This designer needs no introduction because her designs speak for themselves... (But we will give her one anyway - because we want you to love her as much as we do!) Meet Harriett! She designs and creates the most incredible and unique sustainable denim garments created from upcycled denim jeans. Think festival vibes, think a 90’s aesthetic dream and best of all - its incredibly sustainable.
Image: 'Just Harry' Festival Collection
Here are some questions we were dying to ask her about her brand, her motivations and her opinion on the fashion industry! From one ethical brand to another, it was super interesting hearing all about her outlook.
1. When did you begin your brand? Where? What was the spark that started the magic?
So, I started Just Harry almost 3 years ago when I lived in London. I was living in Clapham Junction in a house share with 2 other girls and we were actually really lucky we had a huge shared living room (most places in London turn living rooms into an extra bedroom, so it was nice to have somewhere to socialise, especially as I didn’t know the girls until I moved in). The girl was kind enough to let me take over half the living room with a table and my sewing machine and I started ‘making a mess’ of the living room with denim scraps and threads designing my first Denim Patchwork Jacket, which I was making for myself. It wasn’t until I started wearing the jacket out that I was getting quite a lot of compliments and people asking me where I had got it from. One girl I worked with actually commissioned me to make one for her, which set the fire going. I started designing little purses and tote bags and looking for markets that I could try and sell these at.
2. If you could describe your brand in three words, what would they be?
Sustainable - individual - timeless
Image: 'Just Harry' Panelled Denim Dungarees
3. When beginning your design process, where do you look for inspiration for the garments?
I always remember at uni I would design my garments and do the research to back it up afterwards. So I don’t do specific research for any particular designs, It could just be something that I see that sparks an idea - which I take straight to the sample board where it can either be a great idea or something that doesn’t quite work, and needs some adjusting.
4. What are your main aesthetic inspirations for your brand?
I want Just Harry to be a classic look yet also screams fun and playful at the same time.
Image: 'Just Harry' Limited Edition Collection
5. What does the word ‘sustainability’ mean to you?
Sustainability for me is creating garments that reduce waste and harm to the environment around us. Creating something that can be maintained at no further risk. However, the word sustainability has become a term so widely used that its meaning has become diluted that it's hard to decipher what it actually means and has become a total BUZZ word.
6. How does your brand fit into the narrative of sustainability?
I use preloved denim jeans as a source of material, using every component from the waistband, pockets, zips and the denim fabric itself which reduces the amount of waste to landfill. While also using a material that on average uses 7,600 litres of water to make just ONE PAIR of jeans. I can’t claim to be 100% sustainable and there are areas for improvement, but I am on my way to making Just Harry a more and more sustainable brand each day.
Image: Our Instagram Competition With 'Just Harry'.
7. Where do you see the future of the fashion industry heading in terms of its impact on the planet?
In order for there to be a big change, I think the larger companies themselves need to be the ones to lead it, as they seem to have a louder voice and are brands that people have come to trust. I think there need to be more social media campaigns and also more bloggers and influencers that are supporting more sustainable brands rather than the fast fashion brands that are churning out collection after collection, week upon week. There used to be 2 sales a year and now brands have constant sales all year round because the supply is so much larger than the demand and they have to make space for the newest collection coming into store. EVERYONE JUST NEEDS TO SLOW DOWN.
8. How you work with denim is amazing, what made you create your brand surrounding denim?
Thank you so much. I love getting compliments on my work, it makes me all giddy inside and want to do a little dance. It makes it all worthwhile.
Denim for me was no brainer. I wanted to create a sustainable brand that was gender fluid and also a brand that would never date. Fabrics and prints and textures all go in and out of fashion but the one thing that never dies is DENIM. The cut might change and the shade but the denim fabric remains the same.
Image: Personalised Keyrings From Our Competition With 'Just Harry'.
9. As a business owner, what motivates you?
What motivates me the most is all the people that support me and my brand. None of it would be possible without them. It’s so nice to know that people love what I do and appreciate the design and manufacture process I go through to create all of my garments <3.
Instagram: Justharrydesigns Click HERE to have a look at all of Harriett's amazing designs on her website! Shop: https://marketplace.asos.com/boutique/just-harry You can also find her on Depop and Selfridges!
Thank you for reading! Emma @ ROR X