Vocational training and integration of refugees and product development and production of bags and accessories with high design and sustainability standards: that is KoKoTé.
This Week’s Brand Spotlight: KoKoTé – meaningful, stylish and sustainable products
KoKoTé produces high-quality bags and accessories in Schattdorf in the canton of Uri. They are made by refugees from all over the world. KoKoTé pursues the idea of intercultural exchange and integration through work and education. KoKoTé was founded by Franz Huber and Yvonne Herzog, two entrepreneurs from Uri, with the aim of actively contributing to improving the work and education situation of older refugees (>26 and <50) in Switzerland, specifically in Uri. There are still too few sustainable integration projects for this age group. This is linked to the longer-term goal of enabling the former trainees to lead an independent and self-determined life in Switzerland without social assistance.
The history of KoKoTé is marked by the commitment of extraordinary personalities. It was by chance that the internationally renowned Danish designer Carsten Jörgensen, former head of design at Bodum, and KoKoTé initiator Franz Huber met. Carsten Jörgensen was so enthusiastic about the project that he immediately accepted the challenge of designing a high-quality product line together with the refugees – on a voluntary basis.
“We make use of the cultural and creative heritage that every single person on this earth brings with them. Wherever they have migrated to and for whatever reason,”
says Jörgensen, describing one aspect of the special collaboration. This is how the high-quality KoKoTé products came into being.
Materials with a low CO2 balance
The products are handmade from A to Z in Schattdorf in the canton of Uri and are thus “Swissmade“. In the KoKoTé manufactory, differences cross-pollinate: modern design meets traditional craftsmanship, Swiss quality and aesthetics meet craftsmanship and the idea of beauty of people from different cultures.
Furthermore, the sustainability of the materials is of great importance at KoKoTé. The bags and accessories are made of bonded leather and ECONYL® regenerated nylon, which have a low carbon footprint. ECONYL® regenerated nylon is a sustainable and fully recycled nylon made from nylon waste otherwise polluting the Earth, like fishing nets, fabric scraps, carpet flooring, and industrial plastic, and can also be recycled over and over again. The leather is vegetable-tanned leather scraps from leather production, as well as chrome shavings. No other material comes as close to real leather in quality and appearance as Bonded Leather, which consists of over 90% renewable raw materials. This is how something new is created from something used.
“Economy and ecology should be in balance. In addition, openness, respect and solidarity are important values in our company”
says Franz Huber, founder of KoKoTé. KoKoTé exemplifies for other brands how integration, enriching togetherness and economic success are possible.
KoKoTé: stylish, sustainable and inclusive