Young textile entrepreneurs at Kalopsia expand and create new jobs

From left - Nina Falk and Adam Robertson
From left - Nina Falk and Adam Robertson

Scotland’s only textiles product manufacturer for knitters, printers and weavers, Kalopsia Collective, with clients including the V&A Dundee, Creative Scotland and Historic Environment Scotland, has announced plans to expand its premises and create three new jobs, following support from various organisations including Business Gateway Edinburgh.

Based in Leith, the company, which focuses on a circular economy business model involving an ethical and sustainable manufacturing process to help reduce waste, was founded by former fashion designer, Nina Falk and graphic designer Adam Robertson in 2012.

They offer bespoke designed and manufactured clothing and accessories and an ‘Assemble’ service using fabric provided by clients to produce batch white label accessories, including ties, bags, dresses, cushions and totes.

Clients include the V&A Dundee, working alongside textile designer Laura Spring to manufacture scarfs which are sold in the shop, Creative Scotland to manufacture scarfs for guests at Cannes Film festival and design studio, Wallace Sewell to make shopper bags to celebrate the 100th anniversary of The Bauhaus in Berlin.

The company also manufactured collars and cuffs for Historic Environmental Scotland by American designer and visual artists Jeff Garner for their ‘Women of the Crown’ fashion show.

Growing year-on-year, Kalopsia, which became a social enterprise in 2016, is ready to expand its Leith-based factory and increase the team from five to eight by the summer.

Their mission is to reduce surplus waste before it’s created by ensuring orders are correctly measured, allow fair access to ethical and sustainable manufacturing services, to design and produce for longevity, durability and long-lasting style and support the re-growth of textiles industry in the UK.

Support from Business Gateway Edinburgh over the last year includes ongoing business development, marketing and help to build their network with related industries.

Adam said: “We are delighted to be in a position to expand our business and create more manufacturing jobs in Scotland, thanks to the help we’ve received from various organisations including Business Gateway.

“Our aim is  to raise awareness of ethical and sustainable textiles, including recycling all fabric cuttings and to work closely with designers to ensure they are using products with the minimum environmental impact which our innovative ‘Assemble’ model has allowed us to do.

“We’ve seen an overwhelming engagement from both our clients and consumers with our environmental and social missions, resulting in a notable increase in our sales year-on-year.

“This goes against the general consensus on consumer behavior around the price of goods and shows clearly that more and more people are putting the quality of a product and the conditions in which it was made ahead of its price, which we’ve been in a position to utilise.

“Our success over the years is not only down to understanding how people make their buying decisions and the impact it has on the environment but also getting support from organisations like Business Gateway Edinburgh who’ve helped us address the fundamental business challenges that can make or break a business, which we are very grateful for.”

Susan Harkins, Head of Business Gateway Edinburgh, said: “We are delighted to be able to support Kalopsia who are leading the way in sustainable and environmental design and manufacturing in Scotland and creating new jobs in the industry.

“Their ethos, impressive portfolio of clients and growth over the last few years is testament to the very talented founders and their mission to change the way consumers shop particularly in the retail industry.

“We are really looking forward to being able to continue supporting them throughout the next stage of their exciting journey.”

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