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As a socially responsible business in fashion, brands are out to reduce their carbon footprint in the world. Here we have a brand that is making footprints – carbon compensated, ethically sources, comfortable and stylish footprints.
Kingdom of Wow! is essentially a footwear brand based in Siem Reap, Cambodia. They’re one of the few established fashion brands in the world that are truly and strictly ethical about their operation. They are very particular about fair trade, and have a separate workshop where they create the perfect environment for their employees to work, flourish and have fun!
Interestingly enough, all of their footwear is handmade by the talented artisans working in their cozy space in Cambodia.
The owner and founder of the brand Godie van de Paal was always a great fan of comfortable hand-crocheted super cosy slippers or what they called “pothies”.
When the time came for her to retire from her craft, she felt the immense need and zest to have the legacy be carried forward, which was what brought her to starting her own brand by the name Kingdom of Wow where “pothies” took new meaning and new life.
As an ethical fashion brand, their mission is to create beautiful, aesthetic and ethical products in a fair, encouraging and empowering environment, with the primary focus on fair trade and sustainability. They seek to lead by example and effect change in the entire fashion industry, and inspire people to be more mindful and conscious of their product choices.
One of the things they are most particular about is fair trade. And in all its dimensions.
It means they do everything they can to ensure that their employees are happy, taken care of and maintain productivity.
They feel that most other fashion brands, mostly in fast fashion, are disconnected with manufacturing, leaving the technical aspects of how an outfit is produced to solely the production team. With Kingdom of Wow though, they handle their entire design and manufacture process from their Cambodia based workshop, where every employee is paid close attention to.
Their sole intention with this kind of a setup is to provide an environment where their employees or artisans have a safe and healthy place to practice what they love and what they are good at and earn fair remuneration for it. They seek to offer a place where these hard working artisans can grow, support themselves and their families be assured of a reliable job.
The company offers a number of secure employment benefits over and above what the Cambodian Labour Law prescribes, such as insurance and free nutritious meals.
In return, they believe that it will ensure utmost co-operation and involvement in creating the best quality products, which is exactly what their brand philosophy says – footwear handmade with care and commitment.
After fair trade, the second most important value that Kingdom of Wow stands by is sustainability. They seek to minimise their carbon footprint in the business world, by using only biodegradable raw materials for all their products.
As a business, it is almost impossible not to leave a carbon footprint, considering the limitations in getting products across the world. They seek to offset this carbon contribution, by supporting a food cause – native tree planting.
They have partnered with Fauna in Focus and ADF Phnom Kulen Programme in Cambodia, to plant native trees in and around the area, and to help rejuvenate local wild forests in Cambodia, through their Tree Nursery and Reforesting project. They mainly focus on growing saplings of four threatened hardwood species that have apparently started to disappear from Cambodia’s forests due to illegal logging.
Apart from this, they also love coming up with creative ways to utilise their waste. In effect they have a zero waste system in place, using up all of their offcuts in innovative new products.
The brand produces exquisite collections of unique comfortable woolen slippers and espadrilles, handcrafted to perfection by expert artisans in their workshop in Cambodia. Some of their bestsellers include the Bamboo Wool High Top Slippers for Men in Charcoal, the Camo Low Top Wool Slippers for Men, the So 70s Wool Slippers for Women, the Vegan Caesious Blue ExtraFit Espadrilles for Women and the Vegan ExtraFit Espadrilles for Men in Urban Jungle | Urban Nights.