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March 04, 2022 7 min read

Have you ever wondered what the stories behind our brands are? This time, in celebration of the upcoming Women's Day, we want to introduce you to our brands that are female founded business. Keep reading to find out how Girlfriend Collective, Népra, Lilja the Label, Kari Traa, Houdini, People Tree and Varg got their start.

Girlfriend Collective in a nutshell:

  • Eco-friendly, ethical and fair trade activewear 
  • Socially responsible and ethical brand
  • The main raw material is recycled, post-consumer plastic drinks bottles
  • Wide size range for all women
  • The products look really good and are extremely comfortable to use

Story behind the brand:

The Girlfriend Collective was founded in 2016 by Ellie Dinh together with her husband Quang Dinh. Ellie was having trouble finding ethically made women's leggings and this gave them the idea. Ellie and her husband Quang saw that there was a market for more eco-friendly activewear and that's how Girlfriend Collective was founded.

Girlfriend Collective's first goal was to be as transparent as possible and it is still one of the most important values for them.They even ensure that the origin and content of every fabric is fully transparent, so you know exactly what you're putting against your body. 

Their main goal with Girlfriend is to produce the best sustainable alternative to synthetic activewear that combines performance, functionality and style. Each one of their pieces of clothing is also so beautiful and comfortable to wear that they don't sit at the bottom of the wardrobe and they also make you feel good when you wear it. In manufacturing, their top priorities are using recycled materials, committing to ethical manufacturing and representing the beautiful spectrum of customer base in their product selection and marketing.

See our Girlfriend Collective collection here!



Népra in a nutshell:

  • Holistic, minimalist and ethical activewear brand
  • Designed in Finland and manufactured ethically in Estonia
  • Quality fabrics are sourced from Italy
  • Timeless design and long-lasting materials

Story behind the brand:

The story of Népra started when Ama wanted to find someone who could make perfect patterns for well-fitting activewear. The search was initiated through an old teacher via email and this email was also seen by Essi, who became one of the co-founders of Népra.

Essi and Ama were complete strangers to each other and met for the first time in May 2015. Plans were made and a lot of thought was given to whether their ideas could be turned into something bigger. One thing led to another and the new friends decided to work for the summer at first and then look further afield. The first month was spent getting to know each other and building the foundations of Népra.

In August 2015, when Essi came up with the Népra logo, things started to move forward. Trademark applications were filed and in October they started preparing to start the company. The final push was a loan from Finnvera to get the business off the ground. Népra was finally officially launched in November 2015. 

Népra is an activewear brand that wants to do good. They have big goals and are passionate about making activewear that stands the test of use and time, and driving change in the way we behave as consumers.

See our Népra collection here!



Lilja the Label in a nutshell:

  • Ethical Finnish swimwear and lifestyle brand
  • Inspiration comes from Finnish nature
  • Conscious choices in production chain
  • Ethically handmade products family-ran factory in Bali
  • Earthy colours paired with graphic and minimalistic prints


Story behind the brand:

Lilja the Label was founded by Laura in 2016. The story of Lilja started when Laura wanted to do something for herself and see where it would take her. Laura is an surfer, outdoor enthusiast and traveller and she wanted to create products that worked without compromise. Later Lilja has expanded to a two-person team that designs the collections in Helsinki and the products are manufactured in a family-owned factory in Bali.

Our beautiful nature is an important inspiration for Lilja's products so they want to make conscious choices in the production chain so that future generations can also enjoy the beautiful nature.
Lilja's products are designed to bring joy to their buyers for a long time and stay as your swim staples for seasons to come.

"‘Lilja’ is a Finnish word for lily. Once voted one of the most beautiful words in the Finnish language, ‘Lilja’ and ‘Lily’ simultaneously symbolise both a flower and a feminine first name. Therefore our brand name is the perfect ode to the nature and to the person wearing our items."

See our Lilja the Label collection here!




People Tree in a nutshell:

  • Pioneer of sustainable and conscious fashion
  • Passionate about prints and patterns in organic cotton, artisan handcrafts, global equality and the environment
  • Collections are designed in London, England
  • For more than 15years People Tree UK has partnered with Fair Trade farmers


Story behind the brand:

A pioneer in sustainable Fair Trade fashion and ethical sportswear, People Tree story started in 1991. The core mission has stayed the same over the past three decades since award-winning social entrepreneur Safia Minney founded the company. Every product is made to the highest ethical and environmental standards from start to finish.

