Eco fashion to admire; the Dutch jeans brand Kuyichi


A short story about Kuyichi Eco jeans brand


Kuyichi is a brand that takes sustainability in design with great responsibility. The Eco Lifestyle Store is proud to represent Kuyichi jean’s brand. Kuyichi is a true sustainable product design brand with greater social awareness. Kuyichi represented and shares the same values as we try to do within the sustainable product design. In the year 2000, the founders of Kuyichi, NGO Solidaridad, wanted to introduce organic cotton in the clothing industry. During experience with development of fair trade, organic coffee and fruit business in Latin America, they found the cotton industry caused a lot of pollution and poverty among indigenous Indians and factory workers. Solidaridad decided to make a change. First, Solidaridad tried to convince the big players in the denim industry to use organic cotton, to improve the working and living conditions in developing countries, but no big players in the denim industry were interested, so they decided to start Kuyichi.

NGO Solidaridad

In the year 2000, the founders of Kuyichi, NGO Solidaridad, wanted to introduce organic cotton in the clothing industry. During their experience with development of fair trade organic coffee and fruit business in Latin America, they found the cotton industry caused a lot of pollution and poverty among indigenous Indians and factory workers. Solidaridad decided to make a change. Solidaridad tried to convince the big players in the denim industry to use about organic cotton, without success. In order to improve the working and living conditions in developing countries came the brand up with a proposition to start using Eco cotton. None of the big players in denim jeans brand was interested and Solidaridad started their own fashion brand in response. In 2001, Kuyichi was born.

The leading denim brand within sustainable fabric production

Kuyichi is 1st for organic and is probably the first brand which worked entirely with exploring the possibilities within new fashion product design. The place as the leading denim company within sustainable product design is the ground pillar of the company. They have as an ultimate goal to use 100% sustainable garments in their collections and they experimented with fabrics such as recycled polyester, hemp, Tencel,  and other fabrics. Kuyichi has gained acceptance from the conscious new consumers who are getting aware of how, who, where and what their garments are made of. They work in close cooperation with Made-by to certify their suppliers according to the social standards approved by Made-by such as SA8000, Fair wear, BSCI and Wrap. These standards are something we will strive towards when we get closer to the launch in the market. Over the last years, Kuyichi has managed to become a relatively large player on the denim market represented in 500 leading stores across Europe. I believe in the strategy Kuyichi had, and we know that they will play a significant role in the brand new way sustainable product design for denim jeans now and in the future. Sustainable product design is the new standard and will become the only way of producing products afterward; raw materials are in shortage and are becoming more expensive; freight is also becoming more expensive.


Quality will be the most important factor when you buy jeans in the future, not price

This will gain room for products that last longer and do less harm to our environment, but there is also another area that needs to be explored. In the year 2000 was leading a project where our task was to replace all the labels on all the denim lines Levi Strauss produced to make it look at cleaner and at the same time make it possible to transport and sell the same product in different countries without change or remove labels. This was a big problem and cost a lot of money, time and unnecessary use of labels. Farrow design did the new label design for Levi Strauss Co in 2000. The design company we worked with developing a design manual for all labels across denim concepts and Levi’s brands was no other than Farrow Design, who later became a key player for Levi’s when they regained and re-invented denim with the RED collection line, Engineered jeans in 2000 and 2001. Mark Farrow is well-known for his creative ability to simplify core communication and make it consistent, recognizable, understandable and most of all a sustainable design.


Recycle denim paper

We came to explore if it was possible to use the enormous waste of denim in factories when they cut out denim fabrics. Since Levi Strauss had made the effort to paper denim, we decided to explore how we could make hand tags, labels, business cards, letter paper from it. We did it, and were one of the great achievement’s Levi’s still today can look upon as a milestone in small, simple things one can do to reduce the carbon footprint. We up- cycled a dead product as we took something lifeless and use it for another purpose and actually increase value, reduce and pro longed for the life cycle of the denim fabric. The general rule  of carbon footprint life cycle of a garment is approximately 30–40 in making of and between 60–70 percent in consuming a garment. The recycled denim labels were a solution in harmony with core brand values for Levi Strauss; good example that there are many opportunities to rethink how to make packaging and labels in the future.  Do not forget sector where we can save the most is to educate the consumer about how to wash and dry denim jeans. Kuyichi keeps no secrets. Kuyichi is a transparent company and share their sustainable status through their scorecard, Made-by.

Made-By gives information about the following terms in denim jean’s production;

  • Percentage of organic cotton
  • Classification of our sustainable fabrics
  • The percentage of certified factories
  • See www.made-by.org for more information

  • Kuyichi is a brand developed and made possible by their owners Solidaridad, who is the initiative by the Dutch government.
  • Solidaridad – Making markets work for the poor by creating fair and sustainable supply chains. Are you looking for support to produce sustainable, be certified? Is one of the tasks Solidaridad work towards
    MADE-BY is a European not-for-profit organization with a mission to make sustainable fashion common practice and improve environmental and social conditions in the fashion industry. To do this MADE-BY work with fashion brands of varying sizes and scope, and supports them in developing sustainable strategies to improve conditions across their entire supply chain.
  • Sustainable product design; minimize the use of materials and increase quality is one of the elements in sustainable design. Sustainability strives towards three principal elements; the goal of sustainability is to reduce harm to the environment, use renewable forms of energy, recycle, reuse and reduce the use of natural materials, increase quality according to extend a product Life cycle and of course add profit to the owners, designers and all other people who are a part of the product life cycle.

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Kenneth Lyngaas
I always try to be positive & have great energy to share. I try hard not to be affected by negative energy from others. I think that life is to short and that I do not have time to be grumpy, its only me that suffers from it and people around me. I believe that the whole universe is inter-connected, always in change and not everlasting. All people needs to develop positive karma, this will help us in the future. We all need to take care of this planet as we are only borrowing for a short time. So let us pass it on in a better condition than when we borrowed it. Remember next time we come around we might be able to borrow it again. I belive strongly that in a time like this we need strong visionary people that view the world as one. Enjoy
Kenneth Lyngaas
Kenneth Lyngaas
sustainableFASHION// dedicated the twenty-first century sustainable community and living. Every day, I deliver selected news on Eco design across the Internet. Most people appreciate an update without searching latest news themselves. Therefore, it’s already served. Don’t miss it, subscribe!
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