Houdini Sportswear, the functional life wear company committed to designs that are versatile, circular and timeless, is taking a next step in its brand acceleration by opening a new hub in a landmark location in vibrant Kungsgatan in the Swedish capital city. Just opened, the new venue showcases Houdini’s holistic approach to manufacturing and design, products, services, and knowledge and experiences in one convenient destination.
In addition to having its entire line on display, Electrolux, a long-time Houdini partner, has installed state of the art laundry facilities to demonstrate the best way to care for garments to ensure long term durability and a kitchen, establishing an urban version of campfire. This is a designated space for visitors to gather, chat and connect over coffee and cinnamon buns. Houdini hopes to scale its popular ‘Houdini Menu’ initiative, where the brand collaborates with Rosendals Trädgård, an iconic Stockholm restaurant known for its farm-to-fork concept, and master chef Sebastian Thureson to compost its worn-out base layers and turn them into vegetarian fine dining experiences.
“Our hub at Kungsgatan is a great example of how we reimagine everything, including retail, our universe and purpose as a brand,” said Eva Karlsson, CEO of Houdini. “We want to cultivate relationships, a stark contrast to the transactional character of the apparel sector of today. With relationships comes care, sharing, gratitude and love otherwise the result is solely more clothes. We don’t need more clothes. We need clothes that can do more.”
With the support of White Arkitekter, one of Scandinavia’s leading architectural firms, the original architecture of the building has been embraced and materials preserved in the renovation process. The interior is made from reused or wasted material representing the local biome. Focusing on light and natural materials, the space provides a perfect backdrop for the minimalist and functional designs that decorate its walls.
The hub will live and breathe the brand’s core values and inspire a “maximum experience, zero impact and beyond” way of life. According to Karlsson, “We don’t have any sustainability work. We just have a lot of work.” This common saying within the Houdini team embodies the brand’s approach to work and life: Rather than separating it from everything else, it’s a natural path for the brand to follow, and has been that way since its founding in 1993.
Houdini has long provided circular services to extend product lifetime and offer an alternative to ownership. It started offering Care and Repairs as early as 2008. In 2012, the brand started selling second-hand Houdini garments under the name Houdini Reuse, and the same year, launched Rental. The Care section, in partnership with Electrolux, enables the brand to refresh, wash and upgrade Houdini garments, rented garments before passing them on to others, and even in-store DWR reboot treatments of outerwear.
Electrolux and Houdini share a vision to foster a healthier view on clothing and a desire to create better experiences together when it comes to clothing care. The two Swedish companies have collaborated on innovation projects in the past; thus, joining forces for the Kungsgatan hub is a logical next step.
“We are excited to continue deepening our collaboration with Houdini,” said Tove Chevalley, head of the Electrolux Innovation Hub. “In many ways, we share the same values when it comes to fostering a healthier and more sustainable view towards clothes and how we care for them. We look forward to collaborating and innovating around garment care and how we can help keep garments in the loop for longer. We come from different parts of the ecosystem, but we strongly believe that it is only together that we can tackle the challenges of the fashion system.”
Electrolux is a leading global appliance company that has shaped living for the better for more than 100 years. We reinvent taste, care and wellbeing experiences for millions of people, always striving to be at the forefront of sustainability in society through our solutions and operations. Under our brands, including Electrolux, AEG and Frigidaire, we sell approximately 60 million household products in approximately 120 markets every year. In 2021 Electrolux had sales of SEK 126 billion and employed 52,000 people around the world. For more information go to www.electroluxgroup.com.
About White Arkitekter
White Architects is an award-winning multidisciplinary practice pushing boundaries since 1951. Being Scandinavia’s leading architectural practice, we enable good life through the art of architecture, and ever since the start the greater good has been our core value. We put people, planet, and local economies at the forefront of design.
About Houdini Sportswear
Houdini is an odd band of scientists, artists, designers and adventurers from Sweden on a quest to reimagine the future of functional life wear. Ever since the start in 1993 Houdini has challenged the norms of the textile industry, as a company led by women, as innovators of responsible design and as pioneers of circular business models. Houdini believes that humans are not built to go backwards, but we can go pretty fast when we know the right way forward. Forward to Nature.