What inspired the h.huna ethical collection?

The story behind the grey jumper

The timeless crew neck knit

Our purpose at h.huna is to design and provide seasonless wardrobe staple pieces with a story behind each style, so let's dive straight in to the background of our lovely Scottish mill which makes our knitwear.

Being situated close to the local fish yards, the original purpose of our factory was to knit socks for the local fishermen; many of whom were Northern Isle fishermen who had a tendency to wear Fair Isle patterned jumpers.

Taking inspiration from this they decided to branch out using locally sourced Shetland wool to create knitwear pieces, something to this day they still pride themselves on continuing to use.

Fast forward 80 years and they introduced seam free technology into the mix, called the ‘whole garment’ knitting technique in which they are able to knit each piece as a complete garment straight off the machine, taking those irritating side seams out of the equation and creating a zero waste jumper. 

The story behind the longline shirt

The longline shirt with curved hem in white

Having always been drawn to the textured shirts in menswear departments, I saw Oxford fabric as a way to create a gentlewoman vibe in our collection, and to really show off the masculine roll up cuff feature. It was the sourcing aspect where things got tricky, as the vast array of mills like to work on large quantities based on the high turnover of this fabric for high street stores. Luckily, we came across an agent here in the UK who represents a lovely little Portuguese mill focusing only on Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) cotton (check previous blog on what BCI is all about).

Working on only runs of stock fabrics that never have a shelf life, they were the perfect source for our seasonless style. The crisp cotton texture really enhances the structure of our longline shirt, whilst the thickness of the weave is dense enough for suitability of all seasons.


The story behind the tapered trouser

Tapered wool trousers with elasticated waist

The key to our collection is working with seasonless components across all areas in reflection of the h.huna message. However, jump back to late 2017 when h.huna first started only to discover the source-ability of a thick textured natural fibre fabric with low order quantities was very difficult.

We sampled our first proto sample in a lovely tweed only to find it was only relevant to AW17 and no longer continued (no surprise the minimum order quantity was exceptionally high). With our thinking caps on and phone pretty much glued to our ear, we managed to source an amazing like for like virgin wool tweed base from a UK mill who only pride themselves on working with end of line fabrics sourced from design houses. The creation of these sophisticated, cinched in waist trousers could continue.

The story behind the longline chunky boyfriend cardigan

Our chunky knit grey cardigan

A continuation on the knitwear front from the same mill as our grey jumper but this time we’re focussing on the sourcing of the wool used to create this cosy number. Based in the outskirts of Perth in Scotland, the mill likes to build upon the purpose of lambswool being seen as a wardrobe staple with a long life expectancy. To reflect upon the animal welfare, sustainability and traceability that is so highly sought after, they have established close relationships with the farmers they source their wool from be it those who herd flocks from as little as two to as big as 300 sheep.

Once they receive the wool, they thoroughly check every batch of raw fibre for the length, whiteness and any impurities. It is then sorted and dehaired (to lessen those annoying bobbling issues we often encounter) and each fibre is dyed before spinning using environmentally friendly dyes. As they are situated right beside a natural loch, they use the softness of the natural water to open each fibre to enhance the colour and once used the water is cleaned it is returned back to the loch. 

The story behind the dropped sleeve dress

The black dress every capsule wardrobe needs to start with

You would think to achieve the loose, un-clingy effect alongside texture for this style dress may require a thick fabric, totally defeating the focus of suitability for all seasons. These were exactly our thoughts when working on this design alongside a gorgeous woolen crepe fabric leading me to believe I may have to remove this style from the collection. That was until I discovered a Turkish mill via a textile fair working primarily with recycled and end of line stock fabrics who were able to match the thick crepe fabric I had sourced but in a lighter base.

Having been around for over 70 years, the family run business pride themselves on not following fashion, more so contributing to the garments and their creation. They focus on working with small businesses with a story and purpose, to carry forward their contribution to slow fashion. 

The story behind the short sleeved shirt

The short sleeved box pleat shirt in white

We came across the double box pleat feature of this style through browsing in a Swedish magazine while waiting in departures in Stockholm, and loved the way the fabric was used as a feature to the garment, enriching the crispness of the fabric. Starting the design from the back of the shirt I decided to style this as a short sleeved piece to enable layering potential beneath, which required breathable fabric. Cue a Swiss mill who primarily work with cotton based fabrics designed for all season weather, providing a wide customer base from Scandi brands to customers in Abu Dhabi!

The number of options from their stock fabrics were endless but I managed to narrow it down to this lovely crisp texture with a bit of flex and tested out the crease potential whilst wearer trialing…result, the crisp-ness stayed consistent and we loved it!

The story behind the ankle grazers

Our cropped trousers with tapered leg

Wishing to build upon the Industrial Revolution that stemmed from the UK in the 1700s in which textiles were the dominant industry using modernised production methods in their manufacturing (check out how fashion has developed over the centuries), I wanted to relate this chino design to its historic creation as a military garment. Keeping a masculine twist with structure alongside comfort but without being ‘too’ safe style wise, a tapered detail at the hem and a side slit to flash those ankles added a chic essence.

Cut in a cotton twill fabric base with a bit of stretch from a mill from up north here in the UK, which has been working on weaving, spinning and dying their cotton for decades, focussing on their heritage and keeping their collections seasonless.