Our Community Commitments

We run every element of Kuwaii on our key core values.

  1. About Kuwaii
  2. How We Started
  3. Kuwaii Design Ethos
  4. Our Community Commitments
  5. Journal

Our values are: Kindness, Respect, Honesty, Environmental Accountability and Empowerment of all People.

Our commitment to gender equality

We believe in empowering women throughout our entire business, and we’re proud to say so. Kuwaii is still independently owned and run by designer/entrepreneur Kristy Barber, who started the brand in 2008. Women currently hold all management roles in our business.

Our Gender Policy includes the following points:

  • Our leaders champion diversity and visibly drive initiatives to mentor and encourage the women on our team.
  • We actively source and work with women-run, women-owned and women-led organisations.
  • Visible female role models exist, and aspirations for increasing diversity are shared.
  • Our leaders create an environment that’s inclusive, supportive and open.
  • We seek to collaborate with and champion women artists and designers.
  • Our leaders seek out, value, and recognise team members’ contributions.
  • Kuwaii provides a sense of collective identity and shared goals within the team.
  • We recognise that women require flexible working arrangements, especially after maternity leave, and continually work to provide flexibility to our team.
  • We strive to make our workplace an open and warm place to work and a place that always empowers the people on our team.
  • We actively choose diverse models for our photoshoots every season.

Our commitment to the environment

Minimising production waste

Every Kuwaii garment is designed and considered carefully before the cutting process begins to ensure that our production wastage is kept to the most minimal amount we can. Any scraps leftover are then recycled as part of our Textile Recycling Program.

Minimising single-use plastic

We aim to phase out as much single-use plastic as possible from our processes — cable ties, tape, garment bags and post satchels. We have a Big-4 plastics ban in our business and a plastic-free policy that bans the use of straws, coffee cups, plastic bags and plastic water bottles & discourages the use of plastic cutlery and takeaway containers. Our hangers are sent back from our stores > office > manufacturers, so we need a finite amount, and none of them hit landfill. Wire hangers are returned to our dry cleaners so they can be reused.

Energy Choices

Our stores are run with 100% renewable, carbon-neutral electricity, and we are in the process of converting our Head office to solar. We also have switched to ‘GreenPower,’ meaning that we contribute to Australia’s renewable energy development by paying extra on our electricity bills.

We support companies committed to making a difference and whose practices align with our environmental policies. We look for local businesses that are vegan, committed to using natural alternatives to chemical ingredients, that donate parts of their proceeds to charity, and who, like us, try to minimise their environmental impact.


At Kuwaii, we are deeply committed to assembling a diverse team that mirrors our community. This inclusivity spans diverse backgrounds, experiences, cultures, beliefs, religions, gender identities, and orientations.

Some of our recent initiatives, as of September 2023, include:

  • Providing all employees who bleed with two paid days of menstrual leave per year.
  • Granting a paid day off on our team member's birthday, every year.
  • Offering an Employee Assistance Program that includes counselling services for team members in need.
  • Creating a dedicated breakout space within our office to accommodate diverse sensory needs.
  • Implementing a comprehensive diversity training program slated for completion by the end of 2023.
  • Attaining ethical accreditation for our clothing manufacture so we can ensure that all workers in our supply chain are treated fairly.

We continue to evolve and strive for excellence in our pursuit of a better world for all, and those who work for Kuwaii.

Building a more diverse industry

In 2021, we broadened our size range to include 18, 20 and 22. We celebrate and photograph our items on a diverse range of models each season.

While we know we have a long way to go to become truly inclusive, we actively seek to celebrate all the people who wear our garments and footwear.


In June 2020, we revealed our commitment to do better:

Donate: We actively donate to indigenous charities.

Learn: We provide Kuwaii staff with an Anti-Racism Education library and digital resources.

Protest: Each Kuwaii team member has the right to take time off work to protest for causes they believe in.

Policy: We have implemented an anti-racism policy in our business.


We acknowledge that we are on the unceded land of the Woi Wurrung, and we recognise their continuing connection to the land, waters and culture. We recognise this in all of our physical stores and office locations, as well as in our communications.

Community: We love local!

We believe we have a responsibility to contribute positively to our local community. For us, this looks like providing jobs and keeping trades alive. It means donating to causes we believe in. It means hosting events like “Kuwaii Conversations” or workshops in our stores (we’ve done hand weaving and knitting in the past!) where we provide space to gather and educate.

We’re also passionate about supporting our local creative community, and we’re lucky to have a network of creative collaborators — artists, jewellers, designers and makers.

Some of the women-led businesses we have been proud to collaborate with include:

  • Loris Clothing for our ongoing hand-knit collaboration
  • Artists such as Charlotte Alldis, Minna Leunig, Kayleigh Heydon, Minna Gilligan, Anna Varendorff, Leaf and Thread and Sophie Bullen,
    Weaver Maryanne Moodie
  • Architect Imogen Pullar
  • Local women painters who hand paint our socks and tights.

As our business grows, we’ll continue celebrating and supporting other up-and-coming local businesses (especially women-led ones!).

Charitable Causes

Being an active part of our local community is incredibly important to us. This means giving back to the community that has supported us so much. We work with local charities to support those in our community and contribute to organisations focussing on women, Indigenous Australians and the environment. We’ve donated over $75,000 to charities and causes we believe in since 2015

Each season we also set aside a section of our range for donations to community causes to aid fundraising. If you have a fundraiser coming up, please email contact@kuwaii.com.au.

Updated: September 2023. For review: September 2025

If you have questions or concerns about anything in this Community Commitments Statement, you can contact us via email at contact@kuwaii.com.au.