Monday, December 3, 2007

Wooly Wooly

After my recent discovery of Scandinavian fashion design at Plagg boutique in the Marais, I was doing a little Internet surfing and came across the site of Gudrun & Gudrun, Set on the remote Faroe Islands, which are located in the far North Atlantic Ocean between Norway and Iceland, Gudrun & Gudrun is a knit based design company owned and operated by two Faroese women, Gu∂run Ludvig and Gu∂run Rógvadótti. These two innovative women create designs that are inspired by the myth and history of these misty lands as well as a dedication to its traditional knitting techniques and materials. But don’t imagine those bulky, cable knit sweaters, rather Gudrun & Gudrun’s Fall 2007 line showed sexy, sleek, totally contemporary styles that look good on the streets of Paris or New York, while always maintaining an interest in serving their local clientele.

An island that boasts more sheep then humans, knitting was and remains a fundamental and practical method of keeping warm. As their website explains, when the Vikings came to the Faroe Islands a thousand years ago, sheep were set free to roam the lands and have been there ever since adapting to the rough terrain and weather. Obviously there is a huge respect for the sheep and the women of Gudrun & Gudrun have developed their products with a sustainable approach to this history. Skins and wool are taken from the sheep farms that are for food production, and they also developed a fish leather from fish skins for a line of jewelry- the fish skins also being a waste product in the fishing industry. The wool used in the clothing is either untreated or colored with natural dyes.

As the demand increased for their original designs, the women expanded production levels by employing women from Jordan, a country that has a long-standing tradition with knitting as well. They state on their website that they are proud to know every knitter by name and that this is an essential component to their work and company ethic. In October a knitting workshop took place in Jordan in which about 40 women attended. This type of collaboration is an ideal of globalism and though it would be amazing to have a company like this in all the department stores around the world, the beauty of this group is very much in its small, accessible and grounded nature.

Take a look online:

1 comment:

Ogie said...

Nice article about Gudrun & Gudrun. It is a company I have know of for awhile. I have written a small article about Faroese wool and some other companies in the Faroe Islands if you are interested.