Can a small brand be ethical?

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Can a small brand be ethical?

At Kingdom of Wow, we’ve two main goals: 1. providing our customers with freakin’ amazing footwear that’s an ethical alternative to fast fashion, 2. providing our team with sustainable employment that allows them to earn a living wage AND a workplace where they feel safe and appreciated.

Piece of cake we hear you say??

OK so let’s start at the beginning… what’s wrong with the fashion industry?

Today’s fashion industry is dominated by hyper consumerism and companies that are constantly looking to reduce costs, cutting largely on material quality and wages. The industry is monopolised by large multinationals completely disconnected from their supply chain. Most garment factories are strategically established in countries with low social and environmental standards. The main reasons why the fashion industry is one of the largest polluting industries in the world!!

There’s a LOT to talk on the topic and it’s easy to find out more on the internet. If you’re new to the issue, a good place to start would be to watch “The True Cost”. But enough with the negativity, let’s look at some solutions!!

Creating dignified work to reduce poverty

Kingdom of Wow began from a need for more sustainable employment in Siem Reap, Cambodia and the eagerness of the Khmer women to work and be more autonomous. So, our humble beginnings came from a desire to create long-term, non-seasonal employment that provides an empowering and fun workplace.

The social aspect: A priority

In addition to a living wage, all our team receive health insurance, free nutritious lunches and access to onsite day-care. Working hours promote a healthy work-life balance and many decisions are made collectively. Our staff also receive training on topics from health and security to reducing the use of plastic: because knowledge is the key to empowerment. The company also offers small interest-free loans and encourages skill development such as driving or continuing formal education.

Handmade production

All our footwear is handmade. There are no chemicals and very little electricity used to make our products.  Any cut-offs we create, are used or donated to zero-waste projects to keep our impact on the planet low!

Being responsible is a continuous process

We’re well aware we’ve areas of improvement such as our use of acrylic yarns, learning more about the origin of our leather and reducing our carbon footprint, but we’ll make every effort to be transparent every step of the way.

Let’s face it, as a small brand with limited capacity it’s hard to achieve all your green goals at the same time. For now, our next objective is to source a natural alternative for our acrylic yarn and use only biodegradable materials within the next two years.

Our first batch of wool-bamboo slippers will be available in Germany via Avocado Store this winter!

So, is it possible for a small brand to operate ethically? The short answer is YES! But it’s not easy… but that’s a topic that we discuss in another blog!

Written by Eva Yulzari

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