Our Garments and Footwear

Behind our Brand

From the first ever Kuwaii piece, our vision has been to offer an alternative to trend driven, throwaway fashion. With every collection, our focus is on excellent craftsmanship, minimising our waste and environmental impact, and creating truly impeccable clothing and footwear that our customers will love for many years to come.

Producing Locally

Travel miles are one of the fashion industry’s biggest environmental concerns. Not only does the shipping of garments around the world create a nasty carbon footprint, it also contributes to a host of other ethical issues like murky supply chains and unfair wages. This is why we are very proud to produce locally. In fact, every Kuwaii piece is designed, made and retailed within 15km of our Brunswick head office. Producing locally means we can support our community by providing jobs and keeping trades alive. We love that we are able to be a genuine contributor to the local industry and local economy.

We have strong personal relationships with our makers, who work on each Kuwaii piece with an outstanding level of skill and a genuine level of care. By taking this hands-on approach, we are able to ensure the quality and integrity of our garments and footwear. It also means that we can be certain that all our product practices are ethical.

We use just two clothing makers and one footwear maker, which means our supply chain is small and beautifully simple. We work with these women using methods recommended by Ethical Clothing Australia to make sure we are always paying them fair prices, and that their work conditions are healthy and safe. Over the years we have worked together our brand has grown considerably. We’re happy that we’ve been able to support our makers along the way, and know that they are proud of their work for us.

We believe the human cost of fashion is high and that we all have a responsibility to question the murkier end of supply chains. By producing locally, we can be sure that we’re not contributing to the problem, which means a lot to us. It also means we are able to generate income and improve the quality of life for others in our community.

Our footwear range is particularly important to us. We are one of very few brands who still produce footwear locally, and our footwear maker is one of the last of her trade in Australia. You can learn more about our footwear processes here or you can watch our film about how our shoes are made here.

Designing for forever

Every year in Australia, $500m worth of clothing is sent to the tip. The fast fashion model is a major contributor to the global landfill crises, with unrecovered textiles creating four percent of landfill in Australia. It’s an unsustainable system that we’re determined to change.

We design with forever in mind. Our pieces are beautiful and timeless, made to last with the wearer and to be loved through their lifetime. Nothing makes us happier than seeing Kuwaii pieces passed on from one friend or family member to another, taking with it years of memories and life.

All Kuwaii designs are born from a dislike of excess and mass production, and desire for quality, timelessness, simple beauty and practicality. Each piece is carefully considered with our customer in mind: how will she wear it, how useful is it to her, and how long will she be able to wear it for? Practicality, elegance, comfort and attention to detail are at the foundation of our design philosophy.

We have a healthy and realistic idea of the female form, and it’s important to us that our collections reflect the beautiful diversity of our customers. Our shapes work well on women’s bodies – they are fitting, flattering, and impart a sense of confidence for women of many shapes and sizes.

We want our garments to be timeless and adaptable, so we design many of our pieces with elements of versatility, giving our customers a range of different ways they could wear them. We also created our Classic collection: a range of timeless, staple items that are continued through our collections each year.

Increasing the emphasis on longevity in fashion also leads to less wastage and a reduction in environmental damage, which is extremely important to us. Our greatest hope is to see the industry shift away from disposable fashion and back towards the days of minimal, functional wardrobes, worthy of care and passing on.

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"We design with forever in mind. Our pieces are beautiful and timeless, made to last with the wearer and to be loved through their lifetime. Nothing makes us happier than seeing Kuwaii pieces passed on from one friend or family member to another, taking with it years of memories and life."

Fabrics we source

We know that the fabrics we use, and how we source them, has huge environmental and ethical implications. That’s why it is important to us that our fabrics come from trusted sources. In each collection, 50 percent of the fabric we use is from either sustainable or transparent sources. We are committed to increasing this figure, and are pushing each season to discover more recycled, organic and sustainable fabrics. We purchase our fabrics through Australian textile agents which allows us to support local businesses as well as the fashion industry here in Australia.

Durability means a lot to us, so we take the time to find the highest quality fabrics that we are confident will last the test of time – we will never sacrifice quality for cost. We also spend time testing the fabrics we use for wear and wash so that our customers can be confident in them, too.

We limit our use of fabrics made from nonrenewable fossil fuels like polyester, acrylic, and nylon. Instead, we use regenerated wood fibres which are much more environmentally friendly, such as tencel. Tencel is made from natural, sustainable cellulose wood pulp obtained from eucalyptus trees in forests that have earned Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification. The ground pulp used for tencel is treated in a ‘closed loop’ process, which means that the solvents used are recycled with a recovery rate of 99.5%.

It’s very rare for brands to know exactly where their fabrics are coming from. We know four of the fabric mills that we regularly purchase from, which are located in Italy, France, New Zealand and Japan. This means we can be confident in the quality of our fabrics, because we know exactly where and how they were produced. We are proud of the level of transparency in our supply chain and are aiming to increase this over the next year.

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