The Ocean, the Winds, and an Unmistakabel Love for Knitwear
Some twenty years ago, Tina Karstorp had an idea. Actually, it blew her away, and it seemed impossible not to go ahead with it. Every year, summer or fall, it's the same story. Wind in the sails and sun at your back. But anyone who has ever been at sea knows that regardless of how warm the weather is, you always need an extra sweater. One more layer, a little more warmth. But the fabric's thickness isn't always the crucial part. The wind at sea is just as welcome as it is unpredictable. It will push the boat forward or cool the people on board down. And this is where it all started...
When we first started, there was a need for warm sweaters to keep the wind out. Today there are many other materials which can act as protective layers. That’s why we’ve taken our knowledge in knitting forward, and developed our clothes to become part of an outfit. They still have that marine feeling, though, and we’ll always return to that; to the ocean and the freedom.
For many years, we had our own factory, in Gällstad Sweden, where our sweaters were knitted. Thus, in 2004, our machinery was moved to Lithuania, where we let a local family business – not unlike our own – take over the production. Because we produce our clothes just across the Baltic Sea, and as we purchase our yarns only from European suppliers, we have short transportations and the possibilities to affect the end results are endless.
This year we celebrate 20 years! And ever since Holebrook’s first day, knitting has been our focus. Over the years, our collections have grown and expanded with new qualities. It was knitting that started it all, and we continue forward by developing our knitted garments and techniques.
To Holebrooks, knitting is a craftmanship. Our garments may be knitted by a machine in a factory, but in order for the end result to become a sweater, cardigan or dress, you need a great deal of craftmanship knowledge. The journey from idea to finished sweater is long, and it isn't until we feel good about every detail, that we'll start the machines. All our clothes are made in Europe, by partners who we have been working with for a long time, who maintain our high quality, and value work on fair terms. It gives us a good insight into the production, as well as shorter transportations and a smaller impact on the environment.
An important part in our craftmanship is that we choose and buy all yarn and details such as buttons and zippers ourselves, and then hire the factory to carry out the knitting. Trough the years, we've learned quite a few things about knitting, which we believe will affect the sweater when you start wearing it.
Which yarn we use- as well as its qualities - is the main factor affecting the end result. We buy all our yarn from European suppliers; the quality is high and we always choose yarns which we know are durable enough to be worn, and are sustainable in an environmental perspective as well.
Aside from the yarn, which is the biggest factor in determining the end result, the knitting technique plays a crucial part as well. Perfect thickness, perfect warmth and just the right amount of exclusivity, carefully combined. It may sound obvious, but knitting is a craftmanship which to this day, needs good knowledge of both yarns and techniques.
Design to us, is just as much about functionas it is about form, and just as much about quality, as it is about feel. This is also the idea which Holebrook once was founded upon; the combination of a knitted sweater of our own design, and protection from the wind. Today, some of our newer collections have other functions as well, but the design-part of the equation still remains.
This is Holebrook - Sustainability
By Colleen Condon
Holebrooks Sustainable Approach
We contribute to a more sustainable world. This is why we choose fabrics, yarns, leather details, buttons and business cooperations with care. All our garments are knitted and manufactured in Europe by suppliers that share our strive for sustainability. We create garments from long-lasting materials and with a timeless design with the ambition to offer a longer lifespan. Take care of your Holebrook piece, use it for a longtime, and we will together maintain it’s durability
Holebrook sweden strives to create collections that are environmentally friendly and has been a main focus for them from the beginning. Twenty years ago, when Holebrook was born, Tina and Peter had their our own factory in Gällstad, just 2 swedish miles away. In 2004 the machinery was moved to Lithuania, where a local company, not unlike our own, took over the production.
Today Holebook works with several different suppliers, all based in Europe. Yarns, fabrics and details are at the highest quality and carefully selected to fit their ideas and strive for sustainability and function.
Yet sustainability to us is not only about production, materials and suppliers. It just as much about high quality and long-lasting design. Holerbook's garments are made of materials that will feel good for both your skin and heart; they need to be comfortable to wear, and last over several seasons or even decades. By taking good care of your garments and using it longer, we can increase their sustainability together.
Our sustainable approach
From the very start one of our main focuses has been to make sure that our products have a very small impact on the environment. When we first started Holebrook, some twenty years ago, we had our own factory in Gällstad, a small place 20 km outside Ulricehamn where all our jumpers were made. In 2004 all the production, along with all our machines, were moved to Lithuania where a small family run company, not much different from ours, took over the actual production.Our sustainable work falls under three categories;Sustainable materials, ‘Slow Fashion’ and responsible manufacturing.These are the three main pillars that permeate our entire business.
There are various aspects to consider when it comes to the durability of a garment, like timeless design, shape and tailoring, but above all it’s the quality of the materials used that predict it’s longevity. We always make sure that all our suppliers of yarn, fabrics and accessories carry the correct environmental authorisations. They are all handpicked according to our high standards for quality and sustainability. Most of them carry the Global Organic Textile Standard certification (GOTS), one of the World’s leading manufacturing standards for textiles made of authorised ecologically produced raw materials.The Global Organic Textile Standards (GOTS) comprise strict environmental requirements to ensure organic status of textiles and socially responsible manufacturing all the way from harvesting to end consumer. Another credential is Woolmark, one of the World’s most well renowned textile authorisations for wool. The Woolmark certification is synonymous with a first-class product that carries all the way trough it’s various lifecycles, meaning the wool does not contain any damaged fibres, which in turn implies better durability of the clothes. Our garments are mostly made out of natural materials, which means they don’t need washing as often and this in turn prolongs not only the durability of the clothes but also has a positive effect on the environment over all. We are constantly looking for new suppliers that measure up to our high demands of quality and durability even in regards to recycled materials, and we follow the development of textile recycling with a keen interest to always make sure our products are of the highest quality.
‘Slow Fashion’ is a concept opposite ‘Fast Fashion’ and is an approach towards fashion that promotes good quality and a more ethical and sustainable way of living and consuming.To us that signify not just to follow on fast trends, but creating clothes that are timeless and classic in design and made to last.Our collections always have items that carry forward over several seasons. They are not in any sales and return in following collections. In fact we are still creating pieces that have been around since the very start in1999 which have become popular classics. We stay low-key when it comes to sale and choose not to take part in any ‘black Friday’ types of sales, as we believe it promotes unnecessary and irresponsible consumption.
The third category concerns our factories and producers. All manufacturing is done in Europe by suppliers that share our aim for sustainability and a good working environment. For instance one of our largest factories is operated by solar panels and most of the manufacturers we cooperate with carry one or several of the following certifications; ISO 9001, ISO 14001, GOTS, SMETA, Ecocert, BSCI, Human Rights among many others. We visit all our factories at least once a year. Our aspiration for sustainability is a constantly on going job. It is one of our primary focuses and has always permeated our business since the very start in 1999. We always make conscious choices and everything from the selection of our yarns, fabrics, buttons, leather accessories to our business relations are always selected with great care. We stay curious and informed, constantly looking for new suppliers and materials that all contribute to a less burdened environment.