Hul le Kes was founded by Sjaak Hullekes and Sebastiaan Kramer as an answer to the fast pace and polluting practice of modern-day fashion. Hul le Kes is a fashion label that relies on the power of caretaking, creating, empathy and aesthetics. With this brand Sjaak and Sebastiaan created an alternative and holistic system, one suitable for our changing environment.
At Hul le Kes we believe in the human ability of caretaking, creation, empathy and aesthetics. Our full team of people aims for a world where character of both people and products can be found within the imperfection. Where beauty is shown through love and transience. Positive dynamics, purpose, equal opportunities and a holistic view on our world will open the doors to a better world; a renewed system.
Hul le Kes garments are sold only at selected shops and via our own webshop and private shopping studio; Hul le Kes Privé. As a brand we like to change the system as much as we can, that surely includes the way a product is sold. Many of our products are made to order, meaning that these items are made specifically for you after your purchase. Other items are made via our pre-ordering concept; a concept where you and others are able to subscribe yourself to a certain product which is available until a specific moment in time for a reduced price. After that date it is produced in a small number and sent to you, this way we like to reduce overproduction. Yet other items are available for rent via our Hul le Kes Library.
At Hul le Kes Privé you can make an appointment for a private shopping moment, it is like a store, but with more attention to our consumers, our products and both of their needs. Hul le Kes Privé is also a platform for designers and initiatives working on upcycling, circular practices, alternative systems and new narratives within fashion and design. Our Hul le Kes Privé studio is also available for photoshoots and events. Find out more here or contact us for more information.
All Hul le Kes items are carefully thought of and made by our own employees in our own Manufacturing Studio in Arnhem. This offers more than transparency alone, it allows us to bring back a profession nearly extinct in Western Europe. Apart from making garments the company offers a place for recovery, craftsmanship and creativity.
At our Manufacturing Studio (Studio Ryn) we work together with educational parties such as Rijn IJssel; teaching the skills and techniques of manufacturing. At the Hul le Kes Recovery Studio we welcome those who have trouble coping with the exhaustion and perfection society demands, to find a calm and safe space for rehabilitation.
At Hul le Kes we like to work with existing materials, over 95% of our materials were made for another purpose before. In the past decades humankind has been overproducing a lot of materials that are still suitable to use. As a child Sjaak always wanted to become an antiquarian, an interest he never lost. It is this interest in antiques and vintage materials that is the beginning of our sustainable way of working.
The antique linens we use are from France and often carry family initials embroidered on them decades ago. The overstock fabrics we find are mainly from the Netherlands and Germany. Overstock, or deadstock, fabrics are made for other brands or other occasions but have not been suitable for them to use. We buy these fabrics to make our clothes from. But most of our materials are found at flea markets and at recycling centers. Old oil lamp wicks became our Hul le Kes main label and vintage blankets are used for our pillow cases and jackets.
We consciously choose to embrace imperfection, imperfection within people and materials. At Hul le Kes we find beauty in the traces of use from previous owners and we encourage others to do so too. We do that not only because it is sustainable, but because there is such a calm richness to be found in focusing on these details full of stories. By embracing imperfect materials and people, every garment we make has its own uniqueness and handwriting.
Imperfection shows us the true character of both people and products. For that reason we also like to focus on the characters of our employees, volunteers, interns and others within our company. Focusing on the beauty of imperfection makes sure we are able to work in a circular way and with our Hul le Kes Recovery Studio and in house Manufacturing Studio. Hul le Kes is a Social Enterprise to make sure we can keep on following our social and environmental missions.
Fashion is not about new trends and not about purchasing as many items as possible. To us it is about an emotional connection between the wearer and the garment. Hul le Kes likes to encourage people to see individual garments as part of their lives rather than disposable goods. To each well made and bought garment there is a story; a unique narrative. This story can be written down in each garment’s own passport, which comes with each Hul le Kes item from the main design collection. The clothing passport provides a new owner with information about the material, about the place and date of manufacture and more.
Just like people also garments need a little treatment every now and then. Whether it is a big operation or just a small mental issue we know a treatment would help to extend our own lives. It is no different with a garment. For that reason Hul le Kes came up with the Recovery Studio; a place for rehabilitation for both people and textiles. Here we dye fabrics and garments with natural resources, and here we mend them by hand. With our Dyeing Service, for clothes and for home textiles, and our Mending Service, Boro Service and Jogakbo Service we are able to extend the lives of each garment, or use old and rejected textiles again for new garments.
When you browse through our garments you will find a different approach to sizing than usual. We want you to get your own perfect Hul le Kes garment; no matter what your size is or how you would like to wear an item. Maybe you like to wear oversized items, or maybe a slim fitted item; it is all up to you. As we do not want to differentiate between gender we have developed our own size chart. At Hul le Kes there is no difference between male or female, instead we like to focus on people with character. All our garments from the main design collection are photographed on both a man and a woman, this we do so you will be able to see how it is fitting on the different body types.