Aoı Project is about making sustainable everyday objects and garments in an ethical way, to replace consumer goods and add to a more sustainable wardrobe and lifestyle.
Our pieces are inspired by nature, and made with materials and fibres that are natural and biodegradable. We believe garments and accessories should be made to last, without being at the expense of our planet.
Our fabrics and notions are mindfully sourced after thorough research and consideration. We’re always striving to find the most sustainable options and ethical suppliers, and do our best to support small businesses where possible when sourcing our materials. Read more about materials, sourcing and production below.
All our objects are handmade in Norway, designed to last through wear and passing trends. We make our objects in small batches, and garments are made upon order to ensure low waste.
aoı [ao-ee] comes from the Japanese word ao (青), adjective form aoi, which is the colour word representing both blue and green in ancient Japanese.
aoi strives to be a green brand inspired by our blue planet.
All Aoi objects and garments are made solely with natural fibre fabrics and earth friendly ingredients.
We choose not to use synthetics in our makes, as those fabrics shed microplastics when washed - which may go through our watersystems and into the oceans causing a large threat on ocean life.
For our garments and bags we spend a lot of time finding the best suitable fabric option for the piece in question, to ensure durability, funcionality and comfort, as well as appearance.
Organically grown cotton uses far less water and produce nearly half the amount of CO2 compared to conventional cotton farming. With the exclution of fertilisers and pesticides in organic cotton farming, the farmers, surrounding villages and wildlife, are ensured a safe, healthier life. Our organic cotton garments are made from GOTS-certified cotton, meaning the fabric fibres are grown on a certified pesticide free farm.
Linen fabric is made from flax plant, a persistant plant that can grow in poor soil conditions, require far less water than cotton farming, and is often grown organically as there is little need for pesticides.
Linen fabric keeps cool in hot weather, is very breathable, durable, moth resistant and becomes softer with time.
Like linen, hemp is a very sustainable fabric. It’s also a bast fibre like flax, that is easy to cultivate and takes very little water compared to cotton. The hemp plant, as it’s nickname weed depicts, will grow in poor conditions, and with little need for pesticides. And hemp crops can remove heavy metals and toxins from the soil.
It is also very durable as a fabric, and will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter, making it very versatile.
Also a natural fibre, though not vegan, as it is an animal fibre, but the animals does not need to be euthanized to harvest the fleece.
The wool yarn we use come from the fleece of sheep, alpaca and goat - mohair and cashmere. We ensure the wool comes from farms which are mulesing free, that doesn’t exploit their animals, but treat them with care and respect. We try to use mostly local, Norwegian yarn, that comes from small farms where the animals are allowed to wander freely in rural surroundings.
The tencel we use is made from wood pulp harvested from tree farms that are sustainably managed and traceable.
Tencel fiber production is considered more sustainable than cotton production due to a closed-loop process, meaning that up to 99% of the water and solvents used are recycled and reused.
It’s a good alternative to animal silk fiber for it’s silky smooth texture.
Oilskin - used instead of waterproof synthetic fabric. Oilskin is a fabric made from oil/wax treated cotton canvas, making it water resistant.
Moleskin - used instead of leather or synthetic suede. Moleskin is a suede-like fabric made from cotton canvas which has been sheared on one side creating a suede feel.
Clothing and accessories go through many stages in their manufacturing process, from fibres to finished product, and we do our best to make sure all the stages in which our products go through are ethical and sustainable.
The majority of the fabrics we use are made with fibres grown at certified organic farms. Organic farming is far more sustainable and health beneficial compared to conventional farming. The heavy use of pesticides that goes into conventional farming is harmful to the farmers, as well as the surrounding villages using the contaminated water. It’s also harmful to the local wildlife as well as the soil. But the benefits of organic farming also has it’s downside, as it’s difficult to secure a good harvest while not using chemical fertilizers and being vulnerable to pests. Paying the farmers fairly for their effort is important, to secure a profit for the farmers and making organic farming more approachable.
Spinning, weaving and dyeing
After sourcing the fibres, the fabric is made, first by spinning the fibres into yarn and then woven - by handpower or machinepower. Most of the fabric we use for our products are both spun, woven and dyed in the same area, and the cotton farms they cet the fibres from are also local. We love supporting communities who foster traditional craftsmanship like handweaving and natural dyeing, it’s a labour intensive trade and important to pay fairly. We think going back to these old traditional ways of making cloth is a step forwards.
The organic cotton fabrics we use come from fair trade communities in south west India, and the hemp and linen has European origin.
After the fabric has been woven and occasionally dyed, it is transported to us and sewn into Aoi garments and accessories. For now, the Aoi production team consists of one person. All of our makes are designed and sewn in Oslo, Norway by the Aoi founder. Every piece is made with patience and commitment, to be worn and loved for many years to come.
We believe being transparent about our supply chain, manufacturing process and make-costs helps enlighten and put focus on what goes into making the finished products. On each of our product pages you will find a breakdown of cost, material use and origin. Showing our customers how much it costs to make an item, where the materials are made, who makes them and what they’re made off is an important step towards an ethical and sustainable fashion industry.
For each purchase you make with us, we are able to support organisations who work for a better environment. We have partnered with OneTreePlanted to help global reforestation – for each aoı object a tree is planted. We also make an annual donation to WWF in order to help stop ocean pollution and animal extinction.