From Seed To Garment: Meet The Co-Founder Of Know The Origin; Charlotte Instone

Meet the co founder of Know The Origin
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Know The Origin

From seed to garment Know The Origin have a completely transparent supply chain delivering ethical and sustainable basics at an affordable price point. Not only this, on their website they talk deeply about the processes in which it takes to create their garments so that you can know the origin and processes in which your clothing was made.

Today, I interview the co-founder of KTO; Charlotte Instone.


What are your main aims of Know The Origin?

I think the main overall aim of Know The Origin is to transform the fashion industry into one where everyone in the supply chain profits from, and is supported by, fashion! Obviously we won’t do this single handedly but if by using our supply chain we can show people that it can be done, then acting as a catalyst for others to follow is a big part of the process! The first step is transparency and encouraging transparency in other brands, whilst also being affordable. The values of ethical fashion are something that should be accessible to everyone and unfortunately people often have to compromise on ethical sourcing because of the price. For the industry to change, ethical fashion needs to accessible and affordable for everyone. So… we have a couple challenges ahead of us to keep us entertained!

 

What is the best piece of advice you have ever received?

“Dont compare your chapter 1 to someone else’s chapter 15.”

Whether it is big name brands like H&M and Topshop or multinationals, the fashion industry is saturated with people much more experienced and powerful than you. This feels daunting… daily! Especially when you are some eager millennial rocking up to tell the current leaders of the industry there is a different way! Yikes. We have to remind ourselves that we are still in the early stages of KTO and reflect back on how much has happened within a short amount of time! 1 year ago we weren’t even selling any clothes and were working out of cafes. Now we have a kick-ass supply chain, are about to launch our second collection, are able to hire new people, and have some pretty exciting new projects in the loop!

 

What made you start Know The Origin?

I was studying at London College of Fashion learning how to make clothing, from drawing to shop floor, but not really questioning where it was coming from. Then, in 2013 Rana Plaza, a factory in Bangladesh producing for western brands, collapsed and killed over 1000 people. It was a massive eye opener to how the fashion industry works and the more I learnt, the more I knew I couldn’t be a part of it. It was kind of necessity that made me start KTO. I couldn’t find any brands that were fully ethical, affordable and were actually wearable (no offence but I can’t exactly wear aztec printed, hemp, maxi dresses to work.) I wanted to do fashion differently, all the way from seed to garment. And here we are!

 

Where do you see Know The Origin in the future? Let’s say 4-5 years.

As the team learns more and more, our vision shifts but in 4-5 years we will definitely be producing more beautiful clothing and developing better ways to support the people in our supply chain! I see us becoming a name people trust with ethical sourcing and feel confident to engage with us! We know we won’t always get things perfect, but we want people to be able to tell us what they think we can do better (please don’t be too mean) and help KTO become a kick-ass, watertight, ethical brand!

 

Who inspires you most?

100% Safia Minney. I cannot imagine the struggle it must’ve been to pioneer fairtrade fashion but I hope she feels it’s been totally worth it because the impact she has had is monumental. Gotta love an unrelenting, ethical, female CEO!

 

What is behind the name ‘Know The Origin‘?

It’s a “does what it says on the tin” kind of name! One of the biggest pitfalls in fashion is the secrecy and ignorance within supply chains. People are able to not take accountability for disasters such as Rana Plaza as they can claim they didn’t know that the factory they employee, outsources from 100+ factories with horrendous ethical standards. Unfortunately, 61% of fashion brand’s do not know where their products are made and 93% are unsure where their fabrics come from. Not cool. Know The Origin aims to set a new standard by having a fully transparent supply chain that supports our employees. All our suppliers information is available on our website so you are more than welcome to visit them if you don’t trust us (not a bad excuse for a holiday in India too!)


Not only is Charlotte (and Laura’s) work absolutely incredible, but it is pushing for a better world of fashion and transparency. Encouraging other companies to have fully transparent supply chains like KTO where everyone in the supply chain profits from, and is supported by fashion is something I completely admire.

If you would like to know the origin of your clothes or are in need of some new basics, be sure to check out KTO here

Or check them out via Instagram, Twitter, Facebook & Pinterest.

Brodie

Founder + Blogger

Hey there! I'm Brodie, the passionate blogger behind Ethically Engaged. My mission is to find ethical lifestyle options to lead you in the direction of conscious consumerism. I hope you enjoy coming along this journey with me x

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