circularity & sustainability
Hul le Kes is a fully circular fashion label which is working on alternatives for the current fashion industry. With an in-house Manufacturing Studio, an in-house Recovery Studio, via the flagship store, webshop, via its resellers and its wearers Hul le Kes is able to offer a never ending life cycle for its products. How Hul le Kes works in a holistic way can be read on this page. You will also find monthly news items about the subjects of circularity and sustainability through this page.
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In the past decades humankind has been using much of our natural resources and producing tons of materials. At Hul le Kes we like to work with these existing materials as much as possible, instead of using new resources for our designs. Old bed linens, antique tablecloths, secondhand clothes, vintage woolen blankets and other materials are the start of our design process. We find our materials at flea markets, recycling companies or get donated by individuals.
From labeling to hangers, from fabrics to interior; Hul le Kes is always on the hunt for ‘new’ treasures. For our dyeing process we like to work with trash from restaurants such as onion peels or avocado seeds. In case a new resource is needed Hul le Kes makes sure it is either from dead-stock collections or from biological origin. As much as we can we source our materials within the Western Europe region.
All our designs are made in a very limited series due to the fact we use existing materials. It is the material which decides what kind of garment, or product, we will start making. A heavy antique linen will probably become a coat where a vintage wool blanket will most likely become a Cremer or Monet Jacket. A more light weight fabric might become a shirt or tunic and so on. Our Hul le Kes design collection is one full of classics which turn out different every time as the materials will never be the same, making each garment unique.
On the other hand we follow the seasons of nature, indeed; no fashion seasons, but natural seasons. This has all to do with the natural (plant) dyes we use. In spring and summer we will dye more with flowers, at the end of summer we get new onion peels from farmers from Zeeland after they harvested and in autumn we collect walnuts and chestnuts in the local forest to dye with. The result is a continuously changing color pallet, following the natural change of seasons. Would you like to learn more about natural dyeing? Check our tickets for our upcoming natural dyeing workshops.
After a material comes in and when it is decided what kind of product can be made out of the material we will start making the product. As Hul le Kes only uses existing materials it might be repaired first, at the Hul le Kes Recovery Studio we will then start mending and repairing the fabrics. In the antique linens we use you often find beautiful hand embroidered monograms, or previously mended tears. We like to show all these characteristics of our materials, therefore each product we make is one-of-kind and made individually.
The full upcycling process is done in-house at our Manufacturing Studio. There we are specialized in sustainable production and the upcycling of materials. Upcycling is an intensive process in which every step is about decision making, and every outcome is different. You will never find two Hul le Kes garments that are exactly the same as everything we do is hand made. After an item is made it is often garment dyed with plant based materials, a process which gives each item even more personal characteristics. The outcome of each process is a serendipity directed by nature.
At Hul le Kes we want people to look different towards a piece of clothing. What if a stain becomes a characteristic of your garment, with its own story, instead of something to hide away? Should your clothing not be something to inherit by a next generation, like antique furniture? Should we not stop throwing away garments, just because it has a tear or cut in its fabric? We would give ‘yes’ as an answer to all these questions. That is why all clothes of our Hul le Kes design collection come with a clothing passport. A small diary telling everything about that particular item.
We would like to invite you to continue its life story in your clothing passport. Write about the wine you spilled over your Hul le Kes garment at your sister’s wedding. Or when you wore this item to the best party you have ever had. Note down when you received the garment as a present from your partner. Each stain, cut or wear has a story and it is nice to remember them as an added value; a new characteristic. Just like your own scar or tattoo is connected to certain moments in your life.
When you love an item, when there is a strong connection, you will most definitely take good care of it. That is step one, and a very important one, in extending the lifecycle of your garment. At Hul le Kes we like to add to that the beauty of aging. Because we love aging as it shows the true character of a person ánd of a product. Aging is something that is often hidden in our society, but something that’s most natural to a life. Recognizing the importance and beauty of it is a big step towards more sustainability.
When your item starts to show wear, has a cut, a stain, just a small spot or when the color fades we like you to see it as the aging of your product. That is something to show off, not something to be ashamed of. It shows your connection to the garment. It is the reason why we introduced our Dyeing and Mending Services. Mending for when your garment shows wear, or has a cut. Dyeing for when your garment has a stain, spots or its color faded out. With these services it is possible to extend the garment’s lifecycle, show your love towards it and underline its characteristics.
To every life there is an ending, or at least when you see it from just one perspective. We like to see the world in never ending cycles. But there can come a moment in time that you are done wearing the garment, when it is just hanging in your closet. We like you to give the garment to someone else who likes it, or send it back to us, including its passport. Please; NEVER throw away your Hul le Kes garment! We can still use your garment, no matter how it looks.
Your item will be recovered or used at our Recovery Studio for other garments to repair. We like to ask you to save the clothing passport that belongs to the garment, and send it together with the garment back to us again. The information you have been writing in its passport is a beautiful story to share with the next person who might wear your garment or a piece of your old cloth. Emotional value is much more valuable than money can ever be, and that is why we and the new wearer love to know your story; your connection to the garment.
Not everyone likes to own something but prefers to share or prefer not to have to think about the maintenance of a garment. Or in some cases you need a special outfit just for one occasion. Then our Hul le Kes Library is an answer to your question. Our Library is a place where you can rent a garment for a certain amount of time (minimum of one week). After you have used the garment you send it back to us, get back your refund, and we make sure it gets ready for the next wearer.
Also our Library garments have a personal passport. Write down where you have worn the particular garment so the next person will know about that and tell the garments history at the party he/she/they is at. Only together we can change the system, telling the story, a new narrative, is a big part of that and is all in your hands as a wearer.
Will you help us change the system and bring back human sensibility in fashion? Subscribe yourself to our newsletter. to be the first to know when our Library goes live.
here you'll find our rental collection soon