I am excited to share another fair fashion look with you, including some really wonderful labels!
This post focus will be on the brand KOKOworld, a Polish label that is creating beautiful clothes and accessoires in cooperation with fair trade projects all over the world. But read more in the really intersting interview further down. I am wearing a black cotton dress from KOKOworld. The dress is super comfy and cute and it has a kind of shape that makes it easy to be worn both as a dress and as a shirt. I am pretty sure that it will make it on my blog again, worn as a shirt.
Before jumping to the interview, just a few words about my scarf; meinfrollein makes the most beautiful and cozy knit wear, all made in Germany. AND the label is donating 3€ of every purchase to social projects. I have been blogging about them back HERE and will for sure wear this scarf a lot on the blog in the coming months.
But now to the interview with KOKOworld:
Dear Jan, what is KOKOworld all about? What makes this brand so special?
KOKOworld is mainly about cooperation with local craftsmen all around the world based on a partnership. We met all our craftsmen during our many journeys and hence, we know them personally. This makes us special as we can tell the story of each of our products and show the people, who were engaged in the production process of each single piece in our collections. This also allows us to show real handicraft in our projects and use real Indonesian and African fabrics, of which we are especially proud. All our pieces are crafted in a local sewing room near Cracow and that combined with first-class fabrics from our trustworthy suppliers allows for an always sustainable production process. But what you can see at first sight is our original design, which combines classic with an ethno-twist, authentic fabrics from Africa and Indonesia with interesting style, which is designed as to make us feel as comfortable as possible.
Since when does KOKOworld exist and how did it go ever since?
The whole idea started with a journey of Agata Kurek, the founder of KOKOworld, to Mali. There she fell in love with so-called African Wax Prints, which are fabrics dyed in natural dyes with the use of wax. There is a mesmerizing variety of motives and patterns of these fabrics, so Agata just stuffed her backpack full with a few meters of these and after coming back she quitted her job in a Corporation and in 2010 the first Addis Abeba dresses were called to life. Since then KOKOworld was growing, also thanks to many new contacts to craftsmen all around the world, like Kis Herry in Indonesia or Eduardo in Columbia. We are proud to offer projects inspired by cultures all around the world and are always on the search for contact to new craftsmen. 2016 we also launched our German site for our clients in Germany and Austria.
Since the beginning of KOKOworld, can you see a change in consumer behaviour? Do you feel more people are becoming interested in fair fashion?
We can definitely see a positive change. Some years ago, hardly nobody knew anything about sustainable production, whereas now ethics in the fashion industry is a major topic with even growing impact. We can see giants of the fashion industry changing their production habits due to pressure from customers. There is much more transparency within the industry, but also much more consciousness among the consumers. This is a trend we definitely support with many actions and events contributing to sharing knowledge about problems with mass production. But now, as we are also active in the German market, we can clearly see the difference between Germany and Poland and obviously we have still a long way to go. We are happy to cooperate with many people from Germany and Austria, who contribute to sustainability in any way, as this is a source of knowledge for our label.
You are very conscious about choosing the people you work with – what are your criteria?
As mentioned above, we cooperate with craftsmen from all around the world based on a partnership. This means that they really influence our projects and we, on the other hand, help them to develop and to make a living also for their families. Some of them, like Abu from Senegal, were able to create jobs for people from their neighbourhood, partially thanks to us. Most important for us is to know the people personally. We meet them during our journeys and stay in touch with those, whose products and history made a lasting impression on us. This is also valid for the suppliers of our fabrics made in Poland – we pick those suppliers who can convince us of the quality of their fabrics as well as the consciousness, we often pick sustainable fabrics for our projects like organic cotton. And it is unbelievable to see when our clients travel around the world and meet our craftsmen – we recently got a picture from our clients who went to Colombia and recognised the jewellery made by Eduardo, with whom they later got a photo!
You are supporting workers all over the world, with which countries are you currently working? And do you plan to expand to other places too?
Currently we are working with craftsmen and -women from Indonesia, Thailand, Senegal, Cape Verde, Colombia, Morocco and, of course, Poland. But we also remain the contact to other craftsmen who we met on our way. We never know what will inspire us during our journeys, lately Agata was in Spain and got some new inspirations 😉 We are always on the search for new handicraft, fabrics and designs and we will definitely include more countries on our list soon.
Your collections vary from super modern and stylish to timeless pieces to ethno inspired bags and accessoires. Do you follow any trends?
We mainly follow what actually is inspiring us. We consciously reject the rhythm of the industry, we design and issue new collections according not to the trends, but to our own inspirations and also supplies of authentic fabrics form Indonesia and Africa. Often we first wait for a long time for new fabrics and start designing after we see what fabrics we get from our craftsmen. We always try to design pieces for all kinds of styles and preferences. But when we do classical things, we always try to give them a twist, with some colourful detail our with some asymmetrical style. The main rule we follow is to always use our current inspirations and design pieces that we ourselves would love to wear! 🙂
I hope you enjoyed this little fall outfit of mine, and of course the interview with KOKOworld!? I personally have a thing for all labels that are not “following the rules” when it comes to creating new collections or following trends. I find it so much more inspirational when somehow says “well, I produce a new collection when I feel like I have a good one in mind” instead of just creating for the sake of creating something new. Anyway, you get the idea!?
Have a wonderful evening!