Jaded London – a British brand founded in 2013 by siblings Jade and Grant Goulden – has, over the past couple of years, become renowned for selling eye-catching, trend-led pieces. However, there is a price to this popularity, a popularity that has been built on utilising the creativity of smaller businesses. As part of our sustainability issue, this article aims to emphasise the importance of knowing where your clothes are coming from, and who designed them.
Jaded London presents itself as a small, independent brand that produces fun, trendy, creative clothing for both women and men at a reasonable price. However, recently Jaded London’s ability to stay on trend has relied on “taking inspiration” from smaller brands that are gaining attraction. Whilst imitation may be the highest form of flattery, profiting from the designs of others is highly unethical. Jaded has been selling these pieces without crediting the original idea/creator, and producing them through a less sustainable practice.
Within the recent Sydney Carlson X Jaded London collaboration, there are numerous pieces that share similarities with designs of small, independent brands. The Syndey X Jaded ‘Two face Tee’ and ‘Tittie Tee’ are very similar to pieces by the independent brand ‘Girls Girls Girls’, which is owned by Leeds student Grace Miller. Additionally, the ‘KII SPIKE’ top and skirt set share similarities with designs by the brand Chet Lo. Whilst the items in question are different, the material, the signature of Chet Lo’s brand, has been imitated. The fabric Jaded have used for the ‘KII SPIKE’ set is of a much lower quality than that Chet Lo. These Jaded products are made from 100% polyester, a material made from plastic. Whilst polyester can be made sustainably from recycled plastic, it is hard to believe that Jaded, with a sustainability rating of ‘we avoid’ (1 star out of 5), would be considering these extra costs in their production.
Other than the Sydney Carlson collaboration, there are many more items that have been influenced by smaller brands. Whilst these are less direct there is certainly inspiration being taken and clear exploitation of smaller brands’ creativity. There is apparent similarity between the Hosberg trousers and those of Jaded and the use of printed eyes on tops within Jaded’s Velocity range appears to be a nod to the brand OffKut.
Jaded’s habit of taking inspiration from growing designers has enabled the brand to stay consistent in popularity. Whilst Jaded prides itself on the ability to stay highly trendy, this, in turn, hinders the brand as trends are constantly changing and therefore the brand has no art direction. Jaded lacks identity as it just reproduces what is popular. A glance at their variety of collections, which include 70’s, y2k, velour, patch-work denim, and graffiti styles, reveals their prioritisation of trend-led fast fashion over ethical, sustainable pieces. From this we can take notice of important questions of sustainable shopping: ‘do you like the item, or do you just like it because it is trendy?’, and therefore ‘will it last the test of time?’. And whilst Jaded have said they are taking small steps to become more sustainable, there are many small independent brands that are already sustainably conscious that have similar pieces available. Check for alternatives, shop small, and don’t shop just for trends.