'We really need to stop throwing out garments when they are no longer perfect. You can repair them, dye them or embrace their impermanence, as long as you don't throw them away'. That is the philosophy of Sjaak Hullekes and Sebastiaan Kramer, owners of the Hul le Kes label. Turning something old into something new, that's what Hul le Kes does. Each piece of clothing is unique. The Arnhem-based label makes clothing from remnants and fabrics they find at flea markets. Hullekes loves old French tablecloths. 'It's an antique fabric with a story, it has imperfections'. The brand therefore never uses new fabrics. The Hul le Kes labels, for example, are made of oil lamp wicks, bought by the roll, also on the flea market.
The love of imperfection is also reflected in the colours, which are created using organic waste. Almost every item of clothing is dyed using sustainable raw materials such as avocado seeds, onion peels, coffee, tea, apples and chestnuts. Sometimes items go into a dye bath as many as four times, the staining process getting stronger. This creates beautiful, marble-like colours.
Each item comes with a passport. It states what the garment is made of and you can keep track of when you have worn it, when the first hole was made in it and so on. When you are finished with the garment, it can be returned to Hul le Kes and reused. 'And it could be that you see a blouse in a jacket or a jacket in a pair of trousers. We keep that freedom,' says Hullekes. A new dye bath is also possible.
Heart and soul
In addition to their label Hul le Kes, they've set up Hul le Kes Recovery Studio, a crafts studio for clothes and people. In the studio they not only repair clothes, but also offer a workplace where people can work on themselves and recover and develop at their own pace. In a nutshell, Hul le Kes is all about the imperfection and inspiration of garments. And that is what makes their clothes - as far as we are concerned - not only full of character but also extremely interesting.