An investment in swedish industry woolpower building a new factory in Östersund
“We are demonstrating that clothes don’t need to be manufactured in low-salary countries. Running a successful textile manufacturing company is possible here in Sweden. We are the only Swedish brand that knits and sews all our clothes in Sweden and Östersund, despite our size. We’ve done so since we first started in 1969 and we’re proud to keep our production here,” says Linus Flodin, CEO at Woolpower.
Swedish production focused on the highest quality is the very foundation of our business concept. Customers increasingly demand garments that are manufactured fairly and that last a long time. To meet the growing demand for our products we need to expand. We cannot extend our current premises which is why we’re making our largest ever investment and building a completely new factory in Östersund.
With the new factory we will be doubling our factory space and we estimate that we will also double the number of employees over time. This is a unique initiative in the textile industry, and we are proud to pave the way and show that clothes can be made in Sweden under fair working conditions.
Construction of the factory started in April, and we estimate that production will be underway in the new premises during 2022.
2022 is here and a lot will happen this year
Just like everywhere around us, the pandemic has also affected the construction of our factory. We are a few weeks behind schedule but we think, and hope, that we are soon in phase again. Right now, the focus is on heat and ventilation.
The district heating is in place and switched on and all glass sections in the facade are inserted. As you can see in the video below, interior walls have begun to be built and ventilation has begun to be drawn.
Winter has arrived - and so have the walls.
What's happened lately, you may be wondering? Everything is now going at a fast pace and the factory's exterior walls are in place. Some conscious lots have been left open for equipment to be moved in and out as needed. What is going on right now up on the construction site is that the roof is laid and is 50% ready. Windows and doors are mounted. Christian was on site and talked to one of the window fitters, see the video below!
The goal for November – A weatherproof house
Winter comes every year we know that. In Östersund, it can go fast.
From bare ground to several decimetres of snow overnight. “A weatherproof house in November” has therefore been a mantra throughout the construction process for our new factory. At the beginning of September, the frame was completely up and we had started laying the ceiling in our new factory. The remaining roof was to be laid at the same time as the weather offered weeks of rain and strong winds.
The roof came into place and after that the construction went quickly. The first snow fell in mid-October. Luckily, it was a light snowfall. But with that came the cold and the temperature began to drop. During this time, with cold temperatures, the floor would be cast. It was a little nervous. How would the cold affect the casting of the concrete? Would there be more snow before the roof was laid? Everything went well. We did not quite reach the goal of a weatherproof house in November, but the entire factory has a ceiling, and the floor is cast.
WOOLPOWER WAS PRIZED AT THE ENTREPRENEURAL GALA - "WITH LONG-TERM AND HIGH QUALITY, THE WINNER HAS SEWN A NORTHERN EXPORT SUCCESS"
With a business concept based on creating a long-term stable and sustainable company with high quality products, Woolpower has not only survived a severe pandemic, they have also managed to grow and expand. For this, they have been awarded SEB's prize "Best international growth" at one of the competitions for EY Entrepreneur of the year during December.
September 2021 – Christian meets Construction Manager Fredrik
Leading a large construction is not entirely straightforward. There are many factors you need to be aware of, and many you can not control. The weather for example. Christian checked in with Construction Manager Fredrik Svedare.
Woolpower has one of Sweden's largest sewing units, with around 60 sewing shoes employed. The factory means that we not only grow to the surface but also in the number of employees from today's approximately 130 people to become around 200 employees in the new factory. During the past year, about 20 new seamstresses have been hired and recruitment continues. Right now we are recruiting seamstresses, click on the headline to get to read more.
August of 2021 – A building starting to take shape
Cementing of the foundation for the factory’s framework structure started in August. Once that work was complete, the framework could be erected – starting with what will be our warehouse that we will now be able to have under the same roof as our production.
Summer of 2021 – Laying the foundation for the future within the Swedish textile industry
Ground preparations continue and the road to the future staff car park is taking shape.
Are you curious about how the work looks at the construction site?
Take a look at the ground preparations being finalised and the framework going up, photos from weeks 27-35.
May 2021 – The ground is prepared and challenges are discovered
In May ground preparations started for the new factory, which is now being built in Verksmon. Right after the ground preparations had started swelling shale was discovered in the land.
Swelling shale is fairly common in Jämtland, in particular around Lake Storsjön. As the name suggests, the shale swells when it is exposed to oxygen. This means that buildings that are constructed on swelling shale that has not been treated properly will later crack. So it was very important to treat the swelling shale correctly before the process could continue.
What is swelling shale?
Alum shale, or swelling shale as it is commonly known, is a form of rock that has a varied composition of organic matter, calcareous minerals and iron sulphides. The swelling is caused by oxidation of the iron sulphides which forms gypsum. Östersund hospital is also located on an alum shale area and it is an obvious example of a building that has been deformed and damaged due to the shale. Permanent management of the swelling shale is needed there.
Selection of articles about Woolpower’s new factory:
Woolpower investerar i ny stor fabrik – Vdn: “Vi går mot strömmen” , Länstidningen Östersund,
Woolpower gör sin största satsning någonsin – Öppnar ny fabrik i Östersund, Östersunds Posten
Woolpower trotsar textildöden – bygger ny fabrik i Östersund, Sportfack
Woolpower bygger ny fabrik – kan ge 200 nya jobb, SVT
Woolpower bygger ny fabrik i Östersund, Dagens Arbete
Woolpower bygger ny fabrik i Östersund, Sveriges Radio
Så mycket personal behöver Woolpower till nya fabriken: “Vi har annonser ute”, Länstidningen Östersund
Nysvenskar fyller Woolpowers dubblade fabriksyta, Dagens Industri
Woolpowers fabriksbygge går som på räls – Linus Flodin: “Det har blivit trendigare med välanvända och noppiga kläder”, Länstidningen Östersund, Plus artikel