Back in 2000 the Dutch NGO Solidaridad- that also works with fair trade coffee and fruits- started developing organic cotton in Peru, but when they found that no big jeans brands were interested in it, they decided to start their own label.
Kuyichi was launched in 2001 with a focus on style, but “conscious of how it’s created– organic and fair trade”. They not only continue to work directly with Peruvian farmers who supply their organic cotton, but they encourage them to become company shareholders so the company remains accountable to its employees.
Since their founding, they’ve moved beyond just the organic cotton that inspired their foundation to work with new sustainable materials: recycled PET bottles, spare denim, soya, lunpur and vegetable tanned leather.
For their 2009 collection, they created a recycled bottle jacket made from about 25 two-liter PET bottles. Under their “spare” label, fabric leftovers from previous collections, which would normally be discarded, are re-used and turned into spare denim.
Their wood pulp fiber lenpur is made from excess clippings from pine trees that have been cultivated in an eco-sustainable way: “no unnatural deforestation takes place and only non-vital parts of the trees are selected”.
In this video, we talk to Kuyichi’s managing director Tony Tonnaer about vegetable tanned leather, their Premium line for testing sustainability and why it’s not practical to be 100% organic.