Thomas Middag works in the marketing department of the sustainable organic fashion brand Kuyichi, which produces sustainable jeans. Here is his reply to five interview questions with the Fair Fashion Blog.
What was your initial idea for producing sustainable jeans?
When the founders of Kuyichi, NGO Solidaridad, were exploring the cotton industry in Peru and were shocked by the pollution and poverty they saw. The alternative was organic cotton. Without the use of toxic chemicals and with a better life for cotton farmers. The most commonly worn product made of cotton is a pair of jeans, so we started making 100% organic denim. Since the start of Kuyichi in 2001 we have always been striving to produce the “cleanest” jeans possible. For example our suppliers use innovative techniques, such as laser and ozone for the finishing of our jeans, these techniques require less water, chemicals and reduce the worker impact, while increasing the workplace efficiency.
How did you find the brand name “Kuyichi”? Does it stand for a special meaning?
Kuyichi is the name of the Peruvian God of the rainbow. Who brings colour and positivity to the society. We want to bring a positive change in the clothing industry, our journey started in Peru and the first organic cotton we used was Tanguis cotton from Oro Blanco, Peru. Those were the reasons to choose Kuyichi as our name.
Are you planning to produce jeans for children as well?
Really glad that you ask about this! We are currently in the final stages of producing two styles for both girls and boys. The first style is the “Rebel Grey”, which is a light grey coloured fabric and the other one will be in our new “Bright Blue” fabric, which is, as the name suggests, a bright blue coloured fabric. The girls jeans are named after our owners daughter, Maxime, and will be a skinny fit. The boys jeans is named after the owners son, Loran, and will be a slim fit. They are yet to be released.
Is organic cotton the only material that you use for the jeans, or what else does it need?
In todays market it is nearly impossible to sell a jeans with solely organic cotton in it, as the consumer really wants a comfy fit, that’s why most jeans have some elastane, Tencel or recycled polyester in it. We are working very hard to include more recycled fibers in our products. This year we have already released the Joy, Nick and Scott in the Classic Blue, which is a fabric with 20% Post-Consumer-Recycled-Denim in it and more styles will follow the coming seasons.
What do you hope for the future?
We really hope to see a change in the fashion industry, it would be great to see other brands following our lead towards more transparency in the fashion industry. Furthermore we hope to remain our role as a pioneer when it comes to fairly produced fashion. We aim for 100% transparency, maximising our use of recycled materials, reduce the impact of our product, more sustainable transportation and we want to increase our positive impact on the workers.
Image source: © Kuyichi