Kotn’s Egyptian Cotton Clothing Bolsters the Basics

first_img The Best Black Jeans to Have You Stepping Out in Style A Peek Inside the Joseph Abboud Factory: Italian Fabric, Made in America Editors’ Recommendations Kotn is a two-year-old clothing brand out of Toronto that makes and sells “elevated essentials.” Created by three friends – Rami Helali, Mackenzie Yeates, and Ben Sehl – the line was born when the trio discovered that they couldn’t find a quality plain T-shirt that wasn’t super expensive. Now offering other wardrobe must-haves such as henleys, sweatshirts, tracksuits and underwear, Kotn stands apart because it employs Egyptian Cotton only – the finest variety of this natural fiber in the world. Helali and Yeates recently shared their young brand’s story with me from their office/store on Queen Street…How did Kotn come about?Helali: All three of us were working in New York and the uniform across all the industries we were working in, which were anything from finance to branding agencies to startups, were tending toward tees and that kind of thing. And we found that our closets were either not so great with Hanes or Fruit of the Loom or your “going out” tees that were 100 bucks. There was a big discrepancy there, so we decided that we wanted to perfect what we thought would be a really simple item – the plain white T-shirt. That’s what got us started and that’s what we launched with, a T-shirt in black, white, and grey in three cuts. We found that it is much harder to find “the perfect T-shirt” than we thought when we set out.The Crew T-Shirt/KotnSo what does make “the perfect T-shirt”? Helali: It’s really a combination of price that makes it accessible so that you are able to replenish your white T-shirts every six months or so and at the same time the quality of the materials, the cut and all that type of thing. That’s what’s what we did for the first year – just the tee. And since then we have added more and more of these staple items, these essentials that you can wear every single day.What are some of your favorite new pieces?Yeates: We just launched a pique T-shirt that’s made from fabric that they typically use for polo shirts. That is our favorite item this season and a lot of our customers are really liking it as well. It’s soft and can be worn every day but it’s a slightly different twist on your everyday white tee. The fabric is really breathable for the summer and it hangs a little bit differently than a plain jersey does.Helali: I like the dusty rose pieces. I’m not a pink person per se. I just own black T-shirts but I think the pink ones we just put out are awesome.Where do you manufacture?Helali: Everything is done in Egypt. We buy the cotton directly from the family-owned farms in Egypt and provide subsidies to those farms. When we set out to do this we wanted to use the best natural material in the world and that is Egyptian Cotton. But what we found out really quickly was that industry was on the brink of extinction – and I am not being an alarmist when I say that. The independent farmers were saying, “I don’t want to grow this cotton anymore” and were switching their fields to rice. And this thing that 20 or 30 years ago was called “white gold” and was coveted across the world was on the brink of extinction essentially because of fast fashion. So we decided we were going to subsidize these farms and buy directly from them. The Future of Jeans is Here with these Alternative Fabrics to Cotton Denim last_img