Komodo: A model for ethical fashion

Komodo is a fashion brand that has instilled ethics into everything it does from the word ‘go’.

They produce their clothing in a ethically managed factory in Kathmandu, Nepal. I got the opportunity to sit down with Joe, Founder of Komodo.

The Komodo brand immediately struck me when I discovered it through their Instagram. I was intrigued by photos such as these:


Dip Dying Garments

Dip Dying Garments








The brand has a real entrepreneurial story, being founded after Joe visited Bali and Kathmandu and dreamt of running a business independently with friends.

I asked him about the changes he had seen in the ethical fashion industry, since he launched the brand over 20 years ago. Although the public want to know more about their clothing than ever before, he says there is still a way to go.

Joe, Founder of Komodo, checking test swatches

Joe, Founder of Komodo, checking test swatches

I’m currently researching clothes labelling, so speaking with Joe was really insightful. Komodo uses ethical labelling such as GOTS on their clothes, which lets customers like you know that their clothing meets certain standards. But the recognition of such labels is still low. Test yourself: would you recognise these labels?



OE100 Standard_green 2011-2



Joe tells me that some of Komodo’s customers do look for these labels, but overall the design of the garment has to come first. No one is going to buy a new dress just because it’s ethically made.

Imagine this: food producers are going to stop labelling our food. Would you still buy it? 

Whilst we seem to have the right to know what goes in our food, the same can’t be said for our clothing. We might take the time to check the labels on our food, but what would make us want to do the same for our clothes?

Joe believes we should be entitled to know what goes in our clothing. Is there even a missing role for the government here, in making the fashion industry tell us a bit more about the origins of clothes we buy? There is no guideline telling us or industry what is ok and what isn’t.

It seems to me, there is an awful lot of stuff in the media about the bad things going on in fashion. But what are we aiming for instead then? How do we know what is a good standard for ethical fashion. Komodo gives us a shining example, of what a fashion company can do, maybe this is a model we will be seeing more of….



All photos by Komodo Fashion, available on their Pinterest

Check out Komodo’s ethical clothing line on their website


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