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Mia’s style.

Photo: Hans Kristian Riise Beautifull Mia Sundfjord got her own style

Name
Mia Sundsfjord

Work
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!”

 

"These stockings from Swedish Stockings remind me of the stories I've heard about the war when stockings where so expensive that women painted the line onto their legs to make an impression of wearing stockings. It is a real nostalgic model and elevate any dress to a new level"
“These stockings from Swedish Stockings remind me of the stories I’ve heard about the war when stockings where so expensive that women painted the line onto their legs to make an impression of wearing stockings. It is a real nostalgic model and elevate any dress to a new level”

Stefanie Seam Stockings

"There are so many great jewelry pieces at Just Fashion, but this one really stood out. It it's a classic"
“There are so many great jewelry pieces at Just Fashion, but this one from Dutch Basics really stood out. It it’s a classic”

Circle necklace

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”.


Follow Mia
Instagram: @miasundsfjord

Snapchat:miassen
Bilde 07.01.2016, 16.47.26

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To make it all go in a circle.

Elisabeth and Victoria Lejonhjarta with JohannaN necklace and ring

 

This is a story about Just Fashion, and a strong woman we have gotten to know during the growth of our site. Johanna and her jewelry label JohannaN, was the fifth label to come onboard Just Fashion. We want you to know what she is up to!

Production in Bangkok

Johanna produce at two production sites in Bangkok, and they have been with her all the way from the start in 2009.

In the workshop of Cha and Joy
In the workshop of Cha and Joy

Family Workshops

The metal workshops, she knows in and out, and they have grown with her. Tom and Boom are husband and wife-team. They have a small workshop in the first floor of their house in the middle of Bangkok. Tom is sawing all the pieces and Boom is managing their orders, checks the quality, and puts on chains before dispatch to Sweden.

Tom and Boom in their Workshop with their daughter
Tom and Boom in their Workshop with their daughter

They are setting their own price on their work and that’s what Johanna pay them – done deal. Johanna can now ensure them full time work – which I bet feels great!

Since Johanna has been growing a lot the last years, she now also works with a second and third family workshop, Joi and his wife Nok, and Cha and his wife Joi.

In addition she also works closely with Boy, her creative collaborator in Bangkok and he communicate with all teams and takes care of the logistics.

Watch this short film showing the handsawing in the workshop

 

Family Factory

The bigger factory that does the casting is family owned with around 60 workers. The last visit to this factory was in February 2014. This factory is also located in Bangkok, and will be a focus in January when Johanna is going back to Thailand.

 

The raw material

There are large deposits of zinc and copper in Thailand. These metals are combined to form brass, which is a traditional material, used in the Buddha figures and in many religious ornaments and sculptures.

johanna n This is Home adjustable bracelet, seen from abve
johannaN This is Home adjustable bracelet, seen from above

This tradition means that there are people with knowledge about the old way of doing the sawing and casting process that can be given work.  Over time, generations of creative artisans built a tradition of craftsmanship around brass – a craft tradition that today only exists in a few places in the world (Abareness also uses these skills in their jewelry workshop in Nepal)

 

johanna n umeå ring with beetle, seen from front
JohannaN umeå ring with beetle, seen from front

It’s been a pain in the ass to try to track the raw material. With gold and silver, there are a lot happening in the world in regards to sourcing, but with brass, the doors are still closed and there is no tradition for these kinds of investigations. One believes that around 70 % of all brass around is already recycled, but we would of course like to know where OUR (our designers) brass is from. This is an ongoing process, if you are a brass wiz and want to share, let us know!! 

 

Can a business have a personal moral?

Yes, we do believe they can!

There are so many people who are skeptical to the concept of ethical fashion. It is such a wide term, and also difficult to grasp and to see something else than a trend in it. Well, it is in these meetings with our designers, by knowing them, that all doubt about their intentions is washed away. With JohannaN, I have been sure from the start.

Full action in the workshop
Full action in the workshop

She has walked the hardest way, to make her brand sustainable, and now she has come full circle in so many ways. The things that are still difficult to change are really difficult to change!!! Its complicated, sitting in Sweden, trying to get access to the details around the production, not because things are secret, but because there are no tradition for these kinds of investigations in Thailand.

To manage to make a lasting change, it is essential for our designers and us to understand the culture in the country in which we operate. To make room for dialog that can stretch over time, so there are no misunderstandings.

Elisabeth and Victoria Lejonhjarta with JohannaN necklace and ring
Two beautiful up and coming fans, Elisabeth and Victoria Lejonhjarta with JohannaN necklace and ring

 

It is about knowing peoples cultural habits, and making them understand that you want to get under their skin, working WITH them, not having hidden agendas and papers with small writing on them. And this goes both ways.

 

JohannaN's second hand system. You can borrow, excange and deliver back what you dont use
JohannaN’s second hand system. You can borrow, excange and deliver back what you dont use

The skepticism is often grounded in fear of prices being forced down, or fair of losing the order completely, or that somebody will force changes on them that makes the production difficult. They can be scared that questions are about taking something away from them, like they may have experienced before.

 

a form from the casting process of the jewelry
form from the casting process of the jewelry

In January, Johanna is going back to Thailand to visit the workshop and the factory. We are going to be with her on her journey through films, stories and pictures. The thing with great designers with good intentions is that it never stops. It’s not about either or, it is about the journey and the choices one makes along the way.

Designer Johanna N herself
Designer JohannaN

 

And remember, , if you buy your JohannaN products at Just Fashion, you support both of us in our work towards a sustainable future!

Marte & Just Fashion