Production Values – Quality and Integrity
All the fabrics JOHNNYLOVE use are bought from premium Italian mills such as Limonta, Fortex and Leggiuno – except our indigo denim, which we get from Kuroki in Japan (since they make the best indigo denim on the planet). There are multiple reasons for this, and the apparent one is the great quality of fabrics you get from these mills.
What may not be that obvious, is that EU regulations on fabric production are very strict. This regards the health and environmental aspects of textile production, such as the use of chemicals that go into the fabrics, and the pollution to the air, soil and groundwater surrounding the mill. Also, the safeguarding of workers’ rights in the EU is pretty strong. (You might argue it could be better. It could! Yet the EU has the best workers’ rights on the planet, so we’ll go with that for now.)
This goes doubly for the manufacturers we use for construction – you know, actually sewing the garments. We use European factories to ensure superior quality of the craft, as well as ensuring that workers get proper working conditions and that their pay is on a sustainable level. We could obviously produce similar(ish) quality for the same or lower price, while providing retailers with better margins, by manufacturing clothes further east. Yet we know that being a relatively small brand we have little chance of actually ensuring that workers’ conditions are up to par.
Instead we visit “our” Romanian factories (that produce most of our collections) several times each year, and work closely with both management and the guys on the floor. We know with 100% certainty that we make a product with ethical integrity, and are willing to pay the price for it. Our customers are also willing to pay for quality and integrity.
Ethics – caring for our environment and for workers’ health, as well as making sure our garments aren’t laced with poison – has been a fundamental element of JOHNNYLOVE from DAY ONE. We don’t say this to point fingers at other brands, but to ensure the sustainability of our business model, and to inform you what you support when you buy a JOHNNYLOVE item:
An environmentally sound production line. Safe and secure workers. No child labour or sweat shops. No poisonous chemical residue in the garment.
In the fashion industry there is also a “guilt by association” regarding sustainability: The fact that a lot of the fashion industry caters to a widespread throw-away mentality in the West. Some people, rightfully, call today’s society the Consumer Society. As an analytical term this is to the point and useful. But the day is never going to come where we call people “consumers”. Sometimes we call people who buy JOHNNYLOVE “customers”, but we mostly just call people “people”.
We are by no means here to save the world. But we think that people, at least many people, want something other than throw-away garments. A fundamental idea behind our collection is that we want our garments to be mainstays in men’s wardrobes, by providing quality and timelessness that makes our garments suitable for many years after they are bought.
We feel that the more quality-conscious people get, the more sustainable our society will be as a whole. We are noticing a trend nowadays towards a more ethical approach to consumption – there is nothing we welcome more than that!