Sustainability

About
Kupong knit.wear is an Oslo-based clothing brand with a love for knitwear and sustainable fashion. Kupong was founded in early autumn 2018 by Camilla Dingsøyr and Kristina Hjelde Hatletveit. Both have backgrounds in fashion and design, with a common interest in knitwear and wool.

Camilla left the company in early 2021 to focus on her own projects whilst Kristina keep running the brand on her own. There has always been a desire to establish a brand with good ethics and philosophy, from the design process and throughout the entire production line.

The Uniform Collection
The Uniform Collection is the core collection of Kupong, and consists of classic sweaters and jackets that can be worn every day throughout the year. Each design is carefully designed and developed to leave less fottprint. These models are always in stock and Kupong's ultimate "staple wear". The collection is designed for a Scandinavian lifestyle with a sustainable philosophy and mindset at heart.

After successfully developing the 1st proto these garments internally became the new "office uniform”, this is how The Uniform Collection was born.

Kupong do not not follow seasons, but design timeless garments that can be used in an everyday wardrobe with the use of natural materials that are suitable for a Nordic climate, and wool that can be used all year round.

The construction of the garments and the quality of the wool are fundamental to future designs.

Kupong strive for a wholesome lifestyle and want to deliver a sustainable product. Our productions are small, some on request - and always designed to maintain high quality.

The collections are made in Europe with yarn from Italian suppliers, and some of the production is made in China. When choosing the production it was important to use a small factory with a focus on good craftsmanship that has a long operating time. The compositions in the collection is mostly wool, but sometimes with a mix of synthetic fibres.

Hand knitted goods
Knitting is a part of our traditional heritage so it felt natural to make the first collection by hand. All hand knitted garments from Kupong are made in Norway with yarn from Sandnes Garn, some are knitted in India by Koco global.  
We use mostly natural fibres such as Norwegian wool, alpaca, mohair, cotton and lambswool. Norwegian wool is known for its durability, strength and bounce. The garments knitted in wool are light, warm and long lasting. It is also the most sustainable wool when it comes to production and degradability. The hand knit is the "spice" that gives Kupongs brand new value and edge. Most hand knit is made in Norway and comes in very small editions.

Collaborations
Kupong also collaborate with Koco Global- Knit One Change One ( life). These garments are knitted and produced by women in rural areas of India.
The Capsule Collection is produced by KOCO. These are knitting hubs of women from rural parts of India. In their village girls do not receive an education. Girls become women with no emploiment prospects other than seasonal labour work, depending on their father or husband for financial security. By bringing women together to work outside their home and away from domestic duties and earning a stable income, KOCO is part of transforming lives. Read more about Koco Global here.

Long life
What is important to Kupong is to give the garments a long life and design great classic and timeless pieces that you want to use. The most important thing is that the garments are being used. Preferably a lot.

We spend a lot of time developing the right models in terms of fit and timeliness, and one of the things that makes our collections sustainable is that we have developed one cut and “blueprint” that can be used year after year. We call it the 501, like Levis. Kupong is designed and developed for a Nordic lifestyle and climate by using wool that can be worn all year round. There is no special season designed for and we do not follow trends with 4-6 collections a year. We want to grow at a slow, realistic and organic pace with a positive financial and ecolocical development. We are constantly trying to think ahead while we can adapt to new consumption habits and new generations to buy less but better.

The Name
The brand is called Kupong knitwear- The name Kupong had always been a nickname for the concept; early days inspiration was from post-war fashion and the adaptation of knitted garments as a result of demand and rationalization. If something was worn out or damaged, it was repaired, fixed and used again. We took care of our garments.

Although the concept is no longer directly inspired by this, the name sticked.The name can easily be translated to our collections when it comes to choice of materials, production and expression.

Kupong can be associated with something frugal and has a nostalgic tone that suits the brands philosophy and mindset. There are also lots of possibilities in the future to introduce deposit schemes where you get discounted coupons and handing in clothes, repairs and new life to the garments.

Much of the sustainability of Kupongs philosophy lies in development, little use of resources for new development and prototypes, and right choice of materials and production. The Uniform Collection is always in stock. It is made in fewer sizes, some in one size with boxy inclusive fits, which means less wastage and it will fit more people.

In The Uniform Collection, which is the everyday wardrobe, the idea is to keep the good models and classic colors from year to year, but introduce one or two new colors a year. The Uniform Collection is also our "base" which we build on with new development at a reasonable pace. We want to grow as a brand and have a healthy development, at the same time as we want to follow every step and not grow too fast and loose control.

