As part of our founder interview series, we speak with Morten Underbjerg from Le Pirol about creating a sustainable knitwear brand that nurtures Danish craftsmanship.
What were you doing before you launched Le Pirol? What inspired you to launch your own sustainable knitwear label?
I'm born and raised in Denmark and have more than 10 years of experience as a designer for fashion houses at home and abroad. To name a few is Valentino, Moncler and Alberta Ferretti. I graduated in 2010 from Royal College of Art (MA) in London.
After years of experience in the fashion industry, I decided that things had to be done completely differently and with a strong focus on sustainability.
I have seen the production side of the fashion business and I was shocked. I was inspired to change things and move the production back to Denmark.
How does Le Pirol embrace the slow fashion movement?
We are season-less, and we introduce new styles when they are ready. We also exclusively sell online, directly to the consumer, which allows us to care a lot more for the environment, quality, design and price.
Why is it important that your collection is made in Denmark?
For me it is all about the craftsmanship… and I want to nurture this craftsmanship in Denmark. Denmark have a proud history of making knitwear dating all the way back to the early 1900s. Le Pirol is on a mission to keep this craft alive.
How do you try and limit your waste at Le Pirol?
All the waste we produce with our knitwear is donated to a German company and used for insulation in houses.
How would you describe the aesthetic of Le Pirol? Where do you get your design inspiration?
Le Pirol is brought to life through clean Nordic lines and graphic shapes, impeccable tailoring and beautiful sustainable yarns. The Le Pirol aesthetic is inspired by my interests in art, fashion, culture, craftsmanship and nature.
How do your Nordic Roots influence the design and philosophy of Le Pirol?
The clean lines of Nordic nature and the sea is something we use every time we design something new.
‘Ethical Fashion’ can be a bit of a buzzword. What does ‘ethical fashion’ mean to you?
Ethical fashion is for us “a new normal”… NOT a trend but a necessary move in the right direction.
How do you embrace sustainability in your everyday life?
Personally I don’t own a car and I don’t eat any meat… working with sustainability on a daily basis makes you much more aware!
If you were not working on knitwear, what would you be designing?
Ahhh… good question… probably would be designing graphics or prints.
How would you like to see Le Pirol grow in the future?
We are growing fast in Denmark and would like to grow worldwide. We wish to show the world that sustainable knitwear is more than beige and grey.