CITU). There’s so much more on their website, that’s the smallest I could get the summary!
Know The Origin’s first collection is a series of basics to get your ethical wardrobe started from the essentials up; they’re really affordable, super fun, and absolutely perfect for summer.
Charlotte kindly gave me a Coral Sub Pocket Tee to keep, which is beautifully bright and slightly cropped for those warmer days, and it only costs £22! For perspective, that’s cheaper than nearly every cropped tee at Urban Outfitters. I actually wore this tee in June back when it was the hottest day of the year (ah, sweet memories) and it was a life saver. It’s so soft and cool, but still allows you to make a bit of a bold statement for that summer sun. KTO also carry their clothes in more classic colours like navy, white and black but I just couldn’t resist this splash of colour and I’m glad. I’ve been wearing it non stop round the house for comfort, to ballet classes for keeping cool, and on the go when paired with other comfy-but-classy items like my sustainable trousers from MATTER.
Know The Origin prove that you can have and do it all by providing fashion that is kind to workers and the earth without asking you to sacrifice style, quality or your bank balance. Seriously, what’s not to love?
And keep an eye out, because they have more designs planned for the future, and I for one can’t wait to see them.
Until next time, stay magic y’all.