Gosia Piatek On How Kowtow Has Reused 120kg Of Ocean Waste

by: Rosie Dalton | 1 year ago | Features

Image: Gosia Piatek at home. Image source.

Gosia Piatek is the founder of New Zealand based brand Kowtow, which has long been our go-to for sustainable and fairly made clothing. Because the brand’s building block pieces make for the perfect foundations of any Well Made wardrobe. And with the introduction of Kowtow’s first ever swim range last week, we are excited to say that our sustainable beachwear is now totally covered as well.

Crafted from regenerated nylon that is pulled from the ocean, Kowtow swim pieces are much like the brand’s clothing: timeless, transparent and good for the planet. Available in four beautiful colourways, they make it pretty impossible to choose just one. So here, we caught up with Gosia about why she decided to launch swim and how she went about making sure this move would align with the brand’s values overall.

Belle wears the Bandeau Top and the High Waisted Brief.

Rosie Dalton: Can you tell us a bit about your new range of swimwear; the first ever Kowtow swim collection?
Gosia Piatek: Drawing upon geometric shapes, we have designed six feminine and inclusive styles, consisting of two one piece suits and four separate styles for mix and match bikini sets in Marigold, Sienna, Ivy and Midnight.

The swim collection is made from Econyl, which is a regenerated nylon and our collection has regenerated 120kg of nylon waste material pulled from the ocean. We are also excited to announce that we are launching a Take Back Program, which allows customers to return their swimwear at the end of its useful life. We will either create it back into yarn to create more swim lines or work with industrial designers to come up with furniture or design objects. 

Rosie: What you were inspired by when designing these pieces?
Gosia: We have reoccurring visual themes at Kowtow – minimalism, modern art, Japan, Scandinavia, mid century design and a tomboy attitude seems to crop up with everything we do. So naturally this is the inspiration we drew on for our first swim range. We know that the Kowtow woman is modest, so even our version of the triangle bikini is a little fuller, which I think makes it more elegant and elevated. The colour palette was fun to design, as we knew we wanted the separates to be mix and match – so choosing four colours that work together was very important and also wanted them to work back in with our summer collection.  

Amber wears the Asymmetric One Piece.

Rosie: Which fabrics did you use for the range and how did you go about sourcing them?
Gosia: We have sourced an innovative fabric called Econyl. It is a regenerated nylon consisting of pre- and post-consumer waste material, including fishing nets, discarded carpets, plastic components and fabric scraps. It was important for us to design swimwear that could be entirely recyclable – this means using no additional clasps or trims. Econyl is an incredible fabric because it can be recycled indefinitely without losing fabric quality.

Rosie: Why was sustainability such an important consideration throughout this process?
Gosia: Ethics and sustainability are our core values, and while we’re driven to create new products and ranges, these values are something we do not comprise on. Swimwear is something I have wanted to do for a while. New Zealand and Australia are completely surrounded by water and beautiful beaches, so creating a sustainable alternative to swimwear just seemed like a good fit. In Wellington, my home overlooks a marine reserve and it is incredibly special and important to me to find ways we can preserve it. 


You can shop the Kowtow swim collection over here

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