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Shopping mad: Kuyichi

Jennifer Leeming finds all is fair in fashion at this sustainable clothing shop

Published on January 11th 2011.

Shopping mad: Kuyichi

Liverpool One store:
8 Manestys Lane
L1 3DL

Opening times:
Monday - Friday: 9.30am - 8pm
Saturday: 9am - 7pm
Sunday: 11am - 5pm

History:KUYICHI was founded after Dutch NGO Solidaridad (the network organisation which strives to create fair and sustainable supply chains from producer to consumer) tried to introduce organic cotton into the fashion industry and found no real interest from large brands, who all felt that the concept of environmentally-friendly clothing was irrelevant.

Instead of admitting defeat, Solidaridad decided instead to simply create a new brand, one that focused on the importance of sustainability. Kuyichi was immediately popular, and since its launch in 2001 has rapidly expanded to become a hugely influential part of the fashion market.

What does it sell?
Think of sustainable clothing and you’ll most likely think of unflattering hemp trousers, right? Wrong. Kuyichi has put the style into saving the planet. Every piece in the shop is intricately and carefully handmade out of recycled materials of course, but never fails to be fashion forward. The denim is beautiful, as would be expected from a renowned jeans brand, with the premium ‘Made in Japan’ collection being particularly stunning.

All of the selvedge denim is sold with a Japanese lunchbox, a wicker basket that allows you to steam clean your jeans, making sure that they stay in the best possible condition, and adding a bit of needed fun to laundry day. However, Kuyichi is by no means limited to denim, with quirky t-shirts, luscious angora sweaters and even handbags adorning the racks in the store.

Who shops there?
Although the clothes generally attract a young, urban market, anyone who has a keen eye for fashion would love Kuyichi. Shopping at Kuyichi is a lifestyle choice – not only does it appeal to the fashion conscious, but also to those who are passionate about its brilliant ethos. The individuality of the shop does mean that some items are expensive, but it’s impossible to put a price on helping to save the planet.

Why shop there?
With the Liverpool store being only the third in the UK, Kuyichi offers originality, with a definite sense of exclusivity even within such a large brand. CEO Leo Cantagalli said that they ‘want a store that you will not find on every corner of the street’, something they’ve definitely achieved thus far. After all, where else could you purchase a beautiful jacket made entirely out of recycled cola bottles? Not only that, but they also offer 10 per cent off shopping if you bring in an old pair of jeans to recycle, meaning that even the laziest of us can do our bit to help the environment.

Kuyichi intend to keep expanding across the UK, aiming to eventually have stores throughout London. Their brilliantly designed website is also a fantastic tool, allowing for international sales.

Kuyichi’s motto proclaims ‘Now you can look good and feel good at the same time’, an idea that really is the foundation of the store’s success. It seems incredible that not more brands are following in Kuyichi’s footsteps and mixing designer fashion with sustainable materials. A fantastic shop, with beautiful clothes and an even more beautiful philosophy.

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Young Mr GraceJanuary 7th 2011.

I'm glad you published this, I thought it was something to do with Madonna's husband.

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