Kovalum does the best it can to support the Saint James Orphanage for girls in Alappuzha (formerly Alleppey), Kerala, India. This orphanage provides an upbringing to approximately thirty girls. It has been operating for over sixty years and is operated by the Carmelite nuns of Alappuzha.
Because we're all in this together.
A Special Project
In July 2012, Kovalum embarked on a special fundraiser. Kovalum founder Mark Johnson ran with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain to raise money for a digital library in the small village of Kalvilai in southern India. Almost $6,000 was raised. In 2013, the digital library was completed and stocked with computers for the children. In 2014, Mark had a special chance to visit the library and meet the villagers.
Our Supply Chain
We know that you want to be sure that your clothes were made responsibly, without hurting others or the environment. We're not perfect but we're doing the best we can.
The following is a description of some of Kovalum's partners involved in both the sourcing of raw materials and the production of our premium clothing.
All of our clothing is made in the Toronto area.
Our Bamboo and Organic Cotton T-Shirts
Our manufacturer is located in Toronto. I know them and I have visited their facilities many times.
1) Yarn: Yarn is the one input that cannot be sourced from within Canada. This yarn is certified organic by the Organic Crop Improvement Association. Moreover, the facility in which the yarn is produced is Oeko-Tex 100 certified. (See below.) This certification ensures the finished fiber has been tested for any chemicals that may be of detriment to the environment or the individuals involved in its production.
2) Knitting: Finished yarn is then shipped to the knitting facility located just outside Toronto. State of the art machinery weaves the yarn into greige fabric. Greige is the term for unfinished fabric that hasn't been bleached or dyed. It has a greyish colour.
3) Dyeing. The greige fabric is sent to another facility just outside Toronto for dyeing and finishing at a dyehouse. In addition to the use of innocuous dyes, the waste water is treated for particulates, acidity and temperature before it is sent to the municipal sanitary authority.
4) Sewing: The dyed fabric is then shipped to Toronto for cutting and sewing. Sewing is then completed at one of three facilities inside Toronto.
6) Our labels are made in Toronto.
Our Woven Shirts
Fabrics: Most of our woven fabrics are woven in Portugal by a reputable supplier that is certified by OEKO-TEX, an industry certification association. Some fabrics are woven in Japan and some in China.
STANDARD 100 by OEKO-TEX is one of the world's best-known labels for textiles tested for harmful substances. It stands for customer confidence and high product safety. If a textile article carries the STANDARD 100 label, you can be certain that every component of this article has been tested for harmful substances and that the article therefore is harmless in human ecological terms. The test is conducted by independent OEKO-TEX® partner institutes.
They're also members of the Better Cotton Initiative, a non-profit whose focus is on providing training and learning opportunities for farmers to adopt more environmentally, socially and economically sustainable production practices
Cut, Make and Trim: The imported fabrics are shipped to our partner factory just north of Toronto. They cut the fabrics to the patterns, assembly the garments, and then add the trims such as the labels. From here, the shirts are shipped to Kovalum and onward to the stores.