Dilling, Herning, Denmark

At my studies of Sustainable Fashion at Copenhagen Business School, I came across a very interesting Danish producer and brand. I really like Denmark and the fashion scene there as well as the Copenhagen Fashion Summit, with its pioneering inspiring talks and networks. A reason to look closer. Although we have spotlighted some brands for sustainability here, this is a bit different. It is about underwear and sportswear.  

Dilling – The sustainable choice – is a family business with a long tradition. Is has been founded in 1916 with the aim, to produce and sell underwear with high quality. Dilling is a Danish company, which sees sustainability as a core value. It is an aspect in every decision they are making. Their vision is to become the most sustainable fashion brand in Europe.

The company produces and sells high qualitative underwear and sportswear with timeless shapes and colors. They have decided to build up their own dying facilities in Denmark with no harming chemicals or heavy metals. Therefore, they are taking into account, that they are not able to provide underwear in every color.

The GOTS certificated underwear and sportswear is a good choice for people with allergic skin reactions, due to the sustainable materials. Dilling dispenses super washing of most of its articles, due to chlorine, which would land in water. The company has changed their dye process due to an allergic reaction to formaldehyde of one of their team members. The companies proves that people and planet are counting something.

Dilling is very transparent concerning the sourcing, production and sales process. As raw materials, Dilling uses organic cotton and organic merino wool, which they are sourcing in Turkey and Patagonia. You will learn everything about the sheep herds – also things, which makes us thinking about.

They produce in Europe with fair working conditions (Germany, Lithuania and Denmark). Local supply chains are favored because of transparency, the more easy production of new materials or adaption of production process. As customer, you get a lot of information about the supply chain.

Even though, the product range is quite limited, it is a good example for the complexity of fashion industry. Buying a bio cotton top is a real journey – from cotton field in Turkey, to spinning in Germany, weaving and dying in Denmark, sewing in Lithuania, and finally back to Denmark and then to the customer and that for a very fair price. Dilling can provide a very good price, because they sell directly online to the customer.

Further, Dilling supports the German allergy and asthma association.

Dilling is good example for a business following a three-bottom line – being good for people, planet and profit. A good example to follow. I really like that they are very open with the communication about things that they think could be better in their processes. They are interested a lot in going further and finding new solutions for sustainability.

We think that Dilling shows very well, how innovation and adaption can lead to sustainability and that over four generations by now.

We will follow their journey.

www.dilling-underwear.de

photo credit by Dilling