Manini Wears – Clean & Considered Simplicity
Janis Manini Claudia Kanga, founder of freshly launched label, Manini Wears, welcomed us into her home office in Melbourne on a crispy autumn Sunday afternoon like we were old friends.
The space itself gently reflects her work’s aesthetic with a clean simplicity, no doubt the result of a very thoughtful process. Janis sees value and life in existing resources, and this is made clear in an instant by the work desk, table, shelves – all created by hand from reclaimed wood and minimally decorated with books, skeins of lush neutral wool, knitting needles, trinkets and succulents.
Once we sit down with a cup of tea and begin to discuss Manini Wears, Janis answers questions with consideration and depth, an approach also evident in her work.
The label Manini Wears is a direct outcome of Janis living the values she believes in. Though living in Melbourne now, the idea was brought to life in her home country, Germany, in an effort to create a slow fashion label, made from fair materials with an ethical supply chain, at an affordable price.
The result is a streamlined inaugural collection with the potential to grow in any direction Janis see’s fit. Her process to this point was over the course of about a year where she sewed and tested different shapes and designs, refining them as she went. When sourcing fabrics, the intention was to do so locally in Germany. The white fabric used in the collection is recycled cotton, rich in quality and destined for a second life. After seeking black textile to balance the offering while maintaining the minimal sensitivity, Janis was unable to find anything local to Germany of the same quality she had come upon in the white. For this reason, the black textile in her collection is ethically sourced offshore from India, and is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. The collection is made to order in Germany.
Janis spoke at length of her thought process, research and efforts to create a collection with the most positive social and environmental outcomes. She demonstrates a real focus on being clear in the values and story behind the collection and to her credit, refuses compromise on these points. Contrary to recent Fast Fashion explosions, Manini Wears exhibits a slow approach with a level of transparency allowing the customer a true understanding of the integrity behind each garment.
For Janis, an ideal future would have people wearing more unique and individual garments, made from high quality textiles and produced in ethically sound ways. While there is a heavy focus presently on the newest thing and fleeting trends, Janis feels that second hand, or new, people can find and buy good quality garments in shops or online from small businesses all over the world. She notes, “there'll always be big brands, who sell their clothing in bigger masses and therefore more cheaply than small businesses, but at least [these should be made], so neither the environment nor the people producing have to suffer. I guess my utopia is that we all care a lot more about all the things we surround ourselves with; that we care to know exactly where the things we buy come from, how they are made and where they go when we throw them away. No matter if it's a pot plant, a car, a toothbrush, a melon or a jacket... Then, I'm sure, we would value everything a lot more again, handle things more preciously and feel a lot less detached and lost in the world we live in.”
For more information and to see the collection visit the Manini Wears website.
Janis also established and manages a website, Let’s Talk the Good Life, an open source online journal showcasing interviews and photographs of emerging entrepreneurs selling products that have been manufactured consciously as fairly as possible. See it here.