Jajamän \ya-ya-mayn:\\ began as a swatch on a wall.
Netta Lönnqvist was roaming the aisles of a fabric trade show in Sweden when she met a craftsman selling a new type of textile. The fabric was sourced from the bark of Portugal’s cork oak trees. Using her background in textile design, Netta examined the fabric and felt that there was magic there. Soft but durable, luxurious yet functional, the fabric could serve as an elegant, vegan substitute for leather. Netta took a swatch of the fabric home and tacked it on the wall where it represented the beginning of what she calls, “a love story.”
The swatch was the end to Netta’s yearlong search for an eco-friendly fabric. Netta had spent the past two years working for a sustainable textile company in Pakistan and saw firsthand the damaging effects of fast fashion. She witnessed how factories were both reliant on and restricted by large orders from brands across the world. She realised that quality was being sacrificed for quantity, fabric waste was piling up, and the connection between creator and consumer was breaking down. Netta felt inspired to use her background in textiles and fashion management to create something that could heal these relationships, something that was, ecological, beautiful and long-lasting. She just needed the right fabric – and the right product.
A year ago, Netta took the swatch off the wall and her dedication to both beauty and utility met in the Jajamän backpack. An accessory and a necessity, a backpack is the perfect canvas for Netta’s functional and sustainable cork material. The backpack is luxurious, stylish and durable, the perfect antidote to a throw-away culture. Netta describes the backpack like a favorite, hand-me-down sweater – it is a stylish, reliable product that can travel across generations and borders. The Portuguese cork manufacturers and artisans are all an equal part of the Nordic Jajamän brand. It’s a new fabric and a new system reinventing a timeless accessory.
Netta hopes to bring more swatches to the drawing board in the future. Jajamän will be more than just a backpack; it will be a pioneer in the search for new, sustainable fabrics and products. Jajamän is the result of an intellectual and material pursuit by Netta to find innovative materials and production processes. It is a company based on connections – a love story connecting the consumer and creator, manufacturer and artist, founder and fabric.