Junya Watanabe finds inspiration for his Man S/S 2020 collection in sustainable and traceable fishery, Fiskerikajen.

Posted on 16 July, 2019

The small fishery in Copenhagen, with its focus on sustainability, gentle coastal fishing and promoting a fair wage for local fishermen, caught our eyes a while ago when we were looking for a supplier of local and seasonal fish for our restaurants like Mirabelle.

But it would appear we’re not alone: Comme des Garçon protégé Junya Watanabe has also taken a special interest in the company – specifically their green fish logo. 

The designer is known for his workwear-based designs, often referencing clothing that is rooted in manual labour and notions of masculinity. This season’s decision to welcome fishmongers into the fray saw the inclusion of fisherman vests cut into the front of tailored jackets, logos from Fergus Henderson’s London restaurant St John and our very own Fiskerikajen‘s green fish plastered on tote bags and jackets.

The use of credible brands like Levi’s and Carhartt as collaborators, prints taken from intellectual indie titles like Civilization and insignia from sustainable brands read as a manifesto of the modern man. The hunter gatherer has evolved, now he wears organic cotton and eats traceable fish. 

Propelling a company like Fiskerikajen onto the homepage of Vogue.com and into the collective consciousness is a brilliant use of a platform derived from an industry grappling with its own sustainability crisis: it helps push a vital conversation further into the mainstream. 

The sobering reality is that vast swathes of our oceans are experiencing a collapse in life far greater than on land – and it is almost entirely due to commercial fishing. 

Massive fishing vessels from rich nations are catching huge amounts from surrounding poor nations, causing problems for local fishermen and denying millions a major source of protein. They directly impact the numbers of sharks, tuna, turtles, albatrosses, dolphins and other marine life that call the ocean home. 

Meanwhile, indiscriminate trawling disturbs the seabeds and dredges up any and all things in its path. Fish farming is no better, as farmed fish and shellfish wreak havoc on natural ecosystems and contribute to water pollution.

Fiskerikajen work to combat this by championing local fishermen and gentle coastal fishing. They’ve worked with coastal fishermen from Langø and Kutterfisk ApS to found Kystfiskerkompagniet ApS – a small fish processing and wholesale company that aims to revitalise Danish coastal fishing by providing local fishermen with logistical solutions.

They refuse to fish endangered species, such as eels, sharks and bluefin tuna, instead viewing any restrictions as an opportunity to source new, more sustainable produce. 

We have great respect for the sea around us and know that if our children also need to be able to eat fresh fish, it is important that we take a responsibility

Fiskerikajen

They are members of the Association for Gentle Coastal Fishing (FSK), with whom they and WWF partnered with on the project “Fra Hav Til Tallerken”, funded by the Velux foundation. Since 2012 they have co-hosted the fundraiser “Kokke For Skånsomt Kystfiskeri” at Odd Fellow Palæet, which raises funds for FSK.

Currently they have no plans to launch their own fisherman fashion line.