Interview with founder Anne-Sofie Olrik
Documented by Yasmina Pérez, published at smallable.com, September 2022
It’s a pristine, blue-sky day as we wind our way through the countryside of Denmark’s East Jutland. We’re en route to the outskirts of Aarhus, an idyllic setting where one half of the duo behind knitwear label FUB, Anne-Sofie Olrik, has put down roots for her and her family.
In between cups of tea and strolling through the dreamy garden with her dog, Anne-Sofie tells us about the brand – founded sixteen years ago – and its unwavering commitment to quality and sustainability.
How did the idea for FUB come about?“
It came about after the birth of my eldest son. I was into knitwear but always struggled to find the right quality, fit, and colours, so I decided to start doing it myself. At that time, I was working as a womenswear designer, but it seemed right for me to start with kids and baby clothing, and then when the time was right to add women’s styles too.”
What were you looking to create with your own brand?
“I wanted to create quality knitwear: clothes that could last and be worn by several kids; comfortable clothes suitable for both boys and girls, that would not go out of fashion even when stored away for a few years.”
How would you describe FUB’s identity?
“The brand is inspired by the Scandinavian knit heritage in both shape, stitches, and colours. Our collections offer contemporary styles in natural materials, created with special attention to detail and fine craftsmanship. We value working with the best materials to ensure quality and durability.”
FUB creates comfortable and sustainable knitwear for kids and women. What is your approach to reducing the brand’s environmental impact?
“With only two collections a year, our production is limited. Meaning that we only produce for orders – not for stock and not for waste. Only for long-term use. We use the best raw materials to ensure lifelong durability. The raw materials are produced without using any harmful chemicals such as synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, or defoliants. And we only use low impact, metal-free dyes that meet strict environmental guidelines. It is essential to us that we can offer our customers healthy, clean products that have been produced under responsible and safe conditions.”
Can you tell us a bit about the design process and how the collections are made?
“We always start a new collection by developing a lot of different knit swatches that vary in stitch, gauge, and ply. This gives us a range of different details, finishes, structures, and thicknesses to work with. At the same time, we start selecting the colours for the season, which are always a mix of classic FUB colours and more seasonal shades. As soon as we have the swatches, we start designing different styles we imagine would work well with the structures or details we have selected, and then the big puzzle starts. There is a limit to the size of the collection, and at the same time there must be a balance in the collections between our FUB classics and new developed styles. When this is achieved, we start selecting which styles should come in which colours. However, this is a very fluid process, changes can still be made when we start receiving samples.”
What does a typical day at work look like for you?
“It really depends on the time of the season. Right now, we are busy developing the SS23 collection, receiving samples and commenting on them and at the same time planning the campaigns for both the kids and women’s collections, choosing the mood, location, styling, and models. At the same time, we are preparing the production of AW22, receiving production samples that must be approved before the production starts.”
Where do you draw inspiration for your collections?
“The inspiration comes from the materials, and every season inspires the next. There are always structures we want to develop further, and samples that inspire new styles. Since we have been working with the same yarns and qualities since we started, we have a lot of experience and a huge archive of both samples and swatches to gain new ideas from.”
What’s on the horizon for FUB?
“First of all, we want to continue our journey towards sustainability by running a responsible, fair, and durable company. We want our business to grow but in a steady pace that allows us to live up to our reputation in terms of quality, delivery, and price range.”
You live in a beautiful village in the countryside. What do you like most about living here?
“Being surrounded by nature.”
Do you have any recommendations for a family visiting this area for a few days?
“I would recommend going for a seaside walk, especially in Jernhatten. It is said that Tolkien used this landscape and area as inspiration when writing Lord of the Rings. It is very special. If the weather is good, I recommend going for a swim after the hike. Next to the carpark there is a café that is always open in summer.
I would also recommend visiting Ebeltoft. The old town centre is filled with centuries-old half-timbered houses and small local shops. You can end your stroll at the harbour with a coffee or hot chocolate at the local café or lunch at one of the beachfront restaurants. While you’re at the harbour, you can also see ‘Fregatten Jylland’ the world’s largest remaining wooden ship.
And if you like nature and hiking you should visit the Mols Bjerge National Park – the landscape was shaped during the Ice Age, and it is very beautiful.”