When I decided to create my own label, I spent a lot of time contemplating what I could offer in an already saturated market. What could I bring to the table that wasn’t already there? I had worked in the textile/apparel industry for almost 20 years and I felt a bit tired of fashion altogether. Constantly changing trends and the eternal chase of the latest and newest had started to feel meaningless. I concluded that if I were to even consider starting my own label, it would have to be different and something I could stand behind. No skeletons in the closet.
First and foremost, I wanted production to take place in Europe. Not necessarily because the clothes made there are better than anywhere else in the World, but simply because I know that there are strict regulations protecting workers. There are also regulations on farming and keeping livestock. Last but not least; there are strict regulations for chemicals and the release of these into nature. The fashion/apparel industry is the fourth most polluting industry in the World. Maybe not something that I thought too much about back in 2013 to be honest, but just in these few short years, light has been shed in this direction and I’m grateful for that!
The second element that was very important for me in creating my own label, was to use biodegradable materials. Wool is the one fiber that stands out to me the most. Wool is a miracle of nature with natural capabilities that are completely mind blowing! Learn more about merino wool here: [add link] Synthetic fibers are usually oil based (read: plastic) and it goes without saying that those fibers are not beneficial for the environment. Micro plastics are rinsed out in the waste water every time we wash our polyester garments. Food we catch at sea absorb these micro plastics, and then we eat them. How this affects our overall health and our bodies we don’t know as good research does not yet exist.
The third thing that was really important to me, was of course to create designs that were beautiful, clothes that people would want to wear. I’ve always loved good basics that I keep and wear for a long time, that I can combine in a number of ways. My closet is like a box of building blocks where you can add and combine – depending on what you want to create. A good garment to me, is a combination of something that looks great, is comfortable to wear and something that I have good use for.
Fourth on my list was that I wanted to work outside of the borders of Norway, which made the expression and name of the label extremely important. The name We Norwegians is meant to be including, and it stands for the values that us Norwegians are known for; peace, tolerance, equal rights and democracy. Norway is considered one of the best countries to live in in the World, and I wanted to show off Norwegians the way we live today. A lot of non-Norwegians may have a stereotypical image of Norway and Norwegians, and for that reason I wanted to show us from a modern perspective, the current Norwegian way of life. Hence we have made a point to use modern Norwegian architecture as an inspiration on the drawing board.
Finally; Norwegians are a people who are practical, and we surround ourselves with function. That’s where the wool comes to play. There are hardly any cultures or nationalities who use wool more than us Norwegians. When I sat there and thought about what I was missing, I concluded that it was lightweight merino garments that I could wear next to skin, that I could use as everyday pieces as well as active wear. When the brand was launched, the term “athleisure” was not even a thing yet, but it was where the brand found its home. This is something that suits us Norwegians very well. This is how we live.
So: We Norwegians to me, is so much more than just an apparel brand. It represents a lifestyle, it represents a distinct set of values, and it represents our cultural heritage.