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With an emphasis on being both sustainable in approach and intentional in design, Jota-Kena celebrates individuality and laid-back luxury through distinctive denim creations.

Jota-Kena was founded by designer sisters Tanith and Keziah Swinford alongside their dad John out of a shared desire to build a modern-day family brand.

Growing up on an idyllic riverside farm in the Northern Cape province of South Africa with a dad working in agricultural science and a grandfather farming cotton, maize and lucerne, the sisters‘ farm-to-table childhood understandably influenced their approach to life and fashion. Caring about every person and process that makes up a garment meant an ethical, sustainable route was the only way to go in building their brand.

Jota-Kena was founded on five principles: being eco-friendly, sustainable, transparent, ethical and charitable, with 10 percent of profits going to non-profit organisations involved in uplifting communities, ranging from women’s shelters to education and more.

Jota is a Spanish genre of music and dance, and Kena means “kind” and “unselfish” in Estonian. The brand’s logo is a fan palm leaf, which has been considered since ancient times as a symbol of celebration and victory with integrity. Accordingly, Jota-Kena’s name and logo reference the importance of nature, ethics and aesthetic appeal.

Committed to sourcing only the finest sustainable cotton denim and combining it with exceptional craftsmanship, embroidery artwork and trims, including their custom nickel-free alloy buttons, the brand presents its signature style in a fresh, forward way every season.

Click the Butterfly Mark to discover the brand’s unique Positive Actions

Jota Kena has been awarded the Butterfly Mark for their measurable impact and company-wide commitments to sustainability.

Want to learn more? Click on the interactive Butterfly Mark on your left and scroll through each Positive Action to read a short description of the brands efforts and achievements as verified by Positive Luxury. You will also be able to find the interactive Butterfly Mark online on the brands website, retailer and partner sites.

Impact and Commitment



Every Jota-Kena jacket is packaged in a sustainable, reusable bull denim tote embroidered with the brand’s palm leaf logo and name on the sides. The brand’s swing tags are also made from recycled cardboard.


Jota-Kena’s denim is sourced from the only denim mill in the world to have received the EU Ecolabel and Nordic Swan Award. In addition, the denim mill recycles all water in manufacturing for other industrial uses.



Since Jota-Kena’s garments are made to order, the brand is able to operate on a zero-waste policy in-house. In addition, they use production cut-offs of their premium 100% cotton denim to create signature bucket hats.


After their first year spent working on product development from their studio in Cape Town, South Africa, the Swinford sisters moved to Turkey to be fully present in setting up production for their brand. They focused on building good relationships with their team and ensuring that the best practices are followed and value is placed on every person involved in the brand’s processes.

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