Koua-Studio’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals
Koua Studio, on the road to 2030’s global challenges is aligning its strategy to meet the UN Sustainable Development goals (SDG). In this article, we are going to discuss which of these goals are being covered and why they are important for the company in the long term.
SDG #1 Poverty Reduction
#8 Decent Work and Economic Growth
We provide immediate job opportunities as well as training that enable our artisan women to become involved across different areas of our supply chain. This considers the way our materials are sourced and harvested. Data Mexico’s research also shows that currently the main international sales destinations in 2020 were the United States (US$153M), Germany (US$6.92M), and Belgium (US$5.89M). Koua Studio’s work is to strengthen the exchange between the UK and Mexico for the long run.
Positive change is around the corner. According to Good Clothes Fair Play, “the momentum required to support fairer supply chains at EU level has never been greater. The European Commission has committed to introducing mandatory human rights and environmental due diligence legislation compelling companies to take action in their supply chains.” Koua Studio is aligning to this initiative by disclosing its supply chain information as much as needed. According to the Mexican Work Secretariat, the lowest wage is around $21.6 MXN per hour (0.74 GBP). When Koua Studio met its Lowest Wage Challenge, it focused on a method in agreement with their artisans which implied doubling the Minimum Salary in order to give workers a Living Wage that can improve their quality of life progressively. This meant paying $40 MNX per hour, instead of the minimum of twenty. Put simply, a regular handbag made by a local woman in Chiapas takes around 4 hours to be crafted, half of an average person’s working day. That is a competitive salary for a woman who is starting to work with a textile business partnership for a brand. For a person who lives in Chiapas, the minimum wage makes do for basic needs around that community. A living wage, on the other hand, enables the family to meet further services such as health, basic education and savings. Financial health access is important for people in these rural areas, there, women play a fundamental part in the decision making in order to spend their money wisely, according to the family’s needs. Koua Studio is going to be carrying out an annual meeting with its stakeholders in order to re-assess the social, environmental and economic impact of the project’s KPIs.
SDG #10 Reduced Inequalities
SDG #5 Gender Equality
Koua Studio is supporting women’s economic contribution and talent development in the village’s workforce. However, within the families and the company back in London, KS supports women and men equally. The team provides additional life skills that create healthier conditions around their families and communities in order to empower them all to excel at their professional lives. The objective is to create the necessary conditions to give them support, while still keeping the freedom to have a good work-life balance.
SDG #12 Responsible Consumption and Production
Koua Studio cares about the environment. We produce tailor made, quality-based styles that are based on the local ancestry, and made to last. We source the majority of our materials locally and through our value chain we focus on supporting regional businesses and producers wherever possible. Through this approach, we are able to optimise our carbon footprint through the handmade techniques of our artisans which allow us to avoid the use of machinery. Some of our products have reused or recycled items, all of this while being careful of never sacrificing an item’s quality. Koua Studio is aware that e-commerce carries a carbon footprint, yet, they are committed to minimise the impact of this type of exchange by choosing competitive shipping options.
Another important aspect to consider within the sustainable development strategy is “cultural appropriation”. A phenomenon that happens often among brands that use certain designs developed by indigenous communities, and do not give them the credit for these designs. There have been
As was previously mentioned, Koua Studio is joining the #LowestWageChallenge along with other brands that are making commitments with both their colleagues and their customers in order to create healthier communities. Koua Studio is a conscious brand that wants to advocate good business practices and to create business relationships with its allies, clients and consumers for the long run. That is why Koua Studio is also following the brand’s trend #CustomerObsessed. Erika Álvarez is an avid entrepreneur who is listening to her audience closely as well as guiding her team towards an honest and ethical landscape. Her and her associate, Paulina Pezzat hope other brands can join these movements and commit with them in order to reshape the industry together.
Founder at PS21 Art and Sustainable Strategies