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Sustainability

 

 CONSCIOUSNESS, A NEW KIND OF SUSTAINABILITY

“For a designer working today, conscious consideration, or what some term as sustainability’ is vital. I feel a responsibility, to the people who make our clothes, those who wear our clothes and also to nature herself. It’s our aim to minimise our environmental footprint as much as possible. We consider this at every stage of our design and production process. The idea of being connected to the larger whole runs deep in the Jacinta James studio.”Jacinta, 2020 

While our approach falls under a passion commonly understood as 'sustainability', we prefer the word consciousness. The breadth and earnesty we find in the word conscioiusness’ feels more encompassing to our ethos and less infused with the hype and potential misinterpretationthat can be misplaced under the saturated term, sustainability.

OUR PILLARS

1. VERSATILITY

We find inspiration in designing for multiple use, where some styles are designed with versatility in mind. These styles have integrity on their own, but for those seeking a simpler, minimal wardrobe, can easily be worn in different ways. For example, in Volume 8, the Sunbleached Dress is reversible. All versatile styles are accompanied with an easy to interpret, digital guide. We encourage you to explore your styles in a way that feels best for you.

 

 

2. NATURAL FABRICS AND CERTIFICATIONS 

We focus on natural fibres, primarily silk, wool, sustainable acetate yarn, and certified viscose, for their luxurious hand-feel, quality, wearability, and eco-conscious attributes.

Silk
Our Chinese silks are OEKO-TEX Standard 100 certified, free from harmful chemicals including Azo dyes and formaldehyde and comply with the REACH European Union chemical regulations. Our silks are produced in the Jiangsu Province, China, a leading Province in silk production, having specialised
in this ancient craft for centuries.

Sustainable Acetate
For our sheer knitwear, we use a sustainable, superfine, acetate yarn. Our partnering Italian mill are leaders in eco conscious spinning and processing. Our yarn involves no chemical transformation and is free of harmful Azo dyes. Water and materials involved in creating and spinning the yarn are 98% recyclable, feeding back into the process itself. We knit this yarn into garments with our
manufacturing partners in Melbourne. Our knit manufacturer is a family run business of over 60 years and the last of their kind in Australia.

FSC certified Viscose
We work with the same Italian mill for our FSC certified viscose yarn, which is knitted into garments with the same Melbourne manufacturer. We also work with another leading Melbourne mill who knit their FSC certified yarn into fabric for us, rather than garments. The mill is family owned and has been running for over 90 years, holding some of the rarest traditional knit machinery and therefore,
techniques, in the world. This mill uses GOTS dyes, recycles their water in the spinning process and many yarns are traceable to source. We believe in protecting our earth’s irreplaceable, endangered and old growth forests, to which the production of unmanaged and uncertified viscose is a major contributor. We believe it is essential that the wood used to make viscose yarn and fabric only comes from sustainably managed and certified plantations (with the exception of deadstock fabrics as per below).

Repurposed Fabrics
We source high-quality deadstock fabrics in order to reduce our environmental footprint. These fabrics, when traceable, often come from Italy, France, Japan and Korea. We include this information with each style where possible. When repurposing fabric, we are specific about outstanding quality. While the rest of our sourcing focuses on natural and certified fibres and yarns, we are somewhat
flexible on fibre content when repurposing. We feel a repurposed high quality, Italian Polyester suiting (used for the Linear Blazer, for example) is best be put into use and honoured in timeless design, rather than become unused waste. Whether it be high grade Italian polyester or Korean superfine wool suiting, we believe in re-purposing what’s already in existence.

 

3. CONTINUITY AND VOLUMES

We don’t abide by traditional seasons, instead we choose to present our collections as a series of on-going Volumes. Slow process and couture techniques are at the heart of what we do, and we believe that quality deserves to be honoured beyond seasonality. We openly repeat popular styles, shapes and prints as we do not feel they become obsolete with the passing of time. We are committed to a fashion future that celebrates modern dressing over the old-fashioned concept of trends.

4. COUTURE TECHNIQUES 

We believe traditional fashion craftsmanship is central to fashion’s sustainable future. Jacinta studied, interned and worked in Paris, learning couture techniques from some of that city’s most skilled artisans. We translate many of these techniques into our ready-to-wear volumes. The process of constructing any Jacinta James garment is a remarkably hands-on one - because we believe that an exquisitely made garment is a future heirloom to cherish.

5. LOW WASTE PATTERN 

Our creative pattern-making approach has allowed us to reduce standard offcut waste by half, while some styles, are zero waste. We see the value in our offcuts, and use them to cover buttons and press studs, for silk bindings, pocket-linings and other creative re-uses, which we explore in the studio continuously. Larger offcuts are used to create our soft accessories and smaller styles, such as the Embodiment Beret. We donate the small amount of fabric scraps that cannot be repurposed to a upcycle centre in Sydney for creative reuse.


6. MAKE TO ORDER AND PRE ORDER

We offer Pre Order and Made to Order services to support low waste because for us - and our planet - pre-consumer waste is not an option. Learn more about this approach in our Order Terms.


7. CIRCULARITY 

Our cycle initiative is part of an ongoing plan, implemented in 2021, to create circularity within the Jacinta James studio. Our community are invited to return their pre existing styles in exchange for a studio gift voucher. Please refer to our Cycle page to learn more, or join our mailing list to remain up to date on this process.


8. LONGEVITY

We make modern classics, designed and constructed to last for years, some are made from repurposed and upcycled fabrics. We also offer a complimentary, lifetime repairs service to ensure the quality of our future heirlooms can be maintained.


9. COMMUNITY

We have community support initiatives in place for roll out across 2021/22. We believe in the power of community to support greater community, and are developing earnest ways to instill this in our studio practice. We invite you to join our mailing list to remain up to date on this process.


10. ETHICAL, LOCAL PRODUCTION

We believe fashion should be personal - not just for the wearer but for the people who make our clothes. From pattern-making, to cutting, sewing and knitting, all our production processes are based in Australia, many of them worked by hand. Our cut-and-sew makers are all in Sydney, close to our studio, which allows us to engage with them as creative partners, as well as maintaining optimal quality control. Our Melbourne knitters are both small businesses spanning 60 – 90 years in operation, using rare machinery and techniques unique to Australia. By working with these partners we help to support small, family-run businesses and encourage growth together. We visit our makers in person throughout the production process, and can personally vouch for their working conditions. We nurture these relationships because they are precious to us. While manufacturing locally also allows us to minimise our carbon footprint.