- Jessika Noda Ofiyai
Brand Spotlight: KOTN
Updated: Mar 8
It can take miles of walking in another person’s shoes before you’ll truly understand them, but it only takes one night sleeping in Kotn’s super-soft bedding to know that this brand is committed to comfort.
In fact, comfort is a broad concept at Kotn. Of course, it extends to customers, who come for the selection of durable home and apparel items (and keep coming back for the fan-favorite socks). But it also extends to the communities where Kotn’s cotton is cultivated; where farmers and makers receive fair wages, and where children attend schools built with proceeds from Kotn sales.
Thoughtful gifts made sustainably
When you choose Kotn for your employee gifting or corporate holiday gifting program, you’re endorsing an old-fashioned value that’s essential to the modern world: sustainability. “Buying less and enjoying longer” is integral to the Kotn experience, and it permeates every aspect of production, including base materials.
Known as “white gold” in its native land, long-staple Egyptian cotton is the starting point for many of Kotn’s textiles. Thinner, silkier, and less likely to fray, pill or wrinkle than other varieties, it makes for durable and silky-soft bedding, t-shirts and more. The artisans at Kotn also use temperature-wicking linen, renewable Lyocell, made from wood pulp, and durable Merino wool, celebrated for its insulation and longevity.
Gift ideas from Kotn
“Any product from Kotn is a great gift because it's more than just a product,” says Mackenzie at KOTN. “We put a percentage of sales from every product towards funding schools in the Nile Delta for the children of the Egyptian cotton farmers we work with, which we call the ABCs Project.”
Here are some of Mackenzie’s favorite gift choices from Kotn:
Quilted Comforters. Warm, durable, crafted from 100 per cent cotton and available in a variety of neutral colors to complement any decor, these blankets are made to last.
Artisanal Collection. Handcrafted using centuries-old techniques, each unique item from this collection, which includes pottery, notebooks, cushion covers and kilim—traditional Bedouin rugs—directly supports the artisan who crafted it.
Socks. Crew socks come in black, white and a selection of vibrant tones colored with non-toxic dyes. They’re pre-shrunk, durable and maintain a comfortable foot temperature throughout the year. Try them as stocking stuffers! [insert product image]
Committed to community
For centuries, the fertile and nutrient-rich soils of Egypt’s Nile Delta have provided the ideal conditions for cultivating cotton, a tradition that stretches back at least 7,000 years in the region. When company co-founder Rami Helali found himself back in his homeland, living in a cotton-producing community, he was inspired to reach out to fellow New Yorkers Ben Sehl and Mackenzie Yeates, and Kotn was born. The trio of friends have always placed relationships at the center of Kotn’s operations.
Kotn cultivates genuine partnerships with the people who grow its cotton and manufacture its textiles. This means visiting farms and factories frequently, sometimes weekly. And it means putting in the time to get to know the workers, to understand their needs and to continuously ensure that their labor benefits them and their communities.
Direct trade is an important pillar of Kotn’s relationship with its growers. Simply put, it means eliminating middle-people and their fees, and buying raw materials directly from the people who grow them.
As with any natural resources, market prices for cotton fluctuate, but Kotn maintains consistent relationships by subsidizing crops when prices are low—sometimes by as much as 30 per cent—and by offering fertilizers and agricultural consultants to improve yield when growing conditions are challenging. In this way, farmers can rely on their relationship with Kotn, knowing they’ll be able to feed and raise their families no matter the market or weather conditions.
Plus, as a Certified B Corp, Kotn’s facilities are also subject to external audits, guaranteeing that the work doesn’t just meet the company’s high standards, but also complies with global social and environmental standards. Naturally, Kotn goes above and beyond these already-stringent requirements. Recently, they were chosen as “B Corporation’s Best for the World” in the Community category, an honor bestowed on only the top five per cent of B Corp-certified businesses worldwide.
This commitment to people is carried throughout Kotn’s processes. “Like farm to table, for your clothes” is how Kotn describes its supply chain management philosophy. Starting with its relationship with farmers and continuing all the way through to textile manufacturing, Kotn maintains a “clear chain of custody” over its materials. This transparency ensures environmental integrity, safe working conditions, fair treatment and living wages at every step. The lowest-wage earning workers in the Kotn supply chain earn approximately 14 per cent more than the local minimum wage, while the average worker earns 26 per cent more than usual in their area.
Building schools in Kotn communities
Of course, a community is more than the sum of its workers, it’s the sum of all its people and the strength of its families. Kotn recognizes this by building schools in its growing and manufacturing regions, spreading the prosperity from company to workers to children.
Up to 32 per cent of rural Egyptians are illiterate, a number that gets even starker when applied to girls and women. Kotn aims to change that. To date, Kotn’s ABC Project has funded 15 schools and built another ten, with girls enrolled at a two-to-one ratio with boys.
Every gift purchased from Kotn contributes to educating rural Egyptians as the company moves closer to its goal of building 50 schools by 2025.
Gift generously with Kotn, knowing that your gifts also support great social causes.
Experience the Giftagram Difference
At Giftagram, we make it easy to express gratitude for your employees. Our full-service corporate gifting platform allows you to easily arrange orders and track delivery progress. Meanwhile, our expert team handles all the rest, so you only need to wait for smiles as employees receive thoughtfully curated gifts. Click here to book a demo.
Branded swag for Giftagram's client, Better using KOTN's clothing line.