JackFruit Clothing is one of the most vibrant, inspirational and beautiful brands Label has worked with, and we cannot wait to showcase their designs at our fashion show on April 13th. The wonderful Freya Young initially founded this vibrant clothing line to provide colourful, as well as warm, options for festival goers. The line has grown so much since then, and is mostlty gender neutral and sustainably made! What's not to love? Get excited to see their collection showcased on the Label runway and head on over to the website to see more: jackfruitclothing.com
What inspired the name of your brand, Jack Fruit?
When I originally conceived of the brand, the main idea was to start making colorful tracksuit trousers. This was inspired by the fact that festivals in the UK are often cold, especially at night, but people in the UK festival scene particularly, want to be colorful and express colour through their clothes. I realised how hard it is to find trousers that are both warm and colourful. At night time, everyone becomes a little more toned down and grey. So that was the idea. I was running through possible names on a night bus travelling from Georgia to Turkey. I love rhymes so was thinking of words that rhyme with tracksuit and arrived at ‘Jackfruit.’ To me this tropical fruit seemed a perfect name for a brand that I wanted to be colorful, fresh, fruity and tropical. We ended up making our clothes in India as well, and Jackfruits are a native fruit to this land, so in many ways the name seemed to fit. It is short and catchy and there is a lot we can do with the name in relation to clothing – for example – Jack-Suits, Jack-Its, Jack-Packs, as well as using the tropical fruit theme to name our other products such as our Mango Loungers, Papaya Pants, and our Coconut Collection.
Who has been important to the brand's direction and your current line?
Well, we wouldn’t be anywhere without our amazing tailors in India who we work closely with. Although they are not a part of the creative direction, they have an amazing kind of drive to keep trying and encouraging new ideas, and incredible patience with me when it comes to perfecting each design. I love spending time with them drinking chai, chatting, as well as making the ideas in my head become a reality. Apart from that I suppose it is the people we speak to and who buy our clothes that help direct the brand. We are always open to new ideas and receptive to this, so if people say to us, ‘hey, it would be cool if you made such and such…’ there is a high chance we will give it a go, if we think it fits with our vision.
Why is colour so important to you in fashion?
Colour is important to me in all aspects of life, not only fashion. Before starting the clothing line I used to be part of running an event in Bristol called Happy Daze, which was a kind of interactive indoor festival playground inside a 5-roomed night club. We would decorate every inch of the grotty club with fabric and handmade décor, to create a kind of colourful inclusive wonderland for everyone to enjoy. JackFruit is just a kind of extension of the same idea, spreading colour through clothing that is accessible to all, and in doing so spreading smiles as well. I guess adorning lots of colour is all part of not taking yourself, or life, too seriously. We used to have a rule at happy Daze that you couldn’t come in if you were wearing black. Don’t get me wrong, I know lots of people love wearing black and look fabulous doing so, but on this occasion, for this night, we wanted pure colour. As time has gone on we have toned down some of our designs to make them more suitable for daily wear, but we will always include splashes and dashes of pattern and colour, just some way to brighten up an outfit and in turn, hopefully, brighten up someone’s days a bit. What people wear at a party is important. If everyone at a festival were wearing grey and navy and black, with no face paint or accessories at all, it would entirely change the whole vibe of the place. This is why I see it as our duty to help bring some more colour to the dancefloor, the field, and also the street… to be part of improving the overall vibe.
What statement do your clothes make?
Well, our brand’s slogan is ‘Unashamedly Outrageously Colourful’. I guess the statement they make is ‘I am not ashamed to express my inner colour through the clothes I wear.’ And the more outrageous the better, when it comes to spreading smiles to others through our outfits. I suppose they also relay a kind of statement relating to wearing clothes that come from small-scale ethical shops, ones that you can’t find on the high street. The statement is – ‘I have gone out of my way to find something unique or different to wear, in order to express myself more accurately’.
What inspired Jack Fruit designs?
The designs are inspired mostly by the kind of things I would want to wear, things I didn’t feel were readily available in the independent festival fashion market. I am a girl but I wear a lot of boys clothes, so the brand has ended up almost entirely unisex which is kind of cool. It means we have a huge range of clothes available for men and that is definitely something that can be hard to find at festivals. Other than vintage clothes, it is rare to find independent and unique festival clothing suitable for men as well as women.
One of my main influences comes from the 80s, primarily the kind of ridiculous outfits worn by Will Smith in The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air. I love the garish outrageous patterns and the matching full tracksuits from the 80s, but through JackFruit we take these ideas and put a more modern twist on the cuts and style.
The inspiration also comes directly from India itself, particularly Rajasthan where our clothing is made. The Indian people are entirely unashamed when it comes to adorning colour, especially the women with their amazing saris. There is an endless choice of incredible patterns and fabrics and these inspire the whole vibe of our brand. We now use a lot of old recycled saris in our new ranges, and I spend a lot of time searching through piles of these to find the most fresh and crazy patterns I can.
If you had to sum up the brand in ten words, what would you choose?
A secret wardrobe full of fresh and fruity tropical wonders.
What do you most want people to know about the business?
Hmm, I suppose that it is my true passion right now. I love what I do and I love bringing new and exciting products out for people to adorn and look amazing in. As well as that I would like people to know that we care about where our clothes are made, that I personally know everyone who makes them, and that we put a percentage of our profits back into the community where our clothing comes from.