Kings of Indigo – Sustainable Denim Made with a Conscience

At this season’s Bread & Butter we were introduced to a new brand from Amsterdam that is keen to teach all the oldtimers a thing or two about preserving the environment. Kings of Indigo (abbreviated K.O.I.) was launched just six months ago, but it’s already well-established with its conceptual and clean production techniques.

Launched at the Spring/Summer 12 Bread & Butter trade fair, K.O.I. introduced their collection of  sustainable bottoms and tops with their innovative Triple R concept; Recycle, Repair and Re-use. This translates into production through use of recycled materials and K.O.I.’s complementary repair service to give jeans a longer life. And when you’re ready for a fresh pair, you can leave your oldies for K.O.I. to re-use in one of the next collections. This brand ethos has been driven by founder, Tony Tonnaer, who has an extensive history with sustainable denim, having worked seven years as denim director for Netherlands-based fair trade lifestyle brand, Kuyichi.

The concept of K.O.I., “Every Garment Made With A Conscience,” is visualised in the logo by mixing American heritage (the cowboy) with the Japanese eye for detail (the koi) and caring for nature (the wave). The wave is also used as the stitch logo on the back pocket, which is naturally also half-lined. Additionally, the jeans are chain stitched at the hem and they have double (or trible) felled inseams. The overlock stitches on the non-selvage edges are royal blue, another signature, which again is a deliberate reference to the koi and the wave. The patches are made of vegetable tanned leather and the fabrics are mainly from Turkey and Italy, some of them also organic.

The denim collection consists of three Men’s and five Women’s fits in 10 different washes. There are a variety of fits from super slim and high waist to baggy and low crotch, which offer something for every denim “affectionado”.  The bottoms are complemented by a range of timeless tops, chinos and accessories that complete the old western look. All production takes place in Tunisia, but for their exclusive top-of-line selvage jeans the fabric is produced in Japan: a 14 oz. recycled cotton woven by the small Japanese mill Collect. They retail at €240, which is the most expensive item from K.O.I. But there’s also more commercial 12.5 oz. selvages from Italy retailing at €139.

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