In the spirit of fashion revolution week, we thought we’d share with you the stories of our manufacturers - they're an important part of our story.
Our Italian scarf maker: a fourth-generation family business, established in 1931 and situated in Como, Italy.
Como has been the home of silk production in Italy (and indeed Europe) since the early 16th century and at one time was home to more than 800 businesses involved in the manufacture of silk, now only two silk weaving companies remain.
Before World War Two the area surrounding Como was planted in Mulberry trees, the leaves of which are the only food you can feed silk worms if you want them to produce silk. During the war the locals were forced to cut down the trees to heat their homes and cook their food and since a Mulberry tree takes around 30 years to grow, Como stopped producing silk fibre and since then has imported it from China, the home of silk production.
Our manufacturer began weaving silk for ties, over the years they developed expertise in printing silk and then went on to use that knowledge to produce scarves and other items. Their women’s division is run by Cinzia who has worked in the scarf business her entire career. Cinzia is supported by Elga (pictured above, feeling a bit shy) and Eliana. They, in turn, are supported by their colleagues in the weaving and printing departments. Check out our Instagram feed @keptlimited for more pictures.
Our German scarf maker: a fifth-generation family business, established in 1880 and situated in Bavaria, Germany. This manufacturer has specialised in the production of one product – scarves – for almost 140 years, they are now one of the last textile manufacturers in Germany.
A secret, known by few outside the very specialised field of cashmere weaving, is that the beautiful soft finish of cashmere is achieved with the help of the thistle. Yes, the thistle. The thistle seed head has hundreds of very fine spikes, it is soaked in hot water to soften and then rolled to flatten it slightly before being attached to a machine that gently brushes the finished scarf. You’ve gotta love mother nature!
Our Italian glove maker: a fourth-generation family business, established in 1860 and situated in Naples, Italy.
By now you’ll have noticed a strong theme running through these stories: family businesses, manufacturing in developed countries, producing the same item for many, many, years. In this case, almost 160 years.
No, our gloves aren’t available just yet, but their arrival is imminent.
A New Zealand accessories brand: a first-generation business who would love to grow and thrive, that’s us. If our children could become Kept’s second-generation it would be a dream come true.
The stories above are an important part of our story. Their heritage, passion and expertise is imbued in each, and every, item in our collection. It’s a pleasure to be able to share their stories with you.