Kuyichi: timeless organic denim
12 sept ‘22 #PRODUCTSTORY
Founded in 2001 by the Solidaridad NGO, Kuyichi Pure Goods is the original organic denim brand. Focused on creating fair opportunities and non-toxic cotton, Kuyichi makes jeans with a timeless style and a truly ethical cradle-to-cradle supply chain.
Words by Kathya García
Image source by KUYICHI
Kuyichi was created not in response to trends nor by the vision of a designer, but in response to a huge issue: the rampant pollution and dire poverty found in the cotton industry in Peru. The founders reacted by collaborating with local farmers to produce organic cotton that was free of toxic chemicals. Met with rejection by most brands who were uninterested in purchasing the costlier organic cotton, Kuyichi was founded in order to create a market for fair and sustainable cotton.
Named after the Peruvian God of the Rainbow, K’uychi, the brand aims to bring colour and positivity to society. Kuyichi Pure Goods shows its commitment to positive impact in the fashion industry by constantly searching for better ways to reduce its impact on the environment. This means Kuyichi is part of the un-fashion movement, as pioneers of style beyond trends and sustainable garments.
Essential, durable, fresh linen
Kuyichi creates timeless pieces that do not promote wasteful purchasing without compromising style. The brand favours essential, versatile, and non-seasonal pieces, like the Olivia T-Shirt, which is made of 100% linen. This t-shirt comes in off-white and was produced in Turkey by the brand’s partner Tayra. The Olivia T-Shirt is a staple garment that will keep the wearer cool for countless summers. Kuyichi’s linen is highly durable because it is made from the strong fibres in the stems of the flax plant. It’s one of the oldest and strongest fibres out there, with the added benefit of a nice crisp look. Plus, all of Kuyichi’s linen is farmed in Europe, France and Belgium.
Olivia T-shirt KUYICHI
Raw denim gets better with time
Because jeans are the most popularly worn cotton garment, Kuyichi started as the first brand to sell jeans made with 100% organic denim. As the brand has grown and evolved over the last two decades, Kuyichi now works with materials that are either organic, recycled, or low-impact fibre. The Nora Jeans are made with raw denim, which is the purest form and is intended for real denim lovers. The material of these mom-style jeans is 100% recycled pre-consumer cotton, so the rigidness will wear according to the wearer’s lifestyle.
Kuyichi also recognises that true sustainability encompasses the whole supply chain, so the brand takes other measures to ensure it is a role model for sustainable fashion. For instance, Kuyichi ensures that the majority (87% is the most recent figure) of its denim goods, including these jeans, are washed with a low impact according to the environmental impact measurement score of Jeanologia, a sustainable textile solutions company.
Nora jeans by KUYICHI
Trends are circular, clothes should be too
This year, Kuyichi has also launched a takeback program, aiming to hold themselves accountable over where its pure goods end up after they’re worn, while giving their customers a way to pass them forward. For almost ten years, the brand has already been promoting the recycling of denim by rewarding recyclers at its in-store collection points, and Kuyichi’s efforts to drive circularity in fashion are growing.
Circularity is one of the reasons why using natural materials is so important. The purer the material, the more natural, the easier it is to recycle it. Therefore, Kuyichi is constantly working with more innovative materials, like Lyocell. TENCEL™ Lyocell is a sustainable material similar to viscose. What makes it highly sustainable is that it is made from controlled and certified wood sources and it uses a closed-loop production process. It’s also compostable. The Victoria Blouse is made with 51% lyocell, meaning it is soft, durable, crease-proof, and just plain beautiful.
The Victoria Blouse can be dressed up or down. It’s formal enough for work, but also ventilated and cute for a summer holiday. This blouse is aseasonal–it can be worn with shorts at the beach or with chinos at the office. A nice pair of classic and comfortable trousers are the Mila Chinos. Suitable for any occasion, the Mila Chinos come in a cool earthy tone, “Sand Melange”. Made with 100% cotton, these chinos are based on the leg-design of a stable favourite, the Nora jeans.
The Fair Little Black Dress
The organic cotton brand takes further sustainability measures involving the often-overlooked topic of social justice. Kuyichi is currently collaborating with other brands in projects to support workers’ rights, fair pay, and gender issues in Turkey. This cause is after all, the raison d'être for Kuyichi since Peruvian cotton farmers earn a normal salary from their harvest thanks to the brand.
All of these garments were fairly produced in Turkey. They are made by different partners of Kuyichi Pure Goods, which they disclose for every product. The Ella Dress, for instance, is made by Kuyichi’s small partner Merger, a young company located in Izmir, Turkey. This dress is made with 52% organic cotton and 48% linen, so it is another fresh and everlasting dress for many summers to come. The simple, yet elegant cut comes complete with a belted waist and tortoise shell-style buttons. It’s available in Jet Black and the equally sophisticated shades, Light Sand Melange and Brick.
Speaking of the tone brick, the Nicolette dress is striped with lines of this shade. With its long sleeves, the Nicolette shields the arms from the sun in the peak of summer and doubles as a shirt for cooler Spring days. Freshness is guaranteed with the Nicolette’s blend of organic cotton and linen, plus the leg ventilation! The Nicolette takes a more modern twist to the timeless shirt-dress with its straight cur and brick-coloured stripes. It is for minimal elegance that can be styled in a myriad of ways: belted, sleeves rolled up, accessorised…even doubling as a shirt.
Ella dress by KUYICHI
Remade silk scarf as a top
Kuyichi understands that the best part of wearing essential pieces is the versatility. Designs removed from trends can stay favourites forever. What’s more, with its various certifications, transparency, reporting and increasing sustainability efforts, Kuyichi shows accountability for its actions while empowering consumers to make informed choices. Kuyichi Pure Goods is a driver of change for the fashion industry through its initiatives in reducing impact on the environment, at the same time as consumers learn to behave more sustainably. In the end, the best style is sustainable.