ECOTURE is built on the understanding that our consumption of fashion shouldn't be at the cost of the planet or its human and animal occupants. Many 'ethical' brands focus on one or two of these aspects, but we believe that all three are key to a happier, healthier, fairer and more sustainable world.
Before bringing a brand into the ECOTURE family, we undertake extensive research into its eco and ethical credentials, and only when we're satisfied that these measure up to our standards, do we lay out the welcome mat.
Then, to make shopping your personal values easier, we use icons on each product on the site to help you quickly identify which values box(es) each ticks. Currently, our icons cover:
The Cruelty-Free icon indicates that a product (and all of its ingredients) was not tested on animals during any phase of its development.
Products noted as Ethically Made have been manufactured not only to minimise the associated harm of production, but also strive to take an active role in poverty reduction, sustainable livelihood creation, and minimising and counteracting environmental concerns.
Truly one of a kind, products marked as Handmade have been created by hand by skilled artisans, rather than via automated machine-based processes, often using techniques that have been passed down through generations.
Products featuring the Natural icon are made either entirely or largely from ingredients present in or produced naturally, with only minimal physical processing.
Organic ingredients and materials are grown without the use of synthetic fertilisers, sewage sludge, genetically-modified organisms or ionising radiation.
Sustainable products are those that provide environmental, social or economic benefits while protecting public health, welfare and the environment over their full lifecycle.
Our Up-cycling/Recycling Arrows icon will point you in the direction of products with recycled and/or up-cycled components.
Products with the Vegan icon contain absolutely no animal products or by-products.
Products labelled with the Vegetarian Carrot icon do not contain any by-products of animal slaughter, but may contain ingredients sourced from animals.
While not strictly representing 'values' in the truest sense, the following product icons are also used on the site:
Many of our products are marked as Limited Run to indicate they are available only in strictly limited quantities, many having been made specifically to our order. Once a Limited Run item has sold out, it may not be possible for us to re-order exactly the same product from our supplier.
The Waste Not | Want Not (WNWN) icon indicates that a product is eligible for return once its status becomes pre-loved.
We'll be adding new icons for Fairtrade, Low/Zero Waste, Locally Made and Gender Equality very soon.
Organic cotton is grown using methods and materials that have a low impact on the environment. It is grown without the use of toxic and persistent pesticides and synthetic fertilizers, and the use of genetically-engineered seed is prohibited.
All Kowtow cotton is certified by Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO). Fairtrade empowers farmers to negotiate with buyers to secure better prices for their cotton. Every season, certified farmer groups receive a premium to be spent on community projects such as medical costs, irrigation schemes to conserve rainwater, books and clothes for school children, farmer education, training and upgrades.
Kowtow's cotton is organically farmed and free from genetically modified seeds to benefit the soil, cotton and farmers. Crops are rain-fed and hand-picked. Organic farming is achieved through companion planting, crop rotations and on-site green waste composting to eliminate the use of chemicals harmful to farmers and their families. Cotton is a sustainable, recyclable and biodegradable fiber.
Kowtow only uses sustainably sourced trims. The label's buttons are made in Italy from recycled hemp. Its denim tacks and sliders are nickel-free and made in a SA8000-certified factory in Germany. They are tested by OEKO-TEX for harmful substances and come under the Eco-Management and Audit Scheme (EMAS) and ISO 14000 environmental management standard.
Kowtow's prints and fabrics use Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) approved inks and dyes, which are free from chlorine bleach, toxic heavy metals, formaldehyde and aromatic solvents. The brand only uses GOTS-approved washes for its garments, from lightweight jersey to denim. GOTS ensures sustainable use and treatment of water used in these processes.