For more than a quarter of a century, Helen Kaminski (Pty Ltd) has created fashion and lifestyle accessories using high quality nature-based materials. In 2007, the company was awarded the Fashion Group International’s Sustainable Design Award in recognition of the brand’s long association with nature-friendly design principles.
Before ‘green’ was chic, our company and products embraced what we call R E A L principles focused on preserving the natural environment that is the inspiration of our brand.
R E A L
Renew Extend Assess Lessen
We strive to use renewal resources, extend product functionality and longevity, continuously assess the way we use resources, and lessen our impact on the environment.
Renew: We are committed to using renewable natural resources in the creation of our products
- Renewable natural fibres and materials are at the core of our brands
- Raffia fibre is renewably harvested so that the tree is unharmed
- “Left-over” materials are used to create new products
Extend: We are focused on extending product longevity through innovative methods, functional features, and the use of high quality materials
- The performance and longevity of raffia based products is enhanced due to the natural resin in the raffia fibre, which provides strength, resilience and flexibility.
- Adjustable sizing is incorporated into most of our products to offer flexibility and comfort
- Materials are globally sourced to capture the latest developments in ecology & technology to provide enhanced functionality including water resistance and UPF 50+ rating.
- We invest in training at workshops and manufacturing sites to develop innovative techniques and promote best practice in achieving quality standards
Assess: We will continuously assess the resources used in creating and delivering our products
- Selecting ‘greener’ materials to use in our seasonal collection wherever possible
- Production processes are continually scrutinized to minimize material wastage
- Product design and packing are carefully considered to reduce freight volume
- Distribution & transportation strategies are developed to maximize energy efficiencies
Lessen: We will actively promote & undertake strategies to lessen our impact on the environment
- We favour trading partners who are committed to reducing environmental impacts
- Seasonal catalogues are printed on paper endorsed by the Forest Stewardship Council
- Our hat boxes carry the global and Japanese logos for recycling
- We promote office recycling and an all lights-out policy in our Sydney Head Office
- Our Head Office is located close to public transport
Working to make a REAL Difference
Natural inspiration is at the core of all our collections and is incorporated into everything we create under the Helen Kaminski and Kaminski XY for men brands.
Raffia is the signature of our brands. We use raffia that is sustainably harvested from Madagascar, renown for the highest quality of raffia in the world.
While hats and handbags made from straw will become brittle and stiff overtime, the natural resin in raffia ensures long-term resilience and flexibility.
Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF
Ultraviolet Protection Factor or UPF measures the amount of protection provided from both UVB and UVA rays. A hat with a UPF 50+ rating blocks 97.5% of the sun's UVA and UVB rays. UPF 50+ is globally recognised as the highest rating standard available.
We continue to grow the range of UPF 50+ protection and water resistant hats in our collections. Please visit our website for the list of products with water resistance and/or UPF 50+ rating.
Our Fine Cotton Canvas & Panama Cotton headwear is created from 100% cotton fabrics dyed to internationally recognized Oeko-Tex standards.
The Oeko-Tex (Textile Ecology) standard comprehensively addresses the human ecology component of textile production. The Swiss based organization uses an internationally recognized and independent certification process to screen harmful substances from the production process.
We do not use chromed dyed leathers in our handbag collection, bleached or pesticide treated Raffia or endangered or non-renewable natural materials.
Rollable & Packable headwear is a signature of both our Helen Kaminski & Kaminski XY for men brands. Both Spring-Summer and Autumn-Winter collections feature a range of styles that can be easily rolled, folded or packed for travel or transport. Our website contains details of products and instructions for easy handling.
Approximate 25% of our headwear collection is shipped into markets rolled achieving excellent economies in freight volume. The balance is carefully ‘stack packed’ to achieve the greatest possible volume reduction while maintaining quality standards.
Forest Stewardship Council
Helen Kaminski seasonal catalogues are printed on FSC Mixed Sources paper.
FSC is an independent, non-governmental, not-for-profit organization established to promote the responsible management of the world’s forests. Products carrying the FSC label are independently certified to assure consumers that they come from forests that are managed to meet the social, economic and ecological needs of present and future generations.
Mixed Sources indicates products developed from well managed-forests and other controlled sources in accordance with FSC standards, to exclude illegally harvested timber, forests where high conservation values are threatened, genetically modified organisms, violation of peoples civil and traditional rights and wood from forests harvested for the purpose of converting land to plantations or other non-forest use.