Sweater with puff sleeves made of 100% extra fine merino wool in azure blue
FOUNDER IN INTERVIEW:
Larisa Pitkevich, textile industrial engineer and business economist, has been successful in her job for 15 years. In an interview, she told us why she has quit her job and given up her management position in a large company in order to sell knitwear produced fairly in Europe and explained what is special about her young collection.
Larisa, how did you get the idea to quit your successful job and start a fashion label?
Larisa: First of all: t7berlin is not fashion in the classic sense. We produce good and highly combinable essentials: sweaters, cardigans, knitted dresses and loungewear that outlast fast-moving trends. Our knitwear adapts to the trends, but is also up to date tomorrow. And that's why quality and comfort are particularly important here.
I am a big fan of fairly produced products and, above all, of high quality. Things that you really have to look for in the textile industry these days. But there you can find cheap polyester clothes of poor quality made in Asia in abundance. Why? Because the cost pressure on companies in the industry is growing. And where do you save first? Correct: Where it goes the fastest, with production and personnel costs. The result are products that have absolutely nothing to do with sustainability.
But isn't cheap just what people want?
Larisa: That's the point. The cheaply produced goods are not cheap for the end consumer. In the middle price segment, such polyester clothes sometimes cost more than 300 euros for many brands. But that doesn't seem to bother anyone, the clothes are selling.
On the other hand, there are more and more customers who choose to consume consciously. They want high quality and products that have been produced fairly and sustainably. And there are enough manufacturers in Europe who offer exactly that at a reasonable price. Unfortunately, in most cases such companies cannot survive the tough price war.
So the idea arose to found a brand that works exclusively with EU manufacturers who produce sustainably and offer high quality. In this way we can work together to strengthen small and medium-sized companies in Europe.
Can these companies produce high quality, sustainable and still fast enough?
Larisa: Yes, you can. Especially since quality and fair working conditions are more important to us than fast delivery times. We want to support conscious consumer behavior. We also reduce CO2 emissions through short delivery routes. It is only produced in small quantities in order to counteract overproduction and thus the waste of valuable materials and energy. That is why the sentence on our website is: "That sometimes means a little waiting time for you, but our earth will thank us all for it".
On your website you also speak of “good mood clothes”. What are good mood dresses, please?
Larisa: Yes, our range consists exclusively of good-mood clothing 😊
Knit dresses, sweaters, leisure suits that are not only worn for one season, but rather dresses that accompany us through everyday life in every situation. Above all, the extraordinary wearing comfort, which is guaranteed by seamless 3D knitting technology, puts you in a good mood.
The collection consists of high-quality basics: sweaters, skirts, knitted dresses, casual suits that look as if you would never want to take such a dress off again.
In addition, we only use pure natural yarn, which is also produced in the EU, which is OEKO Tex certified and mulesing-free.
And that is what distinguishes t7berlin from other labels?
Larisa: Yes. We only use natural yarns for our knitwear - 100% extra-fine merino wool. There are still plans for silk and mixed yarns made from cashmere, merino wool and silk.
The special thing about it: All pieces are seamless and are produced in one piece. The technology takes three-dimensional physique into account: clothing adapts better to the shape of the body and ensures a natural fit.
This knitting technology is hardly known in Europe or is used exclusively for sportswear and underwear. We work here with one of the best manufacturers for seamless knitwear and can therefore also offer high-quality clothing.
Another difference to the production processes of other brands: We largely do without chemicals and only use organic detergents and vinegar to stabilize colors.
We also pay attention to the production standards, just like in the good old days: with us, the wool is not only steamed, as is currently very often the case in the fashion industry, for cost reasons, but first washed twice and then treated with steam. In this way we ensure that really clean wool is processed and that absolutely no allergens remain. We also guarantee that the knitted parts will not deform or discolor.
And the future plans?
Building a company step by step from scratch is a daunting challenge. This is even more complex without external funding. But I took on this challenge and I look forward to it every day.
You will hear a lot from t7berlin in the next 5 years 😊
We support conscious consumer behavior. We want to help that European craftsmanship is preserved and that European factories have a more secure future. We produce sustainably and exclusively in small quantities in the EU. Thus avoid overproduction and waste of valuable resources. That may mean a little waiting time for customers sometimes, but our earth will thank us all for that!