Houdini Sportswear: “How could we be proud of profits made at the expense of people and planet?”

PARTNER UPDATE. Forming the foundation of Houdini Sportswear are functionality, responsibility, and circularity. Reuse, recycling, repair, and rental are key elements of a business model that currently looks very different from most of the outdoor industry
“It has taken a lot of work, but 87 percent of our products are now circular. And we’re on our way to 100 percent,” says Eva Karlsson, CEO of Stockholm-based Houdini Sportswear.
Eva Karlsson, CEO of Houdini Sportswear.
Eva Karlsson, CEO of Houdini Sportswear.

“Unfortunately, no one is even close yet to what we’re doing. But it’s part of our mission to share, and open-source is our way of doing business. When, for instance, there’s a new technology – like a new fabric – we don’t vie for exclusivity, which often happens in the apparel industry. No way – we want to collaborate.”
Through its partnership with We Don’t Have Time, Houdini is extending this way of doing business.
“We became a partner because we know we learn through collaboration,” says Eva. “We want to continue to evolve as a company, and we think we can improve even faster through hearing from others and networking here.”
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Watch Eva Karlsson and other sustainability experts debate the future of fashion during Exponential Climate Action Summit III – Circularity and the Race to Zero.
Houdini’s business operations include sourcing only sustainably produced, highly durable, natural-fibre or circular synthetic fabrics for their clothing. Their apparel is designed to be multifunctional and long-lasting, while used clothing is regathered back into the business model and made available secondhand. Customers also have the option of renting apparel for specific uses.
“Within the outdoor industry, some might look at our brand and think it doesn’t look very outdoorsy. And that’s the point,” says Eva.
“You can have a small wardrobe that does everything for you. It makes life simpler to have less stuff and not have to bother with changing clothes for different activities – whether that’s walking or cycling to work or, like here in Stockholm, going out on the water, being in the boardroom or out on a mountain. Our clothes help our customers live the lifestyle they want to live.”
“This model also combats overconsumption, which, as a business, we have the responsibility to do,” adds Eva. “Our clothing inspires customers to become caretakers and not just users of what they purchase. We’re transforming not only production but consumption and culture.”

About Houdini Sportswear:
Houdini is a progressive outdoor company headquartered in Stockholm, Sweden. Since their first clothing collection in 1993, their intention has been to push the norms of how outdoor clothing is made. They are a team of 40 people in more than 20 countries — with the Nordics, Germany, U.S., and Japan being the biggest offices — who work together at the forefront of sustainable performance design on a mission to “do good, play hard, push boundaries, have fun.”
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