TELL US ABOUT WHAT YOU DO JESS?
I run a little clothing label called Jume, focusing on small batches of ethically produced garments using organic fabrics and natural dye processes. I also have a ceramics and weaving practice that I hope to focus more on over the next year or so and am working on a collaborative collection of garments using hand woven Khadi and herb dyed cloth that my friend, the artist Nell Pearson and I sourced from India last year.
DO YOU HAVE A CREATIVE PROCESS WHEN DESIGNING FOR JUME?
I think for the label the creative process is ongoing, I think about it all the time and think about what garments I wish I had and then find a way to produce that as ethically as possible.
Because my background is in textiles rather than fashion I usually design the same way I make tapestries, I start with a palate I am obsessed with then go hunting for fabrics that melt my heart and then think of a simple and timeless way to best honour that cloth. I am in love with hemp, nettle and hand woven organic cottons and I collect incredible fabrics while I travel then design around them. Last year in Sri Lanka I became obsessed with the palate and weave of the men's Sari’s there and worked on a batch of simple one-off pieces using them and now my next collection will be focused around the breathtaking cloth I bought in India. It's a fun process that includes travelling and looking into the different textile histories of the world more so than looking to tap in to the latest trends and i much prefer this way of designing.
HOW DO YOU SOURCE YOUR FABRICS AND ENSURE ETHICAL PRODUCTION OF YOUR WARES?
In regards to sourcing and manufacturing I think it's important to go to the source in person. So many of the problems regarding sustainability occur when the supply chain is long and complicated where you end up with blind spots in production.
I spend a few months a year with my manufacturing studio in Indonesia which is run by my good friend and her grandmother their family and make sure I am paying well over average for manufacturing. Hanging out there with the tiny family team (only about 10 of them!) is fun and relaxed and if there was ever pressure or strain I would know as my friend puts her families needs, including religious obligations and mine on the same level always and I respect that immensely, we are all equals with different roles, benefitting from any success of the label.
In regards to the fabrics, I studied sustainable textiles at RMIT and have quite a clear idea of which fabrics are the most sustainable and ethical and always seek them out. Certified KHADI is an amazing ethical fabric I seek out too as it is sustainable but also is really amazing for keeping rural jobs in the community.
I am also setting up a new manufacturer in India for my larger orders which focuses exclusively on herb dying organic cloth which is amazing and I have spent time there too and fell in love with the light and friendly studio there and have seen first hand their amazing work they are doing for India's sustainable textile industry.