Fashion

Balingsta’s ski apparel on-demand challenges industry standards

A small-scale, hyper-local, made to order production — ”endurance connoisseurs” Lennart Claesson and David Alledal’s new concept ticks all the boxes.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
March 16, 2021

While Lennart, Balingsta’s CEO who also works as an art director, prefers running, his copywriter colleague on advertising agency DDB in Stockholm and the brand’s creative director David, is a road cyclist. For obvious reasons, the rough Scandinavian winter season was not their favourite. So, they decided to do something about it. When they couldn’t find the ski wear they were looking for, they overlooked their lack of knowledge from manufacturing or the clothing industry.

— Our main focus was to find a fabric that could keep the skier protected from the harsh environment of the Nordic landscapes. After a lot of research, we found Neoshell from Polartec and instantly we knew that this would fit all our requirements. Not only is it wind- and waterproof, but also highly durable. Together with our timeless design, we think that our apparel can last a lifetime. 

When making clothes, the duo says, the actual process of producing them is where most of the flaws lie. 

— Textilmaskineriet Stockholm is a small factory located on the island of Kungsholmen. We teamed up with them and our idea was to offer our customers clothes that was Made to order. Not only does this mean that you can wear clothes that has been designed and produced in Stockholm, but it also means that you can say goodbye to large stocks, season sales, and overconsumption.

The brand offers world wide shipping and is also looking at the possibility to build similar setups, with local, small-scale production, in different countries and cities. It all comes down to find the right partners that have the level of craftsmanship they’re looking for. And, with the Made to order approach, the whole idea of a collection is challenged. 

— As long as we have the fabric and trims in our factory, we don’t have to take anything out of production. Take the Jacket no.1 for instance, we released it this winter but it will live forever in our range. If someone order it in ten years, we can produce it.

Would you say that customized apparel will become even bigger in the future?

— We’ve obviously guessing here, says Claesson and Alledal, but you don’t have to be that smart to understand that the way we have been manufacturing and consuming has to change. Is customized apparel the solution to every problem? No. But we believe that it is a step in the right direction. An aesthetic step in the right direction.

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