GuildhausTales of Guild
20. September 2017
“Aesthetic matters are fundamental for the harmonious development of both society and the individual.”
When needles are left to rest on pin cushions, scissors are daydreaming and only plants quietly breathe the wondering light.. Our atelier and production house photographed by Tallinn based lifestyle magazine Hooligan Hamlet who paid us a visit on one sunny Sunday.
Located on the shore of Tallinn, our wondrous studio is full of hand carved furniture, recycled Soviet design elements, love and air-cleaning plants. But it hasn’t always been that way.
When we first started making jeans we were working in the garage of our mentor - it was a peaceful and beautiful time but as with all fledglings, in order to grow there comes a time when one must leave the safety of the nest. We then gave it a try with some local clothing factories. Here and there we stayed a little longer but in general, it was a sad and hard period as there were always delays, sometimes up to 6 months which - especially in clothing industry - might become fatal at one point. Neither we were satisfied with the quality of the clothes as the seamstresses came and went and with short periods none could really master the detailed approach we were looking for. We witnessed anxiety, depression, unhealthy relations, ugly and extremely dusty working environments. Very soon, we started getting doubts - why are we, too fuelling this sick system?
One evening after another unpleasant day in one of these factories, we looked at each other in our abundant little store and understood - that was not our dream when we first started. And the things we dreamed of just can’t be made in such conditions by the people who are not happy with where they are. And suddenly, like lightning it hit us - how we want to create is not so different from our ancestors who joined under guilds with an oath to give their best in everything they do. Years ago there was no overproduction, no soulless plastic interiors nor anonymous, machine-like relations. Instead of quantity, quality was honoured.
We remembered we wanted to create things that would withstand time and we knew we wanted to do everything with minimum waste. We felt our creation should only be made by truly happy hands in truly harmonious environment. Life is precious and in the end of the day, all we have is the moments we experience, right? And quite likely we have all noticed what role the surroundings play to our well-being.
It took us few years to make this vision come true. We needed suitable rooms, special machinery, huge cutting table and hundreds of little elements that make independent production possible. And most of all, we needed the right people with golden hands and open hearts.
As time went by we managed to find the rooms, machinery and the few mad companions willing to make a change. After our first production house - a medieval tower in the heart of the old town - was sold, we found a perfect Soviet space in Sitsi, Kopli - an old cotton weaving and garment manufacturing area of Tallinn.
As one wise man once said,
"Coincidence is God’s way to remain anonymous”
With only three weeks we renovated the whole space. We even designed the interior - combining rustic, wooden details (crafted in ancient techniques by our wonderful carpenter) with recycled Soviet design elements we achieved warm and cozy, home-like feeling. Even the industrial lamps we made by ourselves.
The whole space is filled with air-cleaning plants and one room is left only to flora - called Wintergarten, it’s a place for leisure and pleasure where tailors may take a break whenever they need.
There are few more things we value and perhaps, you do too:
⬧ We have no production leftovers
– Once the fabric is cut, even the tiniest pieces are carefully collected and sorted so they could be woven into a new fabric again.
⬧ We prefer small manufacturers & We accept only natural fabrics
– Many of our materials are recycled or dyed with real elements like indigo leaves. Most of our fabrics are woven by German, Italian and Japanese artisanal experts.
⬧ Nothing goes out to nature!
The water we use in the production is filtrered to drinking water cleanliness and is sent back to the circle of production.
⬧ We repair our clothes
The longer one can wear our creation, the happier we are.
⬧ We cook a vegan lunch to unite people
Each Monday, we the musketeers cook a vegan lunch for our tailors just to unite people.
⬧ We meditate - peaceful minds are important
Once a week in our Wintergarten, we meditate - peaceful minds are important for truly harmonious environment.
If we want to be and do good, we have to find a way to meet our true selves.. To remember who we truly are. That we are light. And we have enough. We don’t need to compete - fashion is an illusion. We can do so much better. We can’t make a change overnight but we have to have a vision how to do what we want to do with tiniest footprint possible.
The heavily illustrated story of our atelier and production house is also in Estonian. It can be read at Hooligan Hamlet
Photography: Hooligan Hamlet
Interview: Joan Hint