Congrats to Swedish Stockings – their two factories are now zero waste guaranteed :)
Working freelance in the film industry
What are your thoughts on the terms “Sustainability” and “Ethical production”?
“Well, it isn’t easy to navigate between all the terms and it is not easy to do better choices either. When I go to the High Street stores and see something with the tag “Made in Bangladesh”, I get a stomachache. The money goes straight to the top of the chain, but even though I know this, it is so easy to choose the more affordable products”.
“You see something you like, and the barrier for buying it is so low. You don’t think about choosing better there and then. You think about your wardrobe, how it will fit in there, and that’s the only thing you have to consider. So I guess these terms gets me thinking about the changes we all are trying to make, but still haven’t managed to do”.
If you should elaborate, how do you choose your wardrobe, and do you regularly repairs and fix things that are broken?
“I often ask myself; Why not choose better? and I’m working on it. It costs more, but in the end, it is likely to be a win to choose quality and something you will love. 6 pants from the high street stores equals maybe one slowly produced high quality pair of pants. And to know something about how it is produced, and that the people that made it, touched it, have been treated well and got their fair share, means something too!”
“You don’t repair pants when the repair costs more than the pants. We are not used to this kind of thinking. The products have so low value that it’s usually not in my mind to think about fixing it. But I do choose better sometimes. I love to go to the small independent stores, both here in Oslo and when I’m traveling. To talk to the people there and get the details and stories behind what I buy. And to see the commitment that goes all the way from the making of the product to the person selling me it. It makes me feel proud and it makes me love what I buy there more than other items. And THESE things I definitely fix if they are broken”.
“With food there’s been a great change the last few years here in Norway towards better production and small independent food-labels, but with clothing it is much more complex. You need to love what you buy in another way. It is connected to your identity. But in the end – like with food – you have to say even though it is hard – I just have to stop eating that and choose something better!”
How do you see the future? What do you think the future holds in regards to production and consume?
“I think we are facing great challenges. I think that for ethical production to become mainstream, they need to get subsidized. To be able to compete with the big chains when it comes to price. But maybe also the change will come no matter what. That it forces itself into our lives”.
“Despite great strides made by the international women’s rights movement over many years, women and girls around the world are still married as children or trafficked into forced labor and sex slavery. They are refused access to education and political participation, and some are trapped in conflicts where rape is perpetrated as a weapon of war. Around the world, deaths related to pregnancy and childbirth are needlessly high, and women are prevented from making deeply personal choices in their private lives”
Human Rights Watch
At Just Fashion we fight for gender and race-equality. We believe that everybody should have equal rights to make the same choices in their lives, which is not nearly the case today.
Based in Norway, Just Fashion are one of the lucky ones, at 3rd place in the Global Gender Gap Report for 2014, only beaten by Iceland and Finland.
It’s much worse for countries further down on the scale, like Nepal on 112th place, and all the way down to Yemen, at 154th place, the last one.
Several designers at Just Fashion are working with women in countries further down on this list, and they make sure that
Outside Kathmandu in Nepal our designers Abareness have taken part in a project where women, because of their caste, cannot leave their village. By giving them the opportunity to work from home, their economy and status is strengthened. These products are now unfortunately sold out, but we are hoping there are new projects to come.
By supporting designers who make sure that women get paid, not only minimum, but also a living wage, you can take part in slowly changing a mentality in countries where women rarely get a say. And in other countries, like Germany, Norway and the Netherlands, you will give a share to women in professions that are not considered prestigious or important.
Here are the designers you should buy from at Just Fashion to make sure you support women in some way.
Makes sure that the women in the bigger knitting factory have good working conditions and living wage pay. In addition, Abareness is actively supporting educational projects that doesn’t discriminate between girls and boys, through their #coolkidsneedscleanwater project.
Are supports independent craftswomen in and around Weimar in Germany.
Is a woman; designer Emma does all the work herself in her studio in Oslo.
Supports independent craftswomen in Netherlands. In addition, she only use women of all ages, and with focus on their thoughts, ambitions and aspirations in her lookbook campaigns, and by doing so, shows another side of fashion than the too young clothing hanger-model.
Does all the work herself, in her studio in Berlin, and she is obviously a woman.
Works with one craftswomen on Iceland for their leather bag-collection.
Works with craftswomen (and men) in Hoi an in Vietnam. They get living wage and are encouraged in developing their skills, also taking part in the design process.
Karen Pederstad is the designer behind Retusj, also made by hand by the designers herself in her studio in Oslo.
Almost everybody involved in Just Fashion are women , and our founder is a woman. By supporting us, you also support our fight to find more designers who believe in gender and race-equality, regardless of their gender.
This video from World Economic Forum tells a short version of why the report about gender equality is important