What’s your story?
My wife Nicha and I started JOOB because we wanted to build a business that leads the way in sustainability, fair trade, and giving back. Because we love the outdoors and are very active we wanted to develop a line of women’s and men’s clothes that had a sense of style, could be used doing anything anywhere, all while being climate neutral and using sustainable materials and processes. We lived in Japan for a few years and really liked the simple tailored cut of clothes there and the subtle color palettes – so we wanted to bring that to the activewear market. We don’t want people to feel like they are wearing yoga clothes or hiking clothes or workout clothes – but they can wear JOOB doing all of those things and more.
What is your “why”?
Because the apparel industry and business, in general, does a crappy job of protecting and preserving the environment and tends to have profit as a sole focus. We believe businesses can balance profit with the planet and people to sustainably grow. So we put our money where our mouths were and started JOOB with our own money, fully bootstrapped.
What’s your flagship product?
Our customers are people that love the outdoors and being out there, whatever they do – and want to protect the places they cherish for future generations. Our Everywhere pants/shorts and our superfine merino beanies are two of our most popular products.
Why does sustainability matter?
Because if we don’t act sustainably and ethically there won’t be much of a planet to give to our children. We need to help our planet breathe, and every company should be leading in this effort rather than waiting for governments to act.
Do you contribute to your local community?
We give 1% of our revenues to the Huron River Watershed Council – which is a 1% for the Planet member. This organization is focused on preserving our local watershed and provides local and federal agencies with data on water quality across our region, enabling them to act with data-driven decisions. Nicha and I volunteer and do water sampling throughout the summer.
We also give another 2% to Climate Neutral, a Boston-based non-profit that enables companies to measure, reduce, and offset their carbon emissions – so they can be climate neutral. Before JOOB started we began the practice of being climate neutral, and continue this practice with our partner. We are stoked that 100s of other companies are getting on board.
Advice for entrepreneurs?
Nothing is ever easy, but it can be very rewarding to follow your passion, whatever it may be. It will always lead you to the right path – taking it is the first step.