Sublime: How come you started the clothing brand KnowledgeCotton Apparel?
Mads Mørup: Our inspiration comes from the great environmental challenges facing humanity. As a company we are determined to challenge the conventions in the textile industry. I wanted to create a fashion brand that is completely based on sustainable materials and working methods. I wanted to show that fashion can be sustainable, must be sustainable. My father started what could be described as the foundation of this company back in 1969. He realized the downsides of the textile industry and began using sustainable materials and working methods already in the 1980’s. So, I grew up with these values. And I realize that they way I view a good business comes from him. A good business has very little to do with profits – it all comes down to making a difference.
S: What makes your company unique?
MM: As a fashion brand we’re not among the big guys. This makes us flexible. We often say that we are small enough to think big. And since our family business don’t have any external ownership involved, we can always put sustainability in the front seat. Some decisions may not always be economically beneficial to us, but they are the right thing to do in the larger perspective. This makes our way of working rather unique in this business.
S: What is your company ethos?
M M: Gain Knowledge. Take Action. Show Respect.
S: What are you most proud of?
MM: What makes me very proud at the moment is that we have managed to reach our goal of becoming a certified carbon neutral company. This was a milestone for me personally, a great achievement for our company, and a really big deal in this industry.
S: How can you drive change in the fashion industry through your approach?
MM: Sustainable materials and working methods really makes a huge difference. Not only for our planet, but for the farmers, the factory workers, and for the end consumers. We want to lead the way, show that there is an alternative path and that it is possible to run a healthy business in a sustainable way. Textile is after all the second dirtiest industry around, and therefore it is important that our industry as a whole takes more responsibility. We are determined to do everything in our power to drive this absolutely crucial change.
S: How do you ensure that your values permeate your entire production and supply chain?
MM: We place high demands on our partners in terms of fair working conditions, organically approved fabrics, use of chemicals, and traceable recycling processes. Therefore, we choose our collaborations very carefully and we are completely transparent with what partnerships and certifications we have considered qualified to work with. Having said this, we aim to have a very close relationship with our partners and consider them our friends. They are all a huge part of our success, and I have nothing but gratitude towards them. They inspire us, and help us push sustainable innovation.
S: Do you have any plans for the brand in the near future?
MM: We’ve just launched our super clean denim line, a project we named Honest Denim. And, for the upcoming Spring / Summer 2020 season we’re launching our new functional outdoor range based on sustainable materials, certified production methods and fair working conditions. The next generation of clean outdoor clothing – bringing you closer to nature.
S: Which is your favorite hashtag?
MM: #knowledgecottonapparel, of course.
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