KuSan is a knitted hat and accessories brand with the philosophy; 100% wool, 100% designed, 100% handmade in Nepal. KuSan joined MADE-BY in January 2010.
Social Conditions in Factories
All of KuSan’s production comes from Nepal. Back in 2010, KuSan initiated a project to get the factory socially certified. This has however proved challenging in Nepal in the context of political turmoil, widespread poverty and regular power outages. KuSan’s ongoing commitment to the same supplier over the past 13 years has enabled the construction of a brand new factory and in the coming year all of KuSan’s knitted production will be relocated to the new facility.
KuSan has also taken a couple of other steps to ensure good social conditions within their supply chain and in 2012 continued work on their homeworkers project with local Nepalese charity, HBWCSN. This project organises homeworkers into cooperatives, improving pay and raising awareness among the homeworkers of their rights. KuSan is also a member of Sedex, the collaborative platform for sharing ethical supply chain data.
Environmental Impact of Raw Materials
KuSan remains committed to finding a way of including recycled fibres in their collection: the lining of their products are made with recycled polyester and in 2012 KuSan introduced a range of recycled wool hats with recycled polyester linings. Although KuSan’s supplier has provided as much documentation as is available there is not a sufficient certification process in Nepal, so the 1.2% recycled wool (Class A) used within the collection could not be verified by MADE-BY. Therefore it is treated as virgin wool, resulting in a 100% Class E score. KuSan have visited the plant to see the recycling processes for themselves. This experience demonstrates the challenges of sourcing from a country where certification systems are undeveloped.