Rank a Brand

How sustainable is Knowledge Cotton Apparel ?

Knowledge Cotton Apparel & sustainability


Knowledge Cotton Apparel
First milestones, should be better Click here for score rapport: 11 out of 34

Sustainability summary

Knowledge Cotton Apparel has achieved our D-label. Knowledge Cotton Apparel uses organic cotton and a major part of the products are GOTS certified. However, the company is pretty vague about the working conditions in Turkey, India and China. A policy to pay living wages is lacking. Also a comprehensive policy to reduce carbon emissions is desireable.

Brand owner: Knowledge Cotton Apparel
Head office: Herning, Denmark
Sector: Casual clothing
Categories : Male, Female
Free Tags: KCA, Shirts, Jeans, Bags, Jackets

Compare other brands

What's your sustainability news about Knowledge Cotton Apparel?

Knowledge Cotton Apparel sustainability score report

Last edited: 25 April 2019 by Niels
Last reviewed: 17 April 2019 by Niels

Questions about Climate Change/ Carbon Emissions

1 out of 6
1. Has the brand (owner) disclosed the annual absolute climate footprint of its 'own operations', and has it accomplished an overall absolute climate footprint reduction compared to the result of the previous reporting year? KCA does not publish the climate footprint of last years. It is therefore not clear if the implemented measures actually helped to reduce the total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Source
2. Is at least 50% of the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? KCA does not communicate its renewable energy policy. Source
3. Is all the electricity used by the brand (company) generated from renewable resources, such as wind or solar energy? See remark for carbon emissions policy question 3. Source
4. Has the brand (owner) disclosed the annual absolute climate footprint of its supply chain that is 'beyond own operations? KCA has not published a footprint for the supply chain. It is therefore not clear how the implemented measures actually helped to reduce the total annual greenhouse gas emissions. Source
5. Has the brand (owner) accomplished a reduction of this annual absolute climate footprint 'beyond own operations' compared to the result of the previous reporting year? KCA offsets their emissions by plant trees in India. However, with the lack of carbon footprint, it is not clear to what extent this helped reducing their nett emissions. Source
6. Has the brand (owner) set a target to make at least its own operations fully climate neutral by 2030, and is the brand on track to achieve this target? KCA communicates the objective for 2025 to become 100% carbon neutral for the full production. The company has also taken clear measures. More specific information however would help understand how succesfull their strategy is. Source

Questions about Environmental Policy

7 out of 12
1. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 5% of its volume? Knowledge Cotton Apparel's collection is made from environmentally preferred fibres such as organic cotton or recycled PET, but it is not clear what percentage of the total annual volume this represents. Based on the webshop articles, a share higher than 75% can be considered plausible. Source
2. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 10% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
3. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 25% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
4. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 50% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
5. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 75% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
6. Does the brand (company) use environmentally 'preferred' raw materials for more than 90% of its volume? See remark for environmental policy question 1. Source
7. Is there a policy for the brand (company) to eliminate all hazardous chemicals from the whole lifecycle and all production procedures to make the clothes and footwear? KCA's clothing is GOTS certified, which means that high standards are maintained for suitable chemical use and water policies during production. This certification is applicable to the entire cotton collection. Source
8. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least one suspect chemical group, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? KCA reports to make use of non-harmful dyestuff only, which excludes the use of Azo dyes. But, whether other suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Perfluorinated chemicals can be considered as fully eliminated from its entire production chain isn't specified. Source
9. Has the brand (company) eliminated at least three suspect chemical groups, such as Phthalates or Per fluorinated chemicals from its entire garment production? See remark for environmental policy question 8. Source
10. Does the brand (owner) report what percentage of its consumer packaging materials are renewable or made from recycled materials, and does the brand implement best practices or concrete policies which have reduced the environmental impact of their packaging materials? KCA does not communicate any information about its consumer packaging reduction policies. Source
11. Does the brand (owner) publish its absolute waste materials footprint and implement concrete policies to minimize waste, by reducing, re-using and recycling, thereby decreasing its waste footprint compared to the previous reporting year? KCA does not communicate any information about its waste reduction policies. Source
12. Does the brand (company) encourage the return or re-use of garments? KCA does not communicate whether the return or re-use of garments by its customers is encouraged. Source

Questions about Labour Conditions/ Fair Trade

3 out of 16
1. Does the brand (owner) have a supplier Code of Conduct (CoC) which includes all standards to ensure workers' rights such as no child labour, no bonded labour, a safe workplace and no excessive overwork? And is there at least a progress report once every two years on implementation of this Code of Conduct? Knowlegde Cotton Apparel (KCA) products are made in Turkey, India and China. The company mentions a list of certifications, but it is not clear to which part of the production those apply. The company also refers to its own Code of Conduct, but this document was not published. Source
2. Does the brand (owner) have a policy to make sure there is a proper grievance mechanism in place for factory workers and are at least 25% of workers informed about their rights regarding this mechanism (e.g. through training)? KCA does not mention that a complaint mechanism is active. Source
3. Does the brand (owner) have a published list of direct suppliers, that have collectively contributed to more than 90% of the purchase volume? KCA shows the production countries by product, but does not show the names and places of the factories. Source
4. Is this supplier list specific? Are e.g. the addresses of direct suppliers included, and/or are the specific products mentioned per factory? See remark for labor conditions policy question 3. Source
5. Is the list of direct suppliers extended with suppliers further down the supply chain, with a minimum of 40% in number compared to the direct suppliers? See remark for labor conditions policy question 3. Source
6. Is the brand (owner) a member of a collective initiative that aims to improve labor conditions, in which civil society organizations like NGOs and labor unions have a decisive voice, or does the brand purchase at least 50% from certified manufacturers with improved labor conditions? KCA works with GOTS certification for a major part of its production. This certification is eligible for this question. Source
7. Does this initiative require clear minimum performance levels for member brands? GOTS certification requires a clear performance level for social standards. Source
8. Is at least 25% of the total production volume at direct suppliers verified under monitoring concerning good labour conditions? GOTS has not published the verification protocol for audits. It is therefore not clear if the verification of social standards is sufficiently strong. See also the answer to labour conditions question 1. Source
9. Is at least 50% of the total production volume at direct suppliers verified under monitoring concerning good labour conditions? See remark for labor conditions policy question 8. Source
10. Is at least 75% of the total production volume at direct suppliers verified under monitoring concerning good labour conditions? See remark for labor conditions policy question 8. Source
11. Is at least 95% of the total production volume at direct suppliers verified under monitoring concerning good labour conditions? See remark for labor conditions policy question 8. Source
12. Does the brand (company) annually report on the results of its labor conditions policy for the leather, yarn and fabric production phases, including a reasonable overview of the number and region of workplaces covered by the policy in relation to the total production volume? A major part of the production chain of KCA is GOTS certified, which means that also social standards apply. This certification is sufficient to this question. Source
13. Does the brand (owner) publicly commit to a living wage benchmark with defined wages per production region or factory? KCA suggests that fair wages are paid and refers to several certifications. However, these certifications do not prove that living wages are paid. KCA does not mention a commitment to pay living wages. Source
14. Does the brand (owner) set a target to establish the payment of living wages at its apparel manufacturers, and is the brand on track to achieve this target? See remark for labor conditions policy question 13. Source
15. Has the brand (owner) realised payment of living wages for at least 10% of its production volume? See remark for labor conditions policy question 13. Source
16. Does the brand (owner) adhere to buying practices that enable living wages and good labour conditions, such as long-term relations with factories, and concentrating production at limited number of factories? See remark for labor conditions policy question 13. Source