Phil Wildbore created Monkee Genes in 2006 due to his frustration at the existing denim market and disposable high-street fashion. An eco and ethical conscience is at the forefront of the brand, with the team aiming to raise public awareness of the pitfalls of fast fashion. Monkee Genes offers a wide range of innovative styles, fits and colours to appeal to customers and excite them to wear them again and again. All of their jeans are fairly made including organic jeans from Indonesia, ethically produced jeans from Turkey and grassroots jeans made in England.
Monkee Genes has received a 'Good' rating from trusted ethical ratings platform Good on You.
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.