We didn’t seek out slow fashion when we began Jamie + the Jones, but slow fashion was exactly what we were. We had so many questions about how and why things were made. We wanted to find answers, but soon realized we wanted to be a solution, too.
The current movement of slow fashion is resorting back to the ways of old; we think that’s why it’s here to stay. We sought after interesting textiles long forgotten and were intrigued by the process of making everything by hand. The core of our being always strived for learning and creating a business based on shared knowledge and artistic growth.
Here’s a bit more about our story:
Slow Fashion as the Only Option
Jamie + the Jones [technically] began after we graduated from O’More College of Design in 2009. We discovered the concept of our brand during our junior and senior thesis collections. We were required to come up with a business plan that we could implement upon graduation, if we chose to run our own business and, because of the 2008 recession, we were actually pushed to carry this out.
Our dream was to run a Jamie + the Jones garment factory, something that was unheard of and most likely not plausible in Nashville at the time. Our goals were to give back to the community we grew up in by providing jobs to skilled workers in Tennessee and beyond. We envisioned a habitat where we could show the art of fashion: from pattern making, to sewing, to what garments looked like from start to finish.
Back in 2009 there was no Instagram, social media was Facebook, and our eCommerce platform was Etsy. Now we’ve found ourselves immersed in the new trend of simple and efficient ways to run even the smallest of businesses. Simple website building platforms, eCommerce sites, and the age of the iPhone makes something as simple as a posted image translate into sales. This will only help slow fashion continue to grow.
Slow fashion, to us, is not about minimalism, although many of our styles are simplistic and easy to style and wear. Our personal closets are filled with items we have collected for years (we both carried the same bag, different styles, all through college and beyond) and we hang onto items that we consistently love and wear. To us, slow fashion is about finding color, pattern, and print that you’ll want to wear for years to come. It’s about a need to fuel our urge for smart, classic design with multiple options of color and silhouette in order to style in a way that works for a variety of body types. It’s because this kind of design and manufacturing considers the individual – on all levels – that we’ve never thought of producing our clothing in any other way.
To us, slow fashion is about finding color, pattern, and print that you’ll want to wear for years to come.
Slow Fashion as the Best Option
In September we launched The Color Campaign, where we send out swatches of all the colors and fabrics we carry to help our customer have a better shopping experience. They will be able to purchase all of our color ways as swatches in one pretty, J+J package. From there they can then test out the colors against their skin and feel the textures to make a more informed purchase.
All of our clothing is made in our Nashville studio, so we are able to see the production from beginning to end. We can find the exact reasons why certain silhouettes work for us, personally, and learn why some may not work for our body types at all. Fashion should be a fun and enjoyable experience, something that’s easily diminished when you are surrounded by hundreds of brands in large department stores that are made for a quarter of the price and in deplorable conditions.
It takes calculated time to become a company that is fully, wholeheartedly “slow fashion,” but our goal at J+J is to focus on the goals we can actually achieve right now, then build for years to come. The biggest change we are currently working on is expanding all of our wovens to The Tennessee Textile Mill, the brainchild of our dear friend Allison Volek-Shelton. All of our marbling and dyeing is done locally or in-house, and we are focusing on the convenience of machine washable garments to make it easier for our customers to take care of their clothing in a simple and efficient way.
We have talked long and often with our fabric marbler and mentor, Teresa Hays, about The Slow Fashion Movement. To quote her directly, “The slow fashion movement is a reaction to the excesses of the fashion industry. It is partially about insuring and supporting the quality of life for the people who make our garments; it is partially about minimizing the environmental impact on the earth by being transparent and responsible in materials sourcing; and it is partially about creating minimal waste in producing clothing.”
Speaking more on the surface, slow fashion is also about awareness and the decision to buy less and spend more on clothing that is quality-driven, and choosing to wear garments that you can carry with you for a long time to come. We’re honored to play a part in making your closet something you love.
Images via Brett Warren