A Decade of håndværk

Established in 2013, håndværk stood out as the antithesis of both the unsustainable pace of fast fashion and the excess inherent in traditional luxury labels. Advocating for simplicity and authenticity, håndværk has always emphasized clothing in its purest form: sustainably produced, thoughtfully designed, and meticulously crafted by dedicated artisans. Our primary focus remains on crafting essential, unembellished garments for your wardrobe, consistently adhering to the highest standards and sourcing only the world’s finest natural materials.

This week, we are quietly marking a decade of håndværk; crafting a legacy of modern luxury and sustainability. Celebrating our tenth year, we take pride in remaining fiercely independent. This autonomy has consistently enabled us to stay loyal to our vision, prioritize unmatched quality, and make sustainable decisions that reflect our core values.

Having a background in textiles rather than fashion, we identified a pervasive quantity-over-quality issue in the clothing industry. As committed minimalists, our concept was clear: a functional yet luxurious wardrobe of versatile, exquisitely made pieces that carry a story one can be proud of. Operating under the principle of “less but better,” we have always aimed to produce garments that stand out in their category: simple, functional, and inherently sustainable due to their timeless appeal and durable materials.

Sustainability is interwoven into the very DNA of håndværk. We are committed to a responsible approach in sourcing materials and in our manufacturing processes. We prioritize the best natural materials and boast a 98% traceability in our supply chain. Our manufacturing method in Peru is noteworthy, being both carbon-neutral and water-efficient, and is supported by an in-house treatment plant that recycles water, thereby minimizing waste and reducing environmental pollutants. Our push for more localized supply chains improves traceability while also diminishing transport-related emissions. We consistently uphold the highest standards for fair working conditions, bolstered by a robust framework for accountability. Our inclination towards single-fiber fabrics promotes recyclability, easing the breakdown and subsequent reuse of materials. With an unwavering dedication to our founding principles, we remain focused on refining our processes over expansive growth.

Petra and I have always known we weren’t typical “fashion people.” A guiding decision for our brand has been to consciously sidestep the mainstream fashion landscape. We recognized our strengths and felt that we didn’t resonate with the broader fashion industry. To us, “fashion” sometimes seems like a negative term, given that much of what the industry churns out can be deemed superfluous. We also observed that many in fashion design for the sake of design, often leading to the creation of unnecessary items.

Our design ethos starts with a “what is needed” perspective: what are the essential elements of a modern, timeless wardrobe? We don’t chase seasonal trends, but we do respond to weather-driven needs. Looking at the recent relaunch of our women’s line, we crafted what we consider a lasting wardrobe, emphasizing core colors and subtle, timeless hues.

Our primary intent has been to refine our existing collection, continually questioning how we might better each garment. For example, our men’s pique polo shirt, one of our launch products, has remained relatively consistent since 2013. Yet, we’ve constantly improved aspects like its fabric, fit, and smaller details. We favor nuanced adjustments, viewing them as essential refinements.

Have there been concessions over the years? Absolutely. For instance, our 2013 launch featured items solely in Black, White, and Grey Melange, excluding any other color palettes. Interestingly, we initially excluded pockets from our designs. However, these positions have shifted as we’ve taken feedback from our customers and acknowledged the value of adaptability.

From the beginning, our goal has been to cater to our customer base, always crafting new pieces with their practical needs front and center. We don’t aim for universal appeal; we stay true to our strengths. A select audience will resonate with our approach, and we are content catering to that niche.

Reflecting on the past decade, while it hasn’t been without its challenges, we remain enthusiastic about the future of our brand. Your continued support and feedback have been paramount to our journey. Thank you for allowing us the privilege to serve you.

Warmly, Petra and Esteban.

Note: The images on this post, with the exception of our portrait, are from our inaugural photo shoot, and were used in our first website, launched October 13th, 2013. The photographer is Mark Sanders working with studio Darling Creative, based in London, UK.