Our angle on sustainability lies a lot in the life of the garments and how they are made. A garment is not just sustainable because it consists of recycled fibers, Kupong has a holistic approach, not just at the fiber level - but designed with a view to longevity. At Kupong the productions are small, some on demand but always made to last.

Fibres
Most of the machine knit is made in Europe with yarn from Italian suppliers. Some are made in China.

Mohair is a silk-like yarn made from the hair of the Angora goat. It is known for its high luster and sheen. This is why it is often used in fiber blends to add these qualities to a textile. It is considered to be a luxury fiber, like cashmere, Angora and silk, and is usually more expensive than most wool that is produced by sheep.

The alpaca fibre is soft, durable, luxurious and silky. While similar to sheep`s wool, it is warmer, and has no lanolin, which makes it hypoallergenic. Alpaca fiber is naturally water-repellent and difficult to ignite.

Lambswool is wool taken from the first shearing of the sheep, usually around seven months after its first coat has come in. It is fine and soft, and requires minimal processing. Lambswool, like all sheep's wool, contains lanolin. It is popularly used for good quality knitwear.

Organic cotton is grown without harmful chemicals, leaving the soil, air and water free from contaminates that cause harm. It uses far less water to grow since organic cotton growers typically utilize rain far more than irrigation.  Many people with skin problems report a dramatic improvement in their skin condition once they switched to organic. By choosing to buy organic cotton you are enhancing the health of humans, animals and natural resources around the world. Supporting organic agriculture is also essential if we want to create improved working conditions for cotton farmers because farming organic cotton is more regulated, and therefore, fairly traded.

Syntetic fibres
Common to polyamide fibers is that they have good elasticity, high strength and absorb little water. They are not attacked by bacteria and fungi and therefore do not rot. The fibers are elastic and curl little. Polyamide is a durable material with a long life. Other materials are often mixed with polyamide to maintain the color and provide a better fit, while strengthening the wool fibers and making the garment much more durable.

In The Uniform collection we also use a lot of lambswool. Lambswool contains lanolin which naturally strengthens the wool fibers and gives them shine. Lambswool was widely used in the 80's and 90s before merino wool became so popular. We are very inspired by the decades from the 70s, 80s and 90s in our collections and it was then natural to retrieve some of the materials that were used back then.

Wash
Most of our styles can be machine-washed, but we recommend to wash by hand. Wool is a natural fibre and will loose its strength and bounce after being machine washed repeatedly and over time. To best keep the materials strength and shine we therefor recommend to wash by hand. Always refer to your pieces' care label before washing.

When washing, always turn your knits inside out beforehand, this will also help prevent pilling.

If machine washed - go for the cool setting, no warmer than 30°C.

Slow, gentle spins are best (600 RPM max). Natural fibres release water easily, so fast spins are unnecessary. 

Detergents
Wash all your knitwear in gentle, enzyme-free detergent. We recommend Milo or any other product who is wool-friendly. Look out for the Woolmark symbol.

Avoid biological and non-biological detergents as both these contain bleaching agents, which do not play nice with your knitwear!

Drying
Avoid shrinking & warping by carefully drying your knitwear. Dry flat.
Avoid high temperatures at all costs.
If you feel your piece has changed shape a little once washed, very carefully pull it back into shape whilst damp.
Never hang your damp knitwear to dry. Instead, dry it upon and/or over something, like a clothes airer.
We do not accept liability for garments incorrectly laundered.

Moths
Moths love natural fibres as much as you do!
Unfortunately, they enjoy feasting upon them which results in holes appearing in your favourite knits!
You can add mothballs to your stored knits. These are now widely available in odourless versions.
Alternatively, you can wrap your knits in plastic before storing. Moths aren’t into plastic.
Lavender & cedarwood essential oils also help to repel moths.

Pilling
Natural fibres naturally intertwine with wear, resulting in pilling.
Whilst this can be a bit of a pain to remove, it does authenticate your piece’s natural credentials. And remember the softer the yarn, the more likely it is to pill.
You can fight the fuzz with a pilling comb. These easily remove any pilling on your garment.
We do not accept liability for garments damaged by incorrect pilling comb use.
Bobbling is temporary, it will stop once your piece has shed all its shorter fibres.
After your garments have been washed a few times their fibres should strengthen, which will lessen pilling.