Disrupt the standard

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Interview with Jimmy Gorecki

Najeeb: Hello this is Najeeb Sheikh and today with me I have Jimmy Gorecki. Jimmy, what’s up man how you been? 


Jimmy: Doing great, how about yourself ?


Najeeb: I’m doing okay. Great to link after all these years and get together and do a little project with a new brand on my end [CRTFD] and you doing the consistent JSP thing. Let's get into this. For people that don’t know where did the name JSP come from?


Jimmy: I think JSP came from the inspiration and how heavily sweatpants culture has been in the things that I’ve been into. Whether it’s skateboarding or music, and just incorporating that into kinda my day-to-day attire and then honestly just friends seeing how much I ran them and turning into a play on words like with Earl Sweatshirt back in the day. And it was just kind of a notion that was thrown out there that I thought would actually be a really cool kind of creative path to go down, not really understanding we could try and turn into a brand. It was just an idea, let’s try it out and see what happens. Luckily meeting somebody in Jarod Lee who could help me kind of fulfill that idea and having the infrastructure to make really high quality sweatpants. Just kinda combining those two things and letting it do what’s it’s done for the past couple years until we figured out a path and figured out what our flaws were and our strengths and weaknesses and helping turn it into a real thing over the course of the past 8 years.


Najeeb: Hell yeah. You mentioned Earl Sweatshirt, I know you know those guys personally. What’s he think of you adapting the name?


Jimmy: That’s a good question. I’ve never spoken to him about but I’m sure he’d be psyched about it, he’s a really nice kid. Just one of those kids that you've seen blossom over the years and now he's a young adult. Yeah, no, I don’t know... how do you feel Earl?


Najeeb: Hahah we'll get back to you guys on that for sure. We have always respected the quality level of all your shit and that you took the time and effort to make sure it’s all made in the USA. Why is that important to you and the team over at Standard Issue?


Jimmy: Well all of our stuff is made locally in Los Angeles, in Vernon specifically. For me it was completely by accident at first. When I met my partner Jarod coming into wanting to learn how to make clothes, I didn’t know anything and luckily a couple friends pointed me in his direction. As we've kind of grown this thing, I think the ability to watch the people that make it, to do it locally. It’s being able to manage things in terms of our sales capabilities and then seeing the process of it day by day, seeing the people that make it and knowing them as people and as friends and family members. It just kind of builds a team cohesion and just knowing that your employing local people that work really hard to put food on their table, it's an important thing for us and it's kind of the way that they our business has adapted.


Najeeb: Yeah, in this fashion world there’s a lot of people and a lot of companies that don’t really think about anything outside the bottom line. Committing to things like "made in USA", sustainability, things like that become difficult from a financial perspective, but just following that pursuit and knowing that it's bigger than us, it's bigger than a piece of clothing, which is really key, you now. We really love that about you guys. Going from there, we find your silhouettes to be truly timeless and classic. I got a pair of sweats on right now that came from you guys and whether they're from this year, last year, from the very first run you guys did, they're just always on brand, always a thing, ya know? That's important to us because we really look down on fast fashion and all this hype shit that's dope today and then in someone's trash can tomorrow. So how did you guys get to these silhouettes and what was kind of the thought there?


Jimmy: I think everything started in the very beginning with what our idea of the perfect sweatsuit was. Over the course of the last seven years it's changed and transformed just based on production speed and capabilities and seeing what our cut and sew, how high our ceiling was and trying to keep it in a price range that was attainable for people. Whether it's our hoodies, our crewnecks, our sweatpants, our sweat shorts it has cues some that have been with us since 2013 some that are more recent cues. But I think quality and affordability are the two main things that have motivated all of our garments to get where they are today.


Najeeb: Yeah, it really is a quality product at a great price point so respect.


Jimmy: You know and we have failed at certain things and I think learning those things that we're not good at all or you know just misfires have been part of the growth and development of it.


Najeeb: Yeah, always gotta learn from your mistakes right?


