What is your greatest achievement so far, and what are you particularly proud?
Kalopsia has been part of various projects from making costumes for international circus performance groups, lecturing and teaching at a variety of universities and research departments, developing galleries and exhibition projects to environmental feasibility studies, hosting the Scottish Government’s “Circular Economy” launch 2016 and showcasing textiles print at venues such as Premier Vision in Paris there is a lot to be proud of.
How would you describe what you do?
Kalopsia is a forward thinking Textiles Micro-Manufacturing company which is pushing the boundaries of what and how Textiles production should look like.
– In 2012, Kalopsia began asking the question “What is Textiles?”.And now, four years later, we keep questioning our industry with goals to increase awareness and knowledge of ecological, ethical and sustainable Textiles.
This background may seem unconventional but our aims are simple:
We believe a sustainable industry is vital to the future of Scottish textiles. We believe that we are ergonomic and we take active steps to ensure that textile waste is kept to a minimum. Working alongside designers, we encourage a made-to-order production which is more economical and less wasteful. Kalopsia encourages a culture of rejecting mass produced, poorly made ‘fast fashion’ and favours high quality textiles that have been made with craftsmanship and skill from concept to manufacture.
We offer low volume, high quality, bespoke manufacturing services here in Edinburgh for anyone in the UK and beyond.
Describe your work space?
It’s a clean white space with two rooms one at the front for all the admin with storage and a comfy arm chair upholstered by the amazing Eve from Native Flok in one of our “Konstrukt” fabrics. The other room is our production and sewing space which has is a light and airy room with high ceilings; there is always one of our designers work in progress on the cutting table and a hanging rail with prototypes of the new garment range we’re currently working on.
When do you work best, are you up with the lark or a night owl?
We are not morning people so we have to have a couple of hours in the morning to start the day. This normally begins with two cups of coffee and a discussion about the day, the work load, meeting notes and ‘to-do’ lists. As we are not only colleagues, we are “conveniently” married too, we can stay up and work all evening if we need too…which is probably the time we are the most creative.
How do you overcome designers block?
When we notice something that frustrates us. When we feel that something isn’t ‘right’, that weirdly feeds our creativity as much as a great film or exhibition.
Where did your love for design originally develop from, what or who, have been your influences?
We met in Norwich in 2009 whilst studying Textiles at Norwich University of the Arts. Adam, is a Pattern and Graphic designer coming from a family background in garment manufacturing and design with his mum being a head seamstress for Marks and Spencer’s underwear back in the day. Nina’s love for design really started in 2001 after a ‘Fashion, Tailor’ degree in Sweden. She later began her first fashion label and shop almost 14 years ago in Stockholm and has since been making products for music videos and TV personalities.
Your home is on fire, what is the one thing you save from the blaze?
Adam’s is obvious – his xbox or Benji (his teddy) and Nina’s would be a necklace from my grandmother.
In terms of procrastination, what are you doing, when you should be doing something else?
Binge watching good series on Netflix (Like most people?) But It’s also amazing how much you can get done when you’re trying to avoid doing the one thing you should be doing. We’re probably built more of Kalopsia whilst trying to avoid the one thing that needed to be done than anything else!
Food & drink: We like our food!
It’s been a long week, what’s in your glass (or mug) on a Friday night.
Red wine or a local beer (some times gin but that’s mostly Adam!)
You have clients coming round, do you bake or buy in the treats to go with your tea/coffee, what are they and why?
Neither of us bake which means we probably would buy something. Nina doesn’t like chocolate but we both like “Prinsesstårta” (Princess cake) which is a traditional Swedish whipped cream and green marzipan cake, sprinkled with powdered sugar, and often decorated with a pink marzipan rose.
Music: What’s on your Studio Play list:
In the studio we listen to a lot of blues, soul, jazz, funk and psychedelic rock (Nina’s favourite) but really what we are always looking for are those few tracks that make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up like ‘Alexander – Truth’ or ‘Major Lazer – Jessica’ or ‘Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds – Into my arms’ and ‘Leo Kottke – Girl from the North Country (the cover is on Youtube, it can be a bit hard to come by.)
Advice: A few pearls of wisdom here.
What is the best advice, you’ve ever been given, business, creative or both and who gave it to you.
– “Don’t start your company on the 16th of March, it will wreck havoc with your tax returns. “- ‘Our accountant’
– Start now, don’t wait, even if your studying or in another job.
If you were starting out again now, what advice would you give your younger self?
“Don’t let people get to you that you don’t respect.” It was said to us a few years back by our mentor and something we keep reminding ourselves when times are hard.
We like to hear about new and up and coming designer and artists, can you recommend someone new that we should know about, and why do you like their work?
It’s so hard to pick, it feels like we are at the start of a massive shift in British design and manufacturing. There will not just be one there will be a wave of new and ground breaking brands, designers and creators taking us by storm over the next few years. We are just so excited to be part of it. A good thing with our job is that we are exploring new designers almost daily.
What is it that draws you to work with fabric and what benefits to your process does Digital Printing bring?
In our in-house textiles print collection “Konstrukt” we are playing with colour and textures and this is when Digital print is vital to us when using such wide ranges of colour. We, like many others, get very excited to see our prints and ideas come to life. A lot of the work we are doing involves colour ways and details that would be impossible to print using traditional methods, so being able to digitally print allows us to take our computer generated ideas and bring them in to a physical world without compromising the design.
And lastly, whose words inspire you, a quote to live life by?
“We don’t really do quotes. Quotes are for the weak, like IQ tests or washing your hands” us