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Fiiiinally I can share the news with you! Together with Fair Fashion Label Jyoti – Fair Works, I am launching two blouse designs that I co-designed!!!! The blouses were developed with Jyotibased on my idea. I’m definitely excited to hear what you think about the designs. I really wanted something that can be worn in different ways and is suitable for different styles and seasons 🙂
But first a bit of explanation: I didn’t give so many clues previously, because I always do not like this “oh I am doing something, but cam’t tell you guys what” on social media in such projects. But actually the planning started more than a year ago! I’ve been in contact with Jyoti – Fair Works for some time and Jeanine, co-founder of the label, wrote to me in December 2017 asking whether we would like to work together and design a piece for the new collection together.
Of course, I immediately said yes, because that has been a dream of mine for so long! Unfortunately, my first designs, or rather unprofessional idea sketches, were a bit too elaborate in design. But in the second round Jeanine, Caro, Mareike and I already created a winner! A wrap blouse in kimono style!
Why a wrap blouse? I think that wrapped tops have a slight boho flair, no matter what material they are made from. In addition, they often fit several body shapes and can be combined in many ways. You can also often wear it as a cardigan. But with this design we went even further with the sustainability aspect:
Thanks to the talented designer and seamstress Mareike, the blouse is not only a super comfortable to wear wrap-over blouse, but is even made from a Zero Waste cut, can be worn forwards and backwards, as a cardigan, tied to the side, or tied behind, or even with a Loop at the back. You can see all ideas on how to wear it below in the photos of the lookbook shoot!
But first some information about Jyoti – Fair Works and their ethical approach:
Jyoti – Fair Works is a German-Indian fair fashion label that produces clothing in a socially and environmentally sustainable way. In the label’s sewing workshop in the southern Indian town of Chittapur Jyoti employs socially disadvantaged women as seamstresses, offers them permanent employment, various training opportunities, regular doctor check-ups and a fair salary. Along the entire supply chain, Jyoti also works exclusively with small family businesses and cooperatives. Using traditional techniques, they weave and print on all fabrics lovingly by hand.
On numerous trips, the German Jyoti team met all of the producers personally. Not only can the company ensure that the quality is right and produced in an environmentally friendly way, but also that not a single cent is swallowed up by large corporations or middlemen, but really arrives at the producers and supports their craft. Aspects of sustainability not only play an important role in the production of raw materials, but are also reflected in the Jyoti designs: they only design and produce pieces that are wearable for many years due to their timelessness and their quality, and they also try to produce as little off cuts as possible.
More info on the theme “Social”: Jyoti – Fair Works is a non-profit company. This means that all profits are invested 100% back into the sewing workshop. There, the label allows seamstresses to earn not only safe and fair wages, but also to participate in regular health checks and further education. In addition, the company offers them the possibility of taking out interest-free and subsidized (25%) loans for health and education purposes.
Where exactly is the heylilahey x Jyoti – Fair Works blouse produced?
The woven cotton fabric in cream comes from Vankar Kantilal Samat – since 2015, Jyoti – Fair Works has been working with Weber Kanti and his family. As is typical in the region many weaver families in the village have come together to produce fabrics, in a traditional way and in a family setting.
The blouse is then sewn in the Jyoti – Fair Works sewing workshop in Chittapur, on the campus of the charitable organization »Jyothi Seva Kendra«. 16 seamstresses are currently working there, lovingly handcrafting their favorite pieces.
Why does it take 12 months to make and launch a blouse?
First of all, it took a few weeks for us to agree on one of my design ideas. Not because the Jyoti crew did not like my ideas at all or anything, but because the piece also needs to fit 100% to me AND Jyoti, must be feasible to produce, and also because I could not “produce” so many ideas as a layman.
After a few meetings, we then agreed on a one idea. Then it the first prototypes were made. You can see them here:
Next up was the fabric selection, including patterns. There was a possibility that we could integrate small embroidery into the design. I came up with the idea of incorporating small geometrical patterns that remind me of Serbian traditional patterns and forms into the design. After a few months, we got a fabric sample from India with this beautiful pattern made from 100% cotton:
At first, we just wanted to bring out one color. However, Jyoti – Fair Works received a beautiful red-pink Peace Silk fabric for other pieces from the spring and summer collection, , which feels wonderful. Peace Silk means non-violent silk breeding and recovery. The caterpillars are not killed. The silkworms can complete the metamorphosis to the butterfly, so that no animal has to suffer or die for fashion. So we decided to release two pieces, both have the same cut, but because of the very different materials, sit and fall completely different.
After the finished blouses arrived in the summer, the next step was: the photo shoot for the lookbook! During the hottest days we met photographer Janosch Kunze, where the whole team shot the complete spring and summer collection in 2019. I came in for an hour and we took pictures of me with the blouse, because Jyoti – Fair Works had suggested that I appear in the lookbook 🙂 Here are a few behind the scenes photos including different styles of blouse:
Today, the launch event will take place during Fashion Week and I’m excited to introduce the blouses to my fair-fashion blogger colleagues! I will also provide you with a summary and photos 🙂
I’m so thankful to have been included throughout the process! From the beginning, the Jyoti team has been involved in all decision-making and has always taken my opinions seriously. I really felt like a real part of the Jyoti team! In addition, through this collaboration I was able to take a look behind the scenes of a fair fashion label and learn how complex and, as the name suggests, how slow slow fashion is. Everyone involved in the process were treated as equals, delivery times depend on many factors! Although I have known all this for a long time, this cooperation has once again clearly shown that high-quality, sustainable and fair-produced fashion can not cost just five euros, but is worth every penny! Thank you so much dear Jyoti-Team for this great experience and opportunity!!!
The two blouses are available here from today in the Jyoti – Fair Works online shop. The white blouse costs 99 euros and the red / raspberry blouse 109 euros. I’m looking forward to your feedback so much and I am looking forward to what you say about our cooperation!!