“Do you respect the people who are making your products? Where are they made? And how?” Brunello Cucinelli, the king of Italian cashmere.
Bruno is the man. We’ve never met him, but as soon as we read a recent Instyle article about him, we believed him to be a kindred spirit. We realize we have basically zero in common with him and he will unlikely ever know the JJ name, but he speaks to us as he asks the kind of questions we hope our customers ask.
From the moment we embarked on this fashion journey of re-imagining how women lounge and sleep, we knew that if we achieved any success at all, it would not be at the expense of the environment or harm anyone who came into contact with making them. And, taking that a step further, we wanted those living closest to us to benefit from any jobs we could create.
Now, in no way are we completely sustainable and 100% doing everything right. But with each baby step our little company makes, we are trying to stay the course in that direction.
We read early on in Women’s Wear Daily that fashion is the third most-polluting industry in the world. It’s also the second-largest polluter of water in the world after agriculture. And that’s not the worst thing about the fashion industry. Workers living in poor countries, where much of apparel is made, have been exploited and are paid little while others benefit from the profits of their mistreatment. And the final mind-blowing tidbit we learned was that less than 3% of clothing manufacturing is made in the US.
Those realities were enough to almost scare us away from the business. Instead it empowered us to realize that we were entering an industry that had some bad habits. For the first time we felt that maybe our lack of industry knowledge was the best thing about us. Because guess what, we’re not doing things the way they have always been done. We are paving our own path.
For starters, we are Made in LA, baby. All in. Truth be told, we bought imported fabric at first. But, then realized that if we were going to be “made in America”, our fabric had to be too. We now only use fabrics made here but also try to use mostly “Lenzing Modal” which is made of fibers from the Beech Tree. Lenzing Modal is produced in an ecologically friendly way. As far as how our JJs are actually sewn, we have the most inspiring and dedicated manufacturing partner in “Vector Apparel” who teaches us daily best practices in manufacturing. The office is clean, the vibe is right on and the environment respects everyone involved.
It’s such a buzzword term, but our goal is “ethical manufacturing.”
To most succinctly explain what we are trying to do, we will once again quote our hero Bruno: “There are 80 billion garments produced every year,” he says. “So there are two roads we can take in the future. We can make a very industrial product, always cheaper, in any part of the world -- and I think there’s just too much of that in the market. Or we can make quality, recognizable designs with incredible craftsmanship and detail. That’s the road I intend to follow.” Us too.