KOOKAÏ is a family-owned and run business, based out of Melbourne, Australia. Since our beginnings in 1992, we have continued a pursuit of an ethical and meaningful existence in the fashion world. This mantra governs the way we conduct our business across all facets of KOOKAÏ. For us, fashion is so much more than creating beautiful clothing and an engaging in-store experience – it’s also about the footprint we leave on the planet and the impact we have on all those who contribute to the creation of the KOOKAÏ collection.
Dissatisfied by the working conditions of some of the factories we had visited internationally, we made a decision to open our own manufacturing facilities in Fiji and Sri Lanka to ensure we could have oversight and transparency into the working environment of those who produce our garments. Fiji is not only the homeland of one of our founders, but a nation with a more respectable human rights record than some of the other, more popular manufacturing destinations.
We now employ just under 1,000 Fijian residents, who produce the majority of the KOOKAÏ collection. In addition to investing heavily in training and upskilling our Fijian staff members, we also offer university scholarships to their children as part of our overall commitment to the prosperity of the Fijian people.
While trends change, we don’t believe fashion should be disposable. Each of our garments are carefully constructed, and designed to last and be well-loved essentials in our customers’ wardrobes. We are continually sourcing fabrications and materials with more sustainable origins and are proud to offer our customers a certified Organic Cotton range within our collection.
In 2012 we started our own charity, Katalyst Foundation, to centralize the charitable work we had engaged in over the previous two decades. Katalyst focuses on charitable endeavours that bring about lasting change to break the cycle of poverty, rather than just providing temporary relief.
To date, Katalyst has directly funded the building of roads, schools, churches and water purification systems, and the provision of medical care in some of the less fortunate villages of Fiji. In addition to this, Katalyst has also set up a number of social businesses in Fiji, each providing training and employment and generating funds to help support Katalyst’s major infrastructure projects. Once we’ve made our desired impact on Fiji, we plan to take our model to other regions of the world.
We also foster a giving culture internally, with a Staff Giving Program that currently sponsors 52 children from various third-world countries, and donates to Katalyst’s Australian-based charitable projects. Each Christmas, we also give our KOOKAÏ customers a chance to give back, with proceeds from all gift box purchases being donated directly to Katalyst.
We hope that whenever you purchase a KOOKAÏ garment you can feel confident it is giving more to the world than it is taking away.