Every product has a story, an intricately woven tale that takes you back in time to when the inspiration for the product was gotten, how it was made, and the people who contributed to each part of it. Sometimes we pause to consider this when, for example, we purchase a piece of art- like a sculpture or an oil painting. But how many times do we stop to reflect on this when we drive a brand new Mercedes or try on an elegant dress??
Pitupi, a baby and children clothing company, not only designs baby outfits made from all organic material, they also offer -to their costumers- a unique opportunity to take a journey through time, so that with every baby garment purchased, information from how every button or zipper was sewn, to who sewed them and when, is provided along with each garment.
AIESEC in Lund, had a delightful interview with Pitupi on Friday 4th of November with Stefanie, one of the co-founders of Pitupi. Over coffee, we talked about the brand and the strides they’ve made so far.
What does Pitupi mean, actually?
Pitupi, Stefanie explained, was wittingly coined from the phrase “ people to people” and what Pitupi strives to do is establish a personal relationship between the buyer and the manufacturers of the product.
It is very important to Pitupi, she says, that the customer is satisfied with his or her purchase of comfortable, organic and self-chosen design and in the bid to create awareness of the production behind the baby garments, Pitupi highlights the talent behind the work and provides the story of the seamstresses and a possible way to contact them on their homepage. This creates a less distant, more connected and more emotional relationship to the product and the work and talent behind it.
She laughs, as she recalls wistfully, how some customers even took a bold step and wrote thank you letters to the seamstresses in Albania that took their time to make each stitch perfect.
(Source of the pictures: http://pitupi.de/en/category/blog/)
Do you make clothes for children of all ages?
The garments are designed for new born babies to children up to the age of six, and Pitupi has a service for having the customers send the clothes back to them, so they can be professionally cleaned and recycled.
Stephanie, then went on to speak in detail about how the company is structured and how for a startup company, they have managed to have quite an international market.
The company consists of three shareholders, she says, one located in Sweden one in Germany , where patterns are deigned, and one is situated in Albania, where the clothes are produced.
The idea of locating the production in Albania came through one of the shareholders, Maria Frank, who has family from Albania and is aware of the difficulties women face in finding employment, in rural areas in Albania.
Pitupi tries to provide a solution for this through the empowerment of the women in these areas, who have a lot of talent in sewing and art, by providing them with jobs as seamstresses. Albeit still a small startup, they have future plans to train more women in rural Albania, to continue on as seamstresses, and even manage the local business and factory on their own.
Stephanie also emphasizes that Pitupi’s vision is to empower more women this way in other European countries with similar working conditions in their rural communities.
Up until now, Pitupi, since it was founded in 2015, has worked to establish itself as a pioneer in contributing to a more sustainable world in the fashion sector. They are supported by grants from an Italian catholic organization, and also other financial angels