Swedish production focused on the highest quality — this is the very foundation of Woolpower’s mission. We have captured this in a sentence that depicts exactly what any Woolpower product is — Responsibly Made in Sweden.
This involves responsibility across several areas. For us, responsibility means:
- placing the person behind the garment at the centre, with fair employment conditions being a given
- manufacturing highly durable products that last, so as to minimise our impact on the environment
- having good control of our supply chain
THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE GARMENTS
Woolpower garments are created through teamwork, in which everybody fulfils a necessary function. We generate efficiencies and understanding for each other by having the majority of our production chain under one roof, everything from product development, knitting and preparing the fabric, sewing and packing to warehousing and sales.
It is important for us that everybody is treated fairly and according to the same terms. All too often in the textile industry, we hear about child labour, long working shifts without rests, bans on toilet breaks and almost non-existent wages. We do not accept this. By having the production in Sweden we maintain a close relationship with everybody who in any way contributes to the production of our clothes, and we can ensure the well-being of our employees. Woolpower is proof that a clothing company can provide reasonable wages, secure employment and a workplace environment where people enjoy being.
DURABILITY AND LONG LIFE
We believe that to have sustainable clothing production we must manufacture products that last year after year. Product development at Woolpower involves ensuring high quality and improving products to give them a longer lifetime. It is not about creating a new collection for every season.
Since the entire company sits under the same roof, we can act quickly should any problems arise. All our products go through several quality control checks. Machine operators who knit our fabric check for defects during the knitting process. During preparation, the fabric is checked when we lay it out on the spreading table to cut the pieces that are to be sewn together into products. And when the seamstresses have completed the sewing of the garments, they are checked one more time. As a quality seal on a Woolpower garment, it is marked with the name of the seamstress that has sewn the entire garment.
If there is any kind of defect in the garment, the seamstress cuts off their name tag. If the defect is in the appearance of the garment, which is seldom visible to the untrained eye, but doesn’t affect the functionality of the garment, then it is sold as an imperfect product in our factory outlet store in Östersund or in our store in Ånn. If the defect is such that we simply can’t sell the garment, but the functionality is still intact, then we donate it to charity.
Research institutes, raw material manufacturers, machine suppliers and above all, users of Woolpower base layers around the world form the source of our knowledge for the future.
NEW RESOURCE FROM WASTE MATERIAL
When we cut out the pieces of our ullfrotté products, we always get small leftover bits of fabric. This waste material is torn apart and pressed back together to make felt that can be used in other types of products. We use our felt material ourselves to make sitting pads, warm insoles and slippers.
But we also cooperate greatly with other companies. These include the Swedish company Icebug that manufactures shoes. The felt material can be used in all sorts of ways, and in our web shop you can also buy sheets of felt material to create your own products.
OUR SUPPLY CHAIN
Woolpower’s supply chain is mostly located in Sweden. It is unusual for a company to have such a large part of its production chain under the same roof, as we do. But, before the yarn arrives with us and we can start to manufacture products, the wool must be processed and spun to become yarn.
Our dream is to have all the stages of production in Sweden. Unfortunately though, there aren’t enough sheep in Sweden with the quality of wool needed for base layers. Neither are there any washing or dying companies or spinning mills in Sweden that can provide the fine quality and the amount of wool yarn we need.
The wool we use comes from merino sheep that graze in Uruguay and the Argentinian part of Patagonia. The sheep there increase the ability to restore the natural flora in a sensitive landscape. Without the sheep in Patagonia, the soil would be rapidly depleted. The wool is then washed and dyed in Germany before it is spun in Romania and then finally sent to our factory in Östersund.
As a responsible company, we must have control of our supply chain. The simplest way to do that is to keep the supply chain as short as possible. So, the more we do ourselves the better position we create for ourselves to ensure good working conditions.