Tortie Designsis based in Melbourne and creates handmade statement jewellery from polymer clay. Founded by Taylor Yates after watching her cat playing with one of her necklaces, the Tortie philosophy aims to capture the demeanour of Tortoiseshell cats: cute, bold and yet at times, subtle. Tortie Designs is a PETA-approved vegan brand, and 10% of profits go to the Lost Dogs Home, helping dogs and cats in need.
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.