Kluntje - The Girls – The three of us together till the end
“Three people is always a bit hard. One is often excluded and there are arguments.”, they said. Nope, that’s nonsense! We have been inseparable for about 6 years and two of us even lived together for a long time. Let us tell you a secret: Believe it or not, all three of us work the same side job in the same place and we are absolutely ecstatic when we get to work the “Kluntjeshift”. 3 is actually a good number, we are the three wise monkeys, the powerpuffgirls, Harry, Ron and Hermine,…
Three people can make democratic decision, they can share 2 main courses and a dessert when they go for dinner and are short on money but want to treat themselves.
They can just fit in one bed and plan vacations in a way, that two always stay with the business (although we really like to go on vacation together).
Kluntje consists of two different collections: Re-Fashion and Eco-Fashion
Re-Fashion is the centerpiece.
It’s about reusing left over fabric and old treasures with a high quality.
Take old and sorted out piece and make it something new and irresistibly cool.
We take high quality material, usually robust textiles like leather, wool or denim for jackets, cots and bags or precious fabrics like silk, or velvet for patch pullovers or blouses. There is just so much beautiful material that already exists and isn’t used anymore and since the fashion of the past has a way longer longevity and is more endurable, we love working with it. The quality in these old pieces is way higher than the new textures that are often mixed with plastic in order to save money and give clothes a shorter life.
We try to avoid creating waste as much as possible. That is why we reuse all the bits we cut off in the cutting of our fabric and put them into our patchwork pieces.
The process of creating a re-fashion piece is way more complex than the common way of producing clothing. First you have got to take the seams of the old piece apart and separate all the single parts, then put them together in a different way in order to create a big enough surface from which the new shapes are being cut.
We make sure to only reuse washed pieces that will last long or else the elaborate process would be would not make any sense.
Mostly we collect material on flea markets, in second hand stores or we get them from people.
The efforts we make remind us of the reasons why we studied fashion design. The creativity involved in producing a re-fashion collection is what we love most, one can really think outside the box and dare to go in unusual directions. When picking the material we already begin to dream and play around with the shapes and colors of the item. We take existing materials and softly press them through the Kluntje cut to make a wonderful one of a kind piece. Since we can only put the material together in a specific way once, every Kluntje article is an individual item that therefor has it’s price.
Other than the regular Kluntje collection, the re-fashion collection is made by us in Hamburg and we will keep it that way because this collection is so important to us.
That’s also how we got our name. Kluntje is the name of the rock candy traditionally used for tea in northern Germany. These sugar pieces are just like the pieces of our re-fashion collection: The main cut mostly stays the same, every candy is a rectangle but no rectangle is like the other. Each one has its own crystal form and therefor is one of a kind.
Since not everybody can afford such a unique piece but may still want to dress in sustainable fashion we have a second collection running parallel, the eco-collection.
As the name may tell, that collection is made of organic cotton from Turkey that we buy by the meter from “Lebenskleidung”. The cotton is labeled with the GOTS-certificate which stands for Global Organic Textile Standard and “is recognised as the world's leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.“
The collection consists of sporty basics, predominantly pullovers, t-shirts, pants and dresses, that are available in different colors and sizes so that everybody can find what is for them.
We recently started the production of a part oft he collection in Berlin so that we would have more time to focus on the re-fashion collection.
People often ask us why we don’t have clothes produced in Hamburg because that would be closer and our answer usually surprises: In Germany there are very few places that still produce on their own.
Most sewing is done in Poland or further, German firms find it hard to stay afloat because nobody is willing to pay the minimum wage.
It was really hard to even find a local tailor and there is none yet in Hamburg that meets all our requirements, at least we didn’t find any. And since we prefer producing locally, Berlin was our choice.
That way we can go over and visit the place of production and therefor guarantee a transparent production chain.
Kluntjes look is very nordic. A touch of Scandinavian. The north is a big inspiration for us when it comes to colors and shapes of the cuts. Our colors are muted and many pieces have a hint of a horizontal in them, that is a reminder of the horizon of the North Sea, where the sky meets the sea or the dike. Other than that our cuts are very clean, sporty chic and we love to mix materials.
Leather and jeans, jersey and plush, a bit rough like the ocean and a bit comfy to cuddle into on rainy days. Blue and grey and white and red. But never too bright, always subtle. Always appropriate, always wearable.
We don’t only want to contribute to the upholding of production sites in Germany, we have another mission, mission “Plattdeutsch” (low german or low saxon, is a West Germanic language that is mostly spoken in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands.)
We really want to maintain the beautiful words of the low German language and their nostalgic charme. Julia is of East Frisian descent and has gotten the other two Kluntjes obsessed with the traditional tea ceremony:
First you put one Kluntje in a cup, then you pour the black East Frisian Tea into the cup and on top of it you carefully add a bit of cream. The cream that will slowly rise to the top makes beautiful cloud-like patterns visible.
We were so delighted by this cute tradition where its so important to take your time and calm down to fully enjoy, that we wanted to know more about East Frisia and that’s how we got to the beautiful Plattdeutsch that Julias mother speaks fluently.
Her and her brother almost only speak Plattdeutsch and that, as well as the beautiful sound of the language really impresses us.
Last summer we did a Plattdeutsch course at the adult education center to really improve our own skills and now feel much more nordic. Tob be honest we would not have thought that the grammar was as complex and that it wasn’t just about a few crooked sounding words.
To save Plattdeutsch from going extinct and to reintroduce it more into everybodie’s every day life, we print some of the words onto our collections. There are designs with the rock candy label and pieces that have words like “löppt” (going well) or “Mien Leev” (my love) printed on them.