From an entrepreneurial point of view, we have developed a strategy adapted to the situation, which reduced the Covid risk. At the worst of the Covid lockdown situation, we considered with openness all new possible solutions and tried to adjust our vision to this new world. Relocating production of our LANA jacket to Switzerland was never in the plan from the start but due to Covid it quickly became a focal point of our discussions.
On one hand, we did have to make the difficult decision on the way, not pursuing with a great production partner in Croatia, who expected more volume and more development. We only produced a very limited edition of 100 pieces. On the other hand, the establishment of a new partnership in Switzerland was not only costly and time-consuming, but the production costs in Switzerland are of course completely different from other European countries. This was forcing us to reconsider what the LANA jacket should be for our consumers.
Obviously, we are delighted to offer a “Made in Switzerland” solution with our LANA jacket. This means that the product, along with Swiss wool and Swiss deerskin, is be a true homage to home. Produced thanks to Covid in Switzerland.
Additionally, we have found the absolute specialist for such clothing with the co-owner Stefan Steiner from the Schuler Manufaktur in Rothenthurm. Stefan and his team have brought an incredible passion for our project, including flexibility, helpfulness and, above all, the expertise that are so important to us, to realize our jacket in the best possible way. Stefan has helped us to instil so much knowledge and expertise, drawn from his work with the traditional Swiss outfits. As our LANA Swiss-wool jacket is our re-interpretation of this history, it became apparent Stefan and Schuler Manufaktur were the ideal partners to bring this product to higher levels of excellence. Such passion and quest for perfection and authenticity quickly made us forget the premium to manufacture clothing in Switzerland.
Finally, our long discussion with Stefan helped to bring into the light the incredible flexibility of “next-to-home” manufacturing. We no longer forced to produce large quantities in advance, but we could move towards a new model. Stefan pushed us even further and opened the incredible box of allowing our consumers to personalize their jacket, according to their own desires and tastes. We had left the industrial model and have entered a new world of handmade products, made to order for the customer, 100% made in Switzerland.
Overall, Covid turned the envisaged mass product jacket LANA into a customizable collector’s item, available to order, which additionally reinforced the homage to traditional Swiss raw materials and traditional Swiss craftsmanship. For us, this means higher costs and smaller margins, but much more flexibility, a lower Covid risk and, above all, more passion, a more customer-specific offer, and an even stronger connection to Switzerland. What was initially a difficult challenge for us to solve has turned into a project through entrepreneurial thinking, a bit of luck in the search for a production partner and an incredible amount of passion for our LANA jacket, which defines us even more and has also shaped us as people and companies has strengthened.
Our initial special offer of the first limited European edition of the LANA jacket will probably no longer exist, but will be replaced by the “Swiss Made” offer, whereby the price and delivery time will be adjusted due to the special production. We will be happy to provide information in due course. In return, we can offer our Muntagnardas and Muntagnards an even more customer-specific product that is tailored to them and manufactured in Switzerland with a lot of passion and craftsmanship – a worthwhile and hopefully the right decision for the future of our LANA jacket and for us as a company in order to get closer to our goal of equipping “Urban Pathfinders” with suitable products for the mountains and the city. Great meeting you Stefan!