by James Veenhoff, House of Denim foundation
Yay!! It's our anniversary. 12,5 years of House of Denim
Ever realise in shock that you've forgotten a big anniversary? I had that feeling this morning as I sat with my partner-in-crime Mariette Hoitink discussing this month's to do list. Today is - to the day - 12,5 years since we brought together a broad group of thinkers, doers, makers and lovers to solve an urgent question: "How might we save the denim industry?".
That day in January of 2010, we conceived the vision, purpose and activities of the House of Denim foundation. To connect & inspire leaders throughout the world of denim, to take it 'towards a brighter blue'. To advocate the good, to collaborate for the better and to educate the best'.
Although we were laughed at by many at first ("Dude, what have you been smoking?", "You will NEVER make any money"), I think it's safe to say that the Believers won. Collaboration IS the name of the game. Sustainability IS the agenda du jour and Jean School IS the coolest school on the planet.
There's truckloads of work yet to be done, but - with 12,5 years in this game - I feel that looking back to where we came from, and looking up from the hard work we are doing, many of us deserve a little celebration and a mini applause for the progress we are committed to, even making.
This adventure has taken us to the US and Brazil, to Italy, Spain, Turkey and Tunisia, to India, China and Japan - meeting amazing people and making friends along the way. Thanks to Kingpins, we are now connected to the avant garde of our industry all around the world.
Together, we've set up the Jean School, realised a Denim City in Amsterdam and Sao Paulo, hosted Indigo Embassy dialogues around the world, organised Denim Days and Global Denim Awards, founded the Denim Deal, promoted Post Consumer Recycled cotton as the new normal, thought about ways to inspire Making Better Choices, shared breakfast with industry leaders 10 times and seen 9 new generations of talent grow and graduate from Jean School. A hundred adventures, for which we are forever grateful.
From my Turkish friends and partners, i learned a beautiful proverb: "Bir Elin Nesi Var, Iki Elin Sesi Var", which - if i understand correctly - translates loosely into 'one hand can only wave, to make noise you need two hands' - a mantra for collaboration. Thanks to everyone who's contributed to our ideas, movement and impact.
Thanks to all of you. Congratulations to all of us.
See you in October when Kingpins comes back to town, when we will celebrate 12,5 years of House of Denim, 10 years of Jean School and 5 years of Denim City. Keep up the good work on taking our industry 'towards a brighter blue' and never forget: we are the DENIM industry. It's up to us to be a shining example for other industries... and be bad-ass in the process.
More information about House of denim foundation and all their activities you can find here