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the story

Jota-Kena was founded by father and daughter duo: John, Tanith & Keziah Swinford out of a shared desire to build a modern-day family brand.

Growing up on an idyllic riverside farm in the Northern Cape province of South Africa – the designer sisters’ farm-to-table childhood understandably influenced their approach in life and fashion. Caring about every person and process that makes up a garment; an ethical, sustainable route was the only way to go in building their brand.  

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the principles

Jota-Kena is founded on five principles: 

Ethical

Eco-friendly

Sustainable

Transparent

Charitable 

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the name

Fun fact: Jota is a Spanish genre of music and dance, and Kena means “kind” and “unselfish” in Estonian. The brand’s logo: a fan Palm leaf has been esteemed (since ancient times) as a symbol of celebration and victory with integrity. Accordingly, Jota-Kena’s name and logo reference the importance of nature, ethics and aesthetic appeal.

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the materials

Committed to sourcing only the finest, sustainable cotton denim and combining it with exceptional craftsmanship, embroidery artworks and trims (including custom nickel-free alloy buttons),  the brand presents its designs in a fresh, forward way every season. 

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the designers

“Jota-Kena’s designs are curated extensions of our imaginations, experiences and the way we choose to see the world. Likewise, our positive practices are simply an extension of what we see and believe. We believe in a more sustainable future for fashion… and the reason we will see it, is because we are part of creating it.”

Jota-Kena Designers Tanith & Keziah Swinford

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the packaging

Every Jota-Kena jacket is packaged in a sustainable, reusable bull denim tote embroidered with the brand’s Palm leaf logo & name on the sides. The brand’s swing tags are also made from recycled cardboard. 

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the sourcing

Jota-Kena’s denim is sourced from the only denim mill in the world to have received the EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan Award. In addition, the denim mill recycles all water in manufacturing for other industrial uses.

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the extras

Since Jota-Kena’s garments are made to order, the brand is able to operate on a zero-waste policy in-house. In addition, they use production cut-offs of their premium 100% cotton denim to create signature bucket hats.

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the production

After their first year spent working on product development from their studio in Cape Town, South Africa, the Swinford sisters moved to Turkey for a year in order to be fully present in setting up production for their brand, building good relationships with their team and ensuring that the best practices are followed and value is placed on every person involved in Jota-Kena’s processes.