Johanna Nilsson has worked with non-profits since she was 16, with a focus on fair trade and sustainability. But she never dreamed she would be a jewellery designer.
"It just sort of happened," Nilsson told The Local with a laugh.
"In 2007 I was living at a youth exchange outside of Bangkok for a couple of months, and I got this idea to do something with the fashion industry and my contacts in Thailand."
Having worked with non-profits addressing problems and working conditions in the textile industry, Nilsson wanted to prove that it was possible to have a company with transparent production. With a friend in Thailand who is an educated jewellery designer, she started JohannaN – sustainable jewellery fusing Nordic design and Thai handicraft.
Nilsson grew up in northern Sweden, and until recently lived in Umeå, nicknamed Björknarnas stad – the city of birches. When she started designing jewellery, she took a piece of inspiration from home – literally.