Monday, December 1, 2014

Introduction to Just Fashion - working towards high-quality
and ethical clothes and accessories

Posted by Amanda Villaruel | |
Just Fashion - not only an online shop, but a collective of small to mid-size designers dedicated to high quality and ethical mindfulness, was founded by Marte Djupesland.

When I hear about designers who incorporate, or at least trying to incorporate sustainability in the production process and the clothing design, I just need to check it out. Last weekend Just Fashion held a pop-up shop in downtown Oslo.
Visiting Just Fashion's pop up shop in Oslo
Visiting Just Fashion's pop up shop at Internasjonalen in Oslo

The smell of reindeer leather hit our nostrils as we entered the pop-up shop. Sweaters, jackets, tops and t-shirts in neutral colors like brown, beige and grey, were lined up nicely. I came here for the sweaters and was impressed by the tight stitching, and fell in love with the soft quality of the fabrics.

How can wool get so soft? It's got to be the next best thing after a baby's soft skin ;-)

Style wise, I would say that their clothes suit the classy chic, the minimalist and the contemporary clothing lover.

Among the brands is Black Rat, and behind it a Norwegian designer who specializes in sustainable street wear. She makes clothes from natural fibers like bamboo and wool, and her collection of shopping tote bags are made from 100% organic cotton.

Read: Review of the True Cost - a movie about the fashion industry.
Cotton shopping tote bags made by Black Rat/Siri Sveen Haaland
Cotton shopping tote bags made by Black Rat/Siri Sveen Haaland

Another exciting brand is the Icelandic/French IIIF, that respects and promotes traditional skills. Their jewelry, shoulder bags, knot bags and backpacks are made of reindeer leather and reindeer antlers.

The brand Swedish Stockings is also part of the Just Fashion collective.

One of the things I've always disliked about my wardrobe is the stockings, because they never last and I have to buy new stockings after one night of use. Why aren't there any nice, cheap stockings that last more than a couple of hours?

The stockings from the Swedish brand that are made from recycled nylon, might not be the cheapest solution, but a sustainable one. I just ordered a couple of stockings from them and will let you know about the quality :-)

Read about my experience with the Swedish Stockings here.
© Just Fashion/Swedish Stockings
© Just Fashion/Swedish Stockings

What I find interesting about Just Fashion's site is their use of labeling. I've done some counting and they operate with 34 labels, covering anything from labor welfare to animal welfare and to where it is produced.

On their website, they claim that none of the designers use any form of forced labor or child labor, don't underpay their employees, don't use long working hours without overtime pay and don't expose anybody to dangerous conditions.

Read: Review of the documentary 'Dior and I' - the value of handcraftsmanship
Labeling at Just Fashion sustainability
Do I trust it? 

Compared to many other clothing brands/shops, Just Fashion writes more openly about the production process and they seem to be transparent about how they work.

Considering the fact that the collective consists of small to mid-size designers, I think it's more probable that they can have a tight co-operation with the people behind the products.

I reckon that small designers who have a niche, aren't interested to mass-produce clothing, because they value design, quality and integrity in their work. It's more likely that a small to mid-size designer has control of the total chain, than a large company who can pay others to have 'control' of the production chain.

Having control might mean that the small designers have more time to do some follow-up on the production and the employees, who make the clothes and accessories.

Just Fashion informs on their site that some of their designers have control of the total chain. 

To read more about how each designer works towards sustainability, click here.

Continue to read:
Sustainable collections at H&M and Gina Tricot.

Will there be an ethics law for the retail industry in Norway?

Have your say about what you just read :)

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