OUR PARTNER: STUDIO JUX

Studio Jux is born from a love of fashion and a compassion for the communities that produce garments, combining commercial goals with developing nations to bring safer production and sustainable income to the people of South East Asia. Head designer, Jitske Lundgren, and manager Carlien Helmnik were both struck by the hardships and inequalities in India’s garment industry as teenagers – and together they have built Studio Jux into a global brand with a greater mission. Their current factory, located in Nepal, brings economic development to the community and supports local artisans. 

Accompany Us To Nepal: 

Our team traveled to Studio Jux’s workshop in Kathmandu. Located 30 minutes outside the city center, the workshop is outside the traditionally ‘touristy’ section, and housed in a large building in the middle of a residential area. Our team was greeted by Gyatri, who has been with Studio Jux for two years, and in that short time has become the workshop’s manager – no small feat for a woman in Nepal who is only 24 years old. Gyatri welcomed us into the workspace, where 20 tailors were working diligently, while enjoying themselves. They were a playful bunch, very friendly and eager to be on camera! It was clear that she’s a respected manager, but also gives respect to the men and women producing the garments. At the studio, tailors are paid well, trained fairly and given a safe and healthy work environment. During our time together, Gyatri explained that many of Nepal’s youngest and brightest are leaving the country – seeking more intellectually challenging work and higher wages – in developed countries. In fact, we learned that Nepal receives one of the highest rates of foreign remittance in the world – meaning Nepalese workers abroad send wages home in large quantities. It’s a bittersweet fact, helping to alleviate poverty while also leaving the nation dependent on outside economic sources. As a result, there’s little incentive to invest in the infrastructure needed for change, or the policies needed to promote domestic employment. While that may be the bird’s eye view of the situation, Gyatri’s personal story reflects a change... After winning a scholarship to Harvard Business School in 2013, she turned it down. Instead Gyatri stays committed to her country, and countrymen, convinced that staying in Nepal and making a difference with longevity is more important. The opportunity she has at Studio Jux is more than just a personal one; it’s one that puts her one step along the way towards the greater goal of an economically-independent Nepal.

 

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