People Tree producers use traditional skills and combine them with new innovative technologies to support and grow their business. Using skills such as handloom, hand knitting or hand embroidery, they create jobs in rural areas where employment is often scarce.

People Tree's mission is to support producer partners towards economic independence, protect the environment and use natural resources properly. They also want to make quality products for customers and raise awareness about Fair Trade and environmentally sustainable solutions. People Tree wants to be an example to other companies and governments of a Fair Trade business model based on partnership, people-oriented values and sustainability.

See our People Tree collection here!



Kari Traa in a nutshell:

  • Founder Kari Traa is a famous Olympic medallionist
  • All-women team
  • Comfortable and great looking athletic wear, tailor made for women’s needs
  • Mission is to inspire girls and women to be happier, healthier and stronger
  • Animal welfare is a priority 


Story behind the brand:

Kari Traa is a famous Olympic athlete and his brand story begins in Voss, the small town between the fjords and mountains of Norway where she was born and raised. In addition to good skiing skills, she is also very creative and has a good eye for design. In between competing, Kari was a keen knitter of hats and also designed her own skiwear. She created designs that became so popular with friends and fellow skiers around the world that in 2002 she decided to turn her hobby into a business. And thats how the Kari Traa brand was born.

The Kari Traa collection has grown from a small selection of headwear to a large brand for active women. Strong colours, design and technical features have made Kari Traa's clothing popular.

To this day, Kari Traa's clothing is still inspired by fond childhood memories, Norway's rugged nature, harsh weather conditions and Scandinavian traditions. The sportswear is designed to perfectly fit a woman's body, but still meet the needs of an active, sporty and adventurous lifestyle. Kari Traa's clothing is specifically designed for girls, by girls.

See our Kari Traa collection here!

Houdini in a nutshell:

  • Creates technical, minimalist outdoor apparel
  • Minimalist design from Sweden
  • 100% recyclable, renewable, biodegradable materials
  • Intend to go 100% circular with nature

Story behind the brand:

Houdini's story began in the late 80s and early 90s, when young Lotta Giornofelice was working as a climbing and cross-country skiing guide. Lotta was also an active mountaineer and travelled the world in search of the best skiing and climbing routes. While climbing the Pyramide du Tacul in Chamonix, Lotta and her crew found themselves in an exposed and dangerous situation. During the situation, someone shouted "Save me Houdini" to summon the powers of the famous escape artist. The team made it out of the mountains safely and this shout became instant classic and the name of Lotta's new clothing brand.

Lotta needed clothes for her own activities, such as climbing and skiing. Clothes that kept key muscle groups warm but didn't make the wearer overheat or sweat. Thus Lotta started making her own fleece garments and they became an instant success, and the word spread like wildfire in the climbing and skiing community.

The first Houdini collection was produced by a local seamstress in Vällingby in 1993 and the next collection required even more production capacity due to its great success. Functional and stylish were something new, as was the woman-led company in the outdoor industry.
Now, more than 25 years later, Lotta is still part owner of Houdini, but she is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations.

"Houdini was founded because I needed clothes that didn't exist, I am very proud of what I achieved and how Houdini is developing. Especially the sustainability work, which is at the heart of everything Houdini does."
Lotta Giornofelice

See our Houdini collection here!



Varg in a nutshell:

  • Swedish outdoor brand
  • Functional and inspirational clothing
  • Careful and respectful of our environment
  • Skandinavian design
  • Recycled fibers and wool

Story behind the brand:

Varg was founded by Swedish athlete Madeleine Magnusson. She wanted clothes that were made from comfortable materials, had a relaxed, homely feel and reflected Madeleine's spirit and attitude to life. Varg's inspiration comes from Madeleine's roots in the rugged Swedish coastline, indigenous craftsmanship and people who have learned to live in harmony with nature. As an athlete, Madeleine also knows what outdoor clothing requires to serve its purpose. Functionality, comfort, athleticism and style are important in sportswear. As well as beautiful details that bring out the personality.

Varg, born out of longing for the authentic Scandinavian emotion yearning for functional clothes for the adventures of life. Careful and respectful of our environment. The mix between the rugged sporty and clearly Scandinavian design makes Varg unique.

"With Varg, we want you to feel that you wear something special and authentic that will accompany you through life’s adventures. It’s that rare feeling that is our main driving force."

See our Varg collection here!