Ethical clothing enterprise grows eight-fold with move to Fife warehouse

An ethical textiles business is celebrating its tenth anniversary with an expansion to a Fife warehouse and shop, additional jobs and a string of contract wins.

Kalopsia Collective, which specialises in the design and manufacture of bespoke clothing, accessories and homeware, using a “sustainable circular economy model”, is expanding its presence from a 1,000-square-foot studio in Leith to an 8,000 sq ft warehouse in Dunfermline, with a shop. It also plans to create three additional jobs.

The firm - which currently employs seven staff - was founded by Nina Falk, a former fashion designer and ballet dancer from Sweden who has made garments for a range of Swedish celebrities including Pernilla August, and graphic designer Adam Robertson. Kalopsia, which was named Ethical Green Business of the Year 2019 and Made in Scotland Manufacturer 2018-2019 also offers an “assemble” service using fabric provided by clients to produce white label accessories, including ties, bags, dresses and cushions. Clients across both services include the V&A Dundee, Royal Academy of Arts, Bauhus, Harris Tweed, Halley Stevenson, Kitt McCall, and latterly hats, bags and accessories for Xbox, working alongside Gordon Nicolson Kiltmakers.

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Over the years, bosses have continued to ensure that the ethos of the business, which became a social enterprise in 2016, is sustainable, ethical and strives to reduce the environmental impact of the textile industry. The couple are currently looking for a £100,000 investment through their Kalopsia Collective Bonds. The funding will also allow them to continue to run their student placement programme which they founded in 2016, working alongside the fashion technology department at Heriot-Watt University to help graduates find work.

Adam said: “Being eight times bigger than our studio in Leith, it means we can create even more sustainable local employment opportunities to help us deliver contracts for clients like Xbox and Harris Tweed and allow us to continue to grow the UK’s textile manufacturing infrastructure, whilst driving forward our mission to reducing textile waste and ensuring that the circular economy is embedded in everything we do.”

The new warehouse has been officially opened by Princess Anne, the Princess Royal.

The founders will be speaking at the networking event Love Your Business at the Black Ivy Hotel in Bruntsfield, Edinburgh this Thursday. Michelle Brown, founder of Love Your Business, which was established five years ago to help businesses build their networks, gain support and share contacts and referrals, said: “I’m delighted that Nina and Adam from Kalopsia Collective will be the guest speakers at Love Your Business networking club this month. I’ve followed their journey over the last decade, their growth, impressive contract wins and awards, and ongoing mission to make environmental changes in the industry and provide jobs and placements for students to keep the design and manufacturing of textiles in Scotland. At the event, they’ll be sharing their inspiring entrepreneurial story over the last decade, including all the highs and lows, biggest achievements and also their exciting plans for the future.”

Speakers at Love Your Business have included Scott Hastings, Larah Bross, the founder of Bross Bagels, and Chris van der Kuyl, chairman and co-founder of 4J Studios.

Tickets for the event on Thursday, with proceeds going to FACE, Fighting Against Cancer Edinburgh, can be obtained here.

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