INFORMATION/ ABOUT US
Helen Kaminski is a leading brand of fashion and lifestyle accessories. Based in Sydney, Australia the company’s international reputation for innovative headwear with a relaxed chic attitude extends over 30 years.
Stylish and functional women's headwear created from raffia using traditional handcraft methods is the signature of the brand. Today, the company, creates fashion and lifestyle accessories under two internationally recognized brand names, Helen Kaminski and Kaminski XY for men.
In 2008, the first flagships store in Asia opened in the Roppongi Hills shopping precinct of Tokyo, Japan. The store features the Helen Kaminski women’s headwear and handbag collections along with Kaminski XY for men.
The signature Spring/Summer collection, uses raffia as its core and remains the specialty of the Helen Kaminski. Handcrafted raffia hats and bags are renowned for their quality, unique styling and innovation in both colour and technique. A diverse range of fabric hats and summer totes made from fine natural materials complement the raffia collection.
The Autumn/Winter collection embodies the stylish functionality of the brand. A diverse collection of luxury materials create timeless yet innovative headwear. Softly sculpted fur felt and plush wools complement practical water resistant fabrics, all from a natural base.
The Helen Kaminski bag collection celebrates the spirit of traditional handcraft with a range of ingeniously seamless hand-woven leather designs. This collection of handbags transcends season and reflects the relaxed sophistication of our distinctive headwear.
The unique product range is featured year round in major department stores, resorts, clothing and accessory shops in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. As international markets evolve, the Helen Kaminski range of products continues to diversify to meet the needs of a global clientele. Creating innovative, nature inspired product that walks the fine line between fashion and timelessness remains the core focus of Helen Kaminski.
INFORMATION/ ENVIRONMENT & CSR
For more than a quarter of a century, Helen Kaminski 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 eco-friendly design principles.
Before ‘green’ was chic, Helen Kaminski embraced the R E A L principle - focusing on preserving the natural environment that is the inspiration of the brand.
R E A L
Renew Extend Assess Lessen
Helen Kaminski strives to use renewable resources, extend both product functionality and longevity, continuously assess the way we use resources, and lessen our impact on the environment.
Renew: A commitment to using renewable natural resources in the creation of our products
Renewable natural fibres and materials are at the core of the brand
Raffia fibre is renewably harvested so that the tree is unharmed
“Left-over” materials are used to create new products
Extend: A focus 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.
Helen Kaminski invests in training at workshops and manufacturing sites to develop innovative techniques and promote best practice in achieving quality standards
Assess: A dedication to review the resources and techniques used in the creation and delivery of Helen Kaminski and Kaminski XY products
Selecting materials that have the smallest eco-footprint to use in our seasonal collection wherever possible
An ongoing evaluation of production processes aiming to minimize material wastage
Careful consideration of product design and packaging to reduce freight volume
The development of distribution and transportation strategies to maximize energy efficiency
Lessen: Active promotion and implementation of strategies to lessen our impact on the environment
Helen Kaminski favours trading partners who are committed to reducing environmental impact
Seasonal catalogues are printed on paper endorsed by the Forest Stewardship Council
Helen Kaminski hat boxes carry the global and Japanese logos for recycling
Eco-friendly Head Office policies regarding recycling and electricity
The Helen Kaminski Head Office is located close to public transport encouraging staff to minimize their carbon footprint
Working to make a REAL Difference
‘Inspired by nature’ is the very heart of everything that is created for both Helen Kaminski and Kaminski XY brands. A dedication to using natural fibres over man-made or synthetics is core to each collection.
Raffia is the signature of Helen Kaminski. 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 (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.
We work hard to source all our fabrics where possible, from Mills who comply with Oeko-Text 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.
Helen Kaminski does not use chromed dyed leathers in our handbag collection, bleached or pesticide treated Raffia, endangered or non-renewable natural materials.
Rollable & Packable headwear is a signature of both Helen Kaminski & Kaminski XY brands. Each of the seasonal collections feature a range of styles that can be easily rolled, folded or packed for travel or transport. Please refer to the customer care/frequently asked questions page for details of products and instructions for easy handling.
Approximate 25% of the Helen Kaminski/Kaminski XY 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.
FORMULA FOR HOPE- Launching in Spring Summer 2015
Helen Kaminski has partnered with Hope for Madagascar; a non-profit organization that assists in the development of self-sustaining communities in the rainforests and rural villages of Madagascar.
Why Madagascar? The original Helen Kaminski raffia workshop was established in Madagascar in 1985. Our deep rooted connection with the Red Isle continues as the source of the finest raffia in the world where it is grown in the wild, and harvested by hand.
Your support: Proceeds from the purchase of our exclusively designed ‘Formula For Hope’ accessories, which will launch for Spring Summer 2015, will help support our long-term commitment to educational and social programs for Malagasy community members. In 2015, Helen Kaminski and Hope for Madagascar are collaborating on the infrastructure upgrade of a rural primary school. ‘Formula For Hope’ accessories can be purchased exclusively from Helen Kaminski brand and ecommerce stores from January 2015 (not all styles available in all stores).