Jonah Jay

The Profile: Faux Leather Label Jonah Jay


When most people think of sustainable fashion, they think organic cotton tees and bamboo separates. What Jilian Naiberg has brought to the industry is eco-friendly fashion with an edge. The Toronto-based designer recently launched Jonah Jay, a tightly edited selection of faux leather pieces, all under $200.

After seeing the brand in person (believe me, they look and feel a lot like the real thing!) at a local media preview, I had a few burning q’s for the fledgling fashion entrepreneur. And here they are.

*What does sustainability mean to you?
Sustainability means making every effort to maintain the environment’s natural conditions. Jonah Jay uses a 100 percent polyurethane fabric, which is the most eco-friendly option for vegan leather. It looks and feels incredible without releasing any harmful chemicals during production, like a PVC would. We now have so many amazing sustainable options in fashion, so ignoring them makes no sense to me. I want to leave my mark on my customers, not on my surroundings!

*Why did you choose to focus on six key pieces for your launch?
I wanted to focus on six key pieces as a way of introducing people to Jonah Jay. My first collection is extremely edited, and really showcases the brand’s sleek, cool style. It really illustrates how leather can be incorporated into your closet.

*Why did you choose to focus on faux leather?
Leather is a simple way to upgrade your wardrobe. Add a hint of leather and you have an instant edge without even trying. This really defines my personal style: Keeping things clean and classic, but shaking it up a bit. And there are so many reasons to choose vegan leather over real leather! First and foremost, no animals are harmed in the process of making vegan leather. Another added benefit is that the price of the fabric is radically reduced, reflected in the final product price. Offering a high quality, leather-like product without the price tag was extremely important to me.


*Where do you source your fabric from?
Our vegan leather is sourced from a Canadian fabric wholesaler.

*Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
It’s hard to choose, but I have been wearing the Danny Shorts non-stop. They’re the perfect shorts to wear into the fall and the fit is amazing; not too tight and not too short. The Asher Tee is also a classic. You can wear it with sweatpants and still look put-together enough to go run your errands.

*How can customers best take care of their pieces?
The absolute best way to take care of your vegan leather items is to do a gentle hand wash and lay flat to dry. You can, of course, send to the dry cleaners.  The most exciting part about our vegan leather is that you can iron or steam out any wrinkles on the reverse side of the fabric. Make sure to flip your garment inside out when ironing and avoid going over the seams.

*Can you divulge any future plans? Will you be adding to the line?
Absolutely! We are currently in production for our new Holiday 2017 collection, which will be launching in a couple of months. We’re working with a new soft, rich vegan suede fabric that drapes beautifully. Some of our bestsellers, like the Asher Tee, will be offered in this new fabric. We’ll also be adding in new styles including the perfect biker jacket… We can’t wait to wear it every day!

Shop the collection here

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