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Why things cost what they cost: the first of (who knows how many) blog posts

We often get questions or comments surrounding the pricing of our products, and while no brand really needs to explain why their products cost what they cost, we think it's important to shed some light on it to help you (our beloved customers) decide if and why you should spend your hard earned money with us.

Using our new pillow collection as an example (and you know we'll do anything to be able to talk about them), we want to be as transparent as possible about what goes into making these babies.

Where are they made? We work with a small, family run factory in Slovenia who take the plain fabric and turn it into printed, cut and sewn, finished pillows. As everything is designed in and eventually shipped to Stockholm, Sweden, we try to work with factories that are as close as possible to our base and in the European Union. It means the products don't need to travel as far to get to us, and we know that there are stricter production rules here for factories to follow.
How are they made? We see the word 'artisan' being thrown around a lot nowadays, but the products it's used to describe are usually severely underpriced - which makes you wonder if these artisans are really being paid sufficiently for their skills... That being said, these manufacturers really are artisans, and we think they deserve to be paid fairly for it. All of the fabric is silkscreen printed, which (anyone who has ever dabbled in the art of printmaking) will know is a technique that takes a decent amount of experience and skill to master. Yes, we could move to digitally printed fabrics and let the machines take over, but silkscreen printing is how KJP started and it just makes each piece a little bit more special.
These pillows in particular use more fabric and take longer to sew because they are anything but basic - so of course we need to take that into consideration.
What are they made with? Our pillows are made with Oeko-tex certified, organic linen and are screen printed with organic, water-based pigments. What's the big deal about Oeko-tex? Being Oeko-tex certified means that the fabric has been tested for harmful substances like formaldehyde, pentachlorophenol, nickel and more, and has been declared safe for human use. This certification, along with the pigments used, means that not only are no toxic substances used during production, but also that no harmful chemicals are going down the drain during the washing of the fabric - and that your skin is safe!
But... how do you end up with the final retail price? Obviously we won't go into detail about the mark-ups and margins's boring! But it's also important to consider this as a factor as to why things cost what they cost.
We want to make our products as widely available as possible, and we're able to do this with the help of our lovely, worldwide stockists. Having stockists in all corners of the world means that not only are we able to reach a whole new audience, but also that you're able to shop KJP in person - without the additional cost of a shipping fee or the worry that you'll need to pay yet another shipping fee when you realise you didn't order enough amazing pillows (we also sell other cool things). So, in order to sell our products to stockists and for them to be able sell our products to you at our RRP, we need to mark the prices up so that not only do we make a fair amount when we wholesale the items (after all, we did design and produce everything), but also so that our stockist can make a fair amount in return.
Why talk about all of this now? Whether you have a small business, have a friend with a small business or support small businesses, you'll likely be aware that this year has been especially tough on the smaller brands. We never want to be overly pushy with our products, but the reality is that we make things to sell and we need customers to buy them if they like them. So the point of all of this is to try to explain why you (and only if you want to) should choose to spend more with us as opposed to another brand, big or small, who maybe aren't so transparent or responsible with their manufacturing.
We want to highlight that in a time where we're prioritising on buying less, we should also be prioritising buying things that are more special.

Whether you've read all the way down to here because you're genuinely interested, or are just wondering what on earth has warranted my first (and potentially last dependant on the response) blog post - thaaaank you! This felt too long and unsolicited to squeeze into my usual, casual email, but it's something I've wanted to talk about for a while because I think it's a conversation we should have. We'll often talk or read about responsible manufacturing/consuming when it comes to fashion, yet I don't see nearly as much discourse about the home textile industry, despite there being many similarities between the two. I do not by any means see myself as a maven in sustainability and actually try to stay away from that word because : greenwashing. However, I do know that we've prioritised responsible manufacturing over making all of the cool products that we would really love to make for you, so I think it deserves a mention :-)

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