Hey neighbours! We love making new acquaintances close to home, and Copenhagen-based brand Skall Studio – skall meaning seashell in Danish – is one of our latest discoveries. The sustainably run fashion label is designed by Julie and Marie Skall – a sister duo that share roots in the Northern part of Denmark where they grew up together by the sea, a time that still influences them greatly: “We feel a very strong connection to the sea and nature, and we love animals! So when we started Skall Studio, we had to have a sustainable focus and create our collections with respect for the environment, people and animals.”
Their idea of good design is narrowed down to “beautiful, timeless and long-lasting clothes that are not influenced by the quickly shifting fashion trends that often lead to mass-production and a stressful work environment.” Enjoying a slow process with the intent of creating something with value and meaning, they make their clean-lined collections with natural fabrics and a neutral color palette.
What does sustainability mean to you – in fashion, and in life?
Sustainability has become a word with many definitions. To us, it means living with care and respect for everything – people, animals, mother Earth – in your daily life. We are both vegetarians, and don’t use any leather or fur. We buy a lot of second hand clothes, furniture and other things, and when buying or creating something new, it must be of value, high quality and have a purpose. There is too much “cheap crap” in the world, and we don’t wish to support that.
Would you care to share your design and production process?
We only make two collections per year, one for each season. We start almost one year ahead of the particular season as we want to make sure that we have enough time to develop the new collection and we also want to give our suppliers enough time to produce them.
We start with a small workshop talking about ideas, silhouettes, fabrics and the mood for the collection. We use shared Pinterest mood boards, and usually agree on the themes for the collections. Afterwards, we roughly sketch up the collection by hand and start the sourcing process. We love working with different types of fabric constructions, and often design our own fabrics and prints.
We make technical sketches and instructions that we share with our suppliers and from that they make mock-ups and samples for us. From start to finish, we normally receive 2-3 samples of each style, and we work closely with our suppliers to get the right fitting and finish. There goes a lot into the workmanship, and we always aim to get everything as beautiful as possible, without compromising on the quality of the garment.
What materials do you work with, and how do you source them?
We love natural fabrics and work a lot with organic cotton and linen. We source these fabrics from India where we are also producing our collections. India has a long and rich tradition of making cotton and cotton garments. It is the most natural place for us to both source and produce our collections.
We work closely with a few factories and people whom we have known and worked with for many years, and love traveling to India twice a year to visit our partners and source new fabrics. Besides organic cotton and linen, we also work with locally sourced wool and produce knit sweaters in Denmark.
What about packaging?
When it comes to packing we try to minimize the plastic. We use biodegradable plastic bags for packing the clothes and encourage our suppliers to reuse the plastic bags whenever needed. We also reuse the packing materials that we receive in our studio; cartons and bags are kept and used again. Unfortunately, we haven’t found a way to do without them yet.
Tell us about your repair service!
We offer a full repair service for all of our collections, no matter how old or what season. Our clothes should last as long as possible, and we are always ready to assist our customers.
What’s up next?
We are always trying to do more and better. Positive change and development is key for our brand and business, and we are never standing still. Right now, we are exploring the possibilities of working with deadstock fabrics – fabrics that have already been produced, but have ended up in a warehouse, rejected by other brands for minor reasons like being the wrong tone of color. By using something pre-existing, or recycling, we can save a lot of good resources and prevent more waste from being produced.
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