I heavily promote buying local if people don’t find joy in an opportunity/thrift shop. I realised my stance, had good intentions, was slightly ignorant. Turning my back and forgetting the conveyor belts of fashion fed from unsustainable brands that litter our malls and streets was not fair. It was neglectful. I questioned how I can make a change beyond boycotting all overseas fashion goods. Instead I have decided to celebrate the pioneers who are putting their heart and soul into setting up companies overseas that promote ethical business models, supporting their workers with fair wages and providing opportunity for men and women to work a skilled job with dignity.
The talented and forward thinking founders Joanne Yu and Esther Chin of Jacob & Esau want to take it a step further by inviting the shopper to meet the tailor who made their clothing. Each item will carry a code which the wearer can key into the Jacob & Esau's website to learn about the person who made the item. The feature is called Meet the Maker. It reminds me of what it would have been like in the days when you knew your tailor but with digital edge. A simple and kind idea that makes a garment sewn time zones away feel local.
Jacob & Esau do not plan to engage large manufacturing factories, but instead source from garment makers of whom they desire to invest their time and money in. At the same time, they can ensure fair treatment and wages of the people they employ. The last thing they want to do is take advantage of the cheaper costs resulting in less than desirable conditions of the workers. They are determined to be different from the norm, even if it meant that they would need to pay more and not have a short turnaround time to have garments made.
Their aim to use natural fibers over synthetic, allows for longevity through wearability and the life cycle of the garment. Meaning it can be layered (due to breathability), worn for many different occasions (for example as casual daywear then over time for exercise and even as pyjamas as the garment loses it's 'newness'!), used as rags or cleaning cloths and then finally broken down naturally in landfill. This is my kind of thinking.
They support a local textile supplier in Bali whose primary source of cotton is from the neighbouring islands in Indonesia. They stock quantities on site, which allowed them to purchase the fabric on the spot rather than importing it from other suppliers. This minimises the carbon footprint left from shipping and transport.
The first line will be made by a Balinese married couple, Kholil and Wiwik. But before these two talented tailors get started a donation is necessary to kick start the dream. Already Jacob & Esau have raised $6,295 and need $15,000 to launch their summer collection. Let's help them!
J & E has an exciting vision for the future of sustainable fashion and need the support of people like yourself to have our first ethically produced collection made Pozible!
Visit www.pozible.com/jacobandesau to help turn this dream into a reality. I have a feeling Joanne and Esther are setting the foundation that will help turn the fashion industry around and bring about more respect to the people that make clothes. Making clothes is no easy feat and the people who do this deserve to be rewarded fairly for their hard work.
If you would like to know more about their story jump to their website, www.jacobandesau.co and watch their gorgeous video. Ah, it is super inspiring. Don't forget to share this post with your friends.