Kuyichi: Max Havelaar in jeans

Marco Visscher | April 2004 issue
The Dutch development organisation Solidarity had earlier pioneered the ‘fair price’ for coffee beans and the shift to organic cultivation. A few years ago it was time for a new project: clothing. Solidaridad launched Kuyichi, a clothing brand whose products are manufactured under favourable social and ecological conditions. But Kuyichi doesn’t want to present itself as a responsible brand. What it really wants is to be hip and modern.
Kuyichi markets jeans, shirts, dress shirts, bags and will shortly introduce a line of baby and children’s clothing. The cotton is purchased from numerous farmers in Peru who have joined in a cooperative that directly trades with its customers. The farmers, who are also Kuyichi’s owners, are assured they will sell their cotton and be paid around 30 per cent above the market price. This compensates them for their yield loss and investments. Currently not all the cotton Kuyichi uses is certified organic, but the company expects it will be before long.
At the same time, efforts are being made to improve the position of cotton pickers, who come down from the highlands to the cotton fields to take badly paid seasonal work. The pickers can stay in a covered barn equipped with mattresses, blankets, showers and toilets. During the day there is a babysitter for their children.
Kuyichi, www.kuyichi.nl. Kuyichi’s clothing is sold in various shops in the Netherlands, which are listed on the website.
 

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Kuyichi: Max Havelaar in jeans

Marco Visscher | April 2004 issue
The Dutch development organisation Solidarity had earlier pioneered the ‘fair price’ for coffee beans and the shift to organic cultivation. A few years ago it was time for a new project: clothing. Solidaridad launched Kuyichi, a clothing brand whose products are manufactured under favourable social and ecological conditions. But Kuyichi doesn’t want to present itself as a responsible brand. What it really wants is to be hip and modern.
Kuyichi markets jeans, shirts, dress shirts, bags and will shortly introduce a line of baby and children’s clothing. The cotton is purchased from numerous farmers in Peru who have joined in a cooperative that directly trades with its customers. The farmers, who are also Kuyichi’s owners, are assured they will sell their cotton and be paid around 30 per cent above the market price. This compensates them for their yield loss and investments. Currently not all the cotton Kuyichi uses is certified organic, but the company expects it will be before long.
At the same time, efforts are being made to improve the position of cotton pickers, who come down from the highlands to the cotton fields to take badly paid seasonal work. The pickers can stay in a covered barn equipped with mattresses, blankets, showers and toilets. During the day there is a babysitter for their children.
Kuyichi, www.kuyichi.nl. Kuyichi’s clothing is sold in various shops in the Netherlands, which are listed on the website.
 

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