As the owner/founder of KAIGHT (and the buyer and ultimate decision maker) for everything stocked in the store, I forget sometimes that I have knowledge and insight about the brands we carry that many of you don't. This is by no means intentional; we try to communicate the stories behind our brands and emphasize their commitments to sustainability in subtle ways. Often, though, I can't help but wonder, if all that information takes the fun out of shopping. But it IS important, and this Earth Day, I want to highlight some of the key components of sustainability that motivate our designers. Here's a snapshot of some of the key criteria that inform me when deciding which brands to buy.
1. LOCAL PRODUCTION
2. QUALITY, NATURAL FIBERS
High-quality Japanese cotton, pima cotton and alpaca from Peru, ethically sourced silk, linen, denim, hemp and natural modal form the textile foundation for most of our brands. Natural fibers tend to be easier to care for (machine or hand washable), they are generally more breathable (read: more comfortable), are more sustainable because they are biodegradable and use less energy and crude oil to produce, and generally last longer.
3. ETHICS, INTEGRIGITY & MODERN DESIGN
Every brand we carry reflects the designers' personal commitment to a style that is based on integrity, modernity and quality, not trends. "All that trendy clothing is meaningless. Meaning requires ethics, connecting clothing to a set of values," says Yuka Izutsu, Designer and Founder, Atelier Delphine. Similarly, Ali Golden founded her brand with this guiding principle: "Clothing should be sleek, simple and ethically made for the modern woman." Eschewing trends helps create a more timeless wardrobe.
4. TRADITIONAL DESIGN TECHNIQUES
Brands like PO-EM, ACE & JIG, HUMA BLANCO and others are collaborating with diverse, global artisan communities who still use traditional methods of design, including handweaving, block printing and resist dying. Working in partnership with these cooperatives provides economic stability for these communities, while also helping maintain these centuries-old heritage techniques.