Jimmy: I think one of the things that’s been eye-opening for for myself and everyone at Standard Issue and JSP throughout this project has been your guys emphasis and commitment to sustainability of the materials that were using for it. What's driven you guys to be so committed and identify this as an important aspect to your garments?


Najeeb: Coming from our background of our regenerative agriculture, we really got to see firsthand the cause and effect of farming waste and people not really caring about the planet around them and how that affects you know everything, every day, everything you do every day from the pollution you deal with, the stuff that we breathe, the trash you have to step over in the city streets. We're a very interesting mix of people at CRTFD, we're creatives from all walks of life and when we all got together we all saw the common link was that we all just wanted to do something that was bigger than us and at the end of the day we want to do something that can help the planet rather than harm the planet. And then you know there’s a lot of things from a design perspective that really become challenges, everything from dyeing techniques and material cost and labor cost and we really realize that the market, especially from a production end, is not really set up to be sustainable and there’s been a lot of challenges but it was really important to us to put out a product that again, is bigger than us and bigger than fashion. And we find so many things that end up in the waste in a short period of time - and there’s just so many ways to reuse, be responsible and reimagine fabrics and materials to give them new life and now we’re just making it our responsibility to do that.


Jimmy: That's dope. Can you tell me a little more about what makes hemp a more sustainable material choice rather than other materials that might be out there?


Najeeb: Yeah, hemp is a really great option when talking materials as far as fabrics go. Everything from the growing process to the final product. We found that growing hemp in comparison to cotton uses a lot less water, it has a lot shorter growth cycle so you can essentially get to your usable product in a shorter amount of time. Unlike cotton which can deplete the nutrients out of the soil, hemp can grow consecutively for over 20 years without affecting the soil. A single hemp plant yields over 220% more fiber compared to a cotton plant. It just really makes sense on a lot of levels. Hemp is one of those things like marijuana, which got a bad name early when it was just first being used and it’s really been hard for people to look at hemp with a neutral eye and not really let the stigma hold back hemp and cannabis from their full potential. We are coming from a place where we want to use everything to its full potential. It's who we are as humans and who we are as wanting to evolve now and if you’re leaving things on the table it’s wasteful. And you have this plant thats actually really good and can be used in so many ways it seems really silly to to not take advantage of it because some people talk bad about it in the past. It's interesting to see it being used for all types of things, like building material with hempcrete, it's being used on the medical side with all kinds of creams and lotions and things of that sense. The planet is really a beautiful place and theres so many things that if offers us and you really want to cherish those things rather than take advantage of those things. It's really all we have, we have one earth and we want to pass it on to those that come after us, ya know?


Jimmy: I like the fact that we... you know I'm older. How old are you Najeeb?


Najeeb: I'm just over 40


Jimmy: You're older than me? I always thought I was older than you?


Najeeb: How old are you?


Jimmy: I'm 38. Well I like the fact that we are taking things that for us growing up you [think of hemp and you] only thought of belts and hacky sacks and we turn those same misconceptions into some really really nice clothing, you know, it's very fashionable. Just fixing generational things that have always been like misconstrued.


Najeeb: Yeah man, it’s great catching up with you. Really excited for this project to come out and get to share these thoughts and these creations with the rest of the world and hopefully we can just kind of open peoples minds a bit and have them thinking about more responsible ways to drip on people. We're not saying not to go out and do your thing and wear what makes you feel good and look good but if you can think about the planet and think about others while doing it, why not?


Jimmy: I think that’s a good sidebar, like when I look at a lot of your design history it has a lot of depth to it and I think everything that you guys are working to achieve through Certified [CRTFD] aligns completely with that, specifically with showing people that you can actually make like nutritional clothing. So yeah, I think everything that you guys are set out to do, you are going to achieve. I appreciate you guys considering us for it.


Najeeb: Thanks man, it's one of those things that just made sense on our end. Its great when you can work with friends to put out good products.

"...when I look at a lot of your design history it has a lot of depth to it and I think everything that you guys are working to achieve through Certified [CRTFD] aligns completely with that, specifically with showing people that you can actually make nutritional clothing."
- Jimmy Gorecki

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