At Grandpa we are painfully aware of the impact the business we’re in is causing the planet. So we strive towards a more sustainable portfolio of brands. And we mean sustainable in the wide sense: we want to sell products made out of sustainable materials, that are the result of an ethical supply chain, and that you’ll fall in love with and use for years.
Throughout the spring we’ll highlight some of our brands that fit the bill, and that is making a serious effort towards a better, more sustainable business model.
This time we met up with Kings of Indigo (KOI) and Arvid Greifeneder at their showroom in Stockholm to ask a few questions on their work.
– Give us some back story to the brand.
"Founded eight years ago by Dutch entrepreneur Tony Tonnaer, Kings of Indigo was derived from the idea of creating a sustainable denim brand without compromising quality. The KOI logo is a cowboy riding a KOI-fish (pun intended), and it symbolizes the best of the two denim universes: the American wild west and work wear culture and the minimalistic and craft-centered Japanese culture."
– What does sustainability entail to KOI?
"Sustainability to us is interpreted in the broad sense: all textiles are going to be organic. The cotton is GOTS-certified (no cheap-ass green-washing conventional cotton-blends) and where applicable we try and use natural indigo. All the factories used for production carry trusted certificates on acceptable wages and good working conditions. But other than that - creating quality garments that last for a long time and that’s easy to repair is truly a sustainable practice."
– How does KOIs present sustainability work look like?
"Other than above, we create our own fabrics and own a lot of the production, meaning we have full transparency through the supply chain. All production that’s from outside EU is 100% Fairwear Certified. The factories use a circular water supply for both dyeing and treatments."
– How has the work changed over time?
"Due to recent technological developments and advancements, we can now use a bigger portion of recycled cotton fibers in the fabrics. These used to impact quality negatively due to those fibers being shorter, but that’s not the case any longer. At the moment 50% of the cotton used is recycled. There are new and improved cellulose fibers of organic origin that we blend in. We now use LASER as opposed to the very hazardous and unhealthy traditional way of sandblasting the denim for the worn look sought for. And starting next season we’re going vegan by losing the leather patches."
– What does the future look like?
"Our ambition is to be number one in sustainable and circular denim production. Already today we’re one of Europe’s leading brands on the subject. Within six years we aim to have a fully recycled collection."
– Any cues for customers looking for a new pair of sustainable denim?
"Spend just a little extra for a more sustainable and higher quality option. You’ll be wearing your jeans for a long time, and knowing they are a quality build and that you didn’t sucker punch the planet and made factory workers ill by choosing a cheap option feels good."