Founded in 2009 by Cary Vaughan and Jenna Wilson, Brooklyn-based label Ace & Jig specialises in effortless clothing made from custom woven fabrications, made on ancient wooden hand looms by artisan weavers in India. With a focus on craftsmanship and fabrications, the result is effortless basics with a hand-spun twist.
Within the business much can be learned by aspiring eco brands about how to create sustainable fashion authentically. For example, scrap fabric from Ace & Jig collection is frequently used to make pieces ranging from fabric flags to patched quilts, whilst some scraps are used in collaboration with other artists for further interpretation and others donated to schools for educational projects. Given the fact that we throw out nearly 14 million tons of textiles each year, every little bit helps.
Throughout the year Vaughan and Wilson travel back and forth to India, working with their weavers on a one-on-one basis to share their core values. The workforce, made up 90% of women tailors, are compensated fairly and well looked after by any industry standard. This not only includes the provision of free childcare but other community-respecting initiatives such as the use of reclaimed water to grow organic produce for employees (employees are able to enjoy fruit and vegetables grown on site with the water).
Whilst working with Nest, a non-profit organization employing fair trade artisans to create limited-run pieces from scrap fabric, Ace & Jig donate partial proceeds to support Nest’s important mission.
What I personally love about the brand is that they are absolutely not striving to be ‘in’ as defined by dancing a jig for constantly changing industry trends, but instead it seeks to be timeless and effortless — as a result, they are always seasonless and hit the sweet spot without fail. Look for yourself.
The lush fabrics are dyed with azo-free dyes which essentially means the removal of the metallic component, which can create a textile-induced chemical sensitivity, or worse. Some azo-based dyes (Azo dye group III A1 and A2) shed carcinogenic aryl amines as the garments are worn creating health risks, according to the Federal Institute for Risk Assessment.
When, and if you are ever ready to part ways with your beautiful piece, the brand offers many ingenious ways to keep a sustainable cycle going from encouraging swap meets where styles can be exchanged, repair services at their community events for your favourite Ace & Jig pieces, to the option to resell through their online community or upcycle, giving the pieces a new life!
Take a look and discover the brand yourself here.