Nicole Hansen, the founder of the local beanie-maker Hootli
Photo: Hootli/Nicole Hansen
The local hat label Hootli focuses on a sustainable and vegan production--all made in Luxembourg.
Already as a child, Nicole Hansen loved to knit. With the idea of studying fashion design in the back of her mind, she knitted beanies for her family until the demand became business worthy.
Hootli was launched in 2012 and since then has grown into a small production team, all based in the grand duchy.
Hansen, the company’s founder, oversees the design and management. She explained during an interview with Delano on 4 October that the wool is delivered to her employees’ homes, where they then produce the beanies.
A short supply chain and a sustainable production are key for Hansen, as she is working with “suppliers whom she visited herself and who are certified and controlled by bigger organisations”.
A “Luxembourg” model bonnet is being knitted by a Hootli worker. Picture credit: Hootli/Nicole Hansen
Hootli customers are quite diverse, Hansen stated. Besides selling single beanies, many people purchase them for group ski trips. In particular the “Luxembourg” model, which displays the three colours of the Luxembourg flag is a big hit:
“for après-ski, teams like these hats to represent Luxembourg as a group. Many of the customers are also sport club supporters who are going abroad or stay here.”
However, the success comes with a downside: the small supply chain has strained the company. After having attended three international fashion weeks, Hansen explained the challenges of a sustainable brand to Delano:
“When I attend international fairs, I might find customers from Asia, meaning that we have to send our product to them. This hasn’t been the case so far because all of our buyers are from here or our neighbour countries. That’s of course a problem when increasing the business.”
Accordingly, Hansen’s goal is to have all of her material GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified.
As to where she sees her business in 8 years, Hansen laughed, stating that she didn’t like to make prognoses, but she didn’t necessarily have to be hung up on beanies; scarves or other products might also become future products.