Noko Jeans was a fashion company. Active 2007–2011, founded by Jacob Åström, Tor Rauden Källstigen and Jakob Ohlsson. It is the first foreign company to import jeans from North Korea.
When Noko Jeans launched the sales of their first collection in December 2009, criticism was aimed at the brand because of the sourcing of jeans from the North Korean dictatorship. The founders of Noko Jeans defended themselves, saying that they had been present at the factory during production and documented it to guarantee that no child labor had been used, and that workers had working conditions that were in compliance with international standards. The controversy prompted the Swedish retail store PUB to withdraw the jeans from their shelves; the PUB spokesperson stated that they did not want anything to do with politics.
The two unisex models were designed in collaboration with fashion designer Julia Hederus. Both models are designed based on the Noko Jeans story.
Kara Slim Fit is a tighter model with a regular waist.
Oke Loose Fit is more baggy, with a drop-crotch. Oke Loose Fit has a regular waist.
The production were made by a mining company in Pyongyang during the summer of 2009 In total 1100 pieces were made.
The pants were sold through Noko Jeans' online store, as well as the Noko Jeans Museum in Stockholm. The Noko Jeans Museum was opened in Stockholm, Sweden December 5, 2009, when the PUB department store refused to continue selling the Oke and Kara jeans, worried that they would become involved in the current public debate regarding the ethics of selling clothes produced in the country of North Korea
About two weeks later, on December 18, 2009, Noko Jeans opened their own department museum on Södermalm, Stockholm. It was only available for a limited time and the doors finally closed on February 6, 2010.