As part of our founder interview series, we speak with founders Anne and Katrine to learn more about the ethos the drives their sustainable fashion label, laøhlé.
When did you start laøhlé, and what inspired you to create a sustainable fashion label?
We launched laøhlé in February 2019, but it has been in the making since we were quite young. Actually, since we were teenagers, we’ve known each other always, our Grandparents even knew each other. The name laøhlé is a symbol of our long history because it is a mix of our Grandparents’ family names.
Sustainability was to us a given, we want to prove that sustainability is not about compromise, but has just as many playful, creative opportunities as the conventional way of doing fashion.
What is the ethos that drives laøhlé?
Social sustainability is key to us. By this we especially focus on living wages rather than minimum wages and good working conditions for the many, many hands that touch the product from the creation till the sale of it.
Our production is fourfold; the jewellery is crafted by us in our studio, the garments are produced partly at a small sewing factory in the main part of Jutland, our knits are made about 20 km west of the sewing factory at a family run production. Last but not least part of our garments are sewn in Haryana in India.
How would you describe the design aesthetic of laøhlé? Who do you envision wearing your brand?
It is key to us to create classic, yet contemporary styles, we want people to relate to our pieces regardless of age. We are also trying to show this in our choice of models; showcasing both traditional models and more mature women as well.
What were you doing before you launched laøhlé?
We launched laøhlé simultaneously with our studies; Katrine whilst studying Fashion Design at VIA design and me, Anne, whilst studying Accessory Design at Design School Kolding, as an attempt to understand the sustainable supply chain by creating and facilitating a sustainable supply chain.
Has sustainability always played a central role in your lives?
Not always, but through our educations it became more and more obvious to us, that an empathic supply chain is the only way to do things nowadays.
In our private lives, however, we have always strived towards a sustainable lifestyle especially focusing on the pace of our consumption of lifestyle products. We believe that this is one of the biggest Achilles heels of sustainable fashion.
Structurally we want to lower the overconsumption by producing long lasting classics rather than collection after collection.
‘Ethical Fashion’ can be a bit of a buzzword. What does ‘ethical fashion’ mean to you?
To us it means being vocal about what sustainable values we strive towards, and transparency about where and how we produce.
We strongly believe a sustainable brand starts with high quality materials; this is why we only use organic, deadstock or recycled materials.
What do you look for in other brands that you support?
Idealism and knowledge. We are complete suckers for people who are passionate about what and how they create more products in our overfilled world.
When people really investigate their product down to the last detail, they deserve support for creating meaningful and niche products.
Why did you choose to produce locally?
We produce partly in Denmark and partly at a GOTS-certified factory in Haryana in India. We love the dynamic of the two, because of the collaboration, which a local production offers to us, we can follow the making of our items at a very, very close range, allowing an attentive product development. And the pros towards our Indian production is supporting a strong local community in the province and being very close to the mills where the fabrics are made.
What is your go-to outfit for a day out?
We are quite boring ourselves actually, since we are constantly in our workshop creating jewellery and samples, yet we usually put on a Mandy Dress on top of our workwear to go from practical to chic in a jiff.
How would you like to see laøhlé grow in the future?
As of right now, we have a small studio and shop in the heart of Aarhus in Denmark; this is where we create, and where we invite people to explore our Universe. To us creating fashion starts and ends with the people involved, from designer, craftsman and to the customer in the end and we would love to be able to invite even more people into experiencing our aesthetics and how little compromise sustainable fashion means in a modern world.