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KOCO is reawakening the world to the beauty of handknits. We're reaching out to brands who share our values. Every fashion piece and soft homeware we hand-knit comes with an empowering story of how this item changed the life of its maker. KOCO's mission is to employ 40,000 women in rural southern India, breaking negative economic cycles and ensuring the future viability of village life. 

An essential element of KOCO’s business focus is the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development. 

These goals set achievable targets for governments, business and the general public to end poverty, fight inequality and stop climate change. KOCO is making contributions to encourage gender equality, providing decent work and economic growth, reducing inequalities, and promoting responsible consumption and production. More details below. KOCO specialises in the art and science of handknit production. Volume without compromise. Meticulously, hand-knitted quality. 

Garments are made perfectly to exact specifications, multiple times, without intervention of external means or machinery - no carbon footprint, no waste.  

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DANIELLE CHIEL

Danielle fell in love with the art of handknitting as a 10-year-old. Her great-aunt Pearl taught Danielle the craft during a day off school. It was love at first stitch.

After a career as a teacher and earning a PhD in musicology, Danielle turned to her love of knitting and fashion to open a retail knitting store in Brisbane, Threads & More. She honed her skills in handknitting, pattern and garment design then launched her self-named label in 2009.

In 2012 industrial legislation changes made producing her garments in Australia untenable, and Danielle sought an off-shore location to set up manufacturing hubs. She travelled to India in 2012 with a suitcase full of knitting needles and yarn. The first knitting hub began with a group of ten women, sitting on the floor of a home in a rural village. Danielle didn’t speak Tamil, and the ladies didn’t speak English, but all were determined to make the business work.

Establishing a business in India was a mammoth task which tapped into the very depths of Danielle’s resilience.

The experience has transformed the lives of Danielle, her artisans and the business which is now called KOCO – Knit One, Change One. KOCO is connecting brands, consumers and artisans through the wholesomeness of handknitting.

You can find out more about the KOCO journey, the incredible growing sisterhood amongst the artisans, and how KOCO is becoming a transformative force in the fashion world in the soon-to-be-released book, KOCO – Knitwear to Live For.

THE GLOBAL GOALS

 

 
 

KOCO is proud to meet many of the United Nations’ Global Goals for Sustainable Development which focus on sustainable, reliable work and call for an end to gender inequality. The goals are part of the UN's document titled Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is an ambitious but achievable plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity that seeks to strengthen universal peace.

KOCO’s mission is particularly relevant to the UN’s following statement: “We must start by empowering girls and women. Goals that work for women and girls are goals that will work for the world.”

 
 

 
 
 
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GOAL 5

GENDER EQUALITY

 

 
 

KOCO artisans often represent the first generation of women employed in rural Indian villages. These jobs make a significant contribution to gender equality in their immediate context, where it is already challenging the economic and social model of male empowerment and female subservience. One of the first purchases KOCO artisans often make is a mobile phone. Southern Indian villages have poor access to technology but KOCO hubs are closing the gender equality gap by making it easier for women to buy technology. 

 
 
 
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GOAL 8

DECENT WORK AND ECONOMIC GROWTH

 

 
 

KOCO provides safe, enjoyable working environments, with stimulating, emotionally and intellectually rewarding work for all employees. Every six months, the number of women employed has increased by 50 per cent, which ensures steady and sustainable economic growth. KOCO hubs adhere to the International Labor Organisation’s four fundamental principles – freedom of association and the effective recognition of the right to collective bargaining; the elimination of forced labour; the abolition of child labour; and the elimination of discrimination. The discrimination of caste is still prevalent in India but KOCO hubs take no note of this social structure in its hiring policy. 

 
 
 
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GOAL 10

REDUCE INEQUALITIES

 

 
 

KOCO is proud of its inroads to close the gender gap in employment opportunities in the rural villages. Jobs at KOCO hubs challenge gender inequality by providing independence, greater personal power distribution, the education of daughters, and financial management skills.

 
 
 
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GOAL 12

RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION AND PRODUCTION

 

 
 

KOCO-made handknits are completely human powered. There is no mechanical intervention. All wool scraps are re-purposed for training or demonstration work so there is no waste. We have a strong working relationship with wool producer, Gostwyck, in Australia. Gostwyck grows happy sheep which means their animals are mules-free, are cared for to maximise health and minimise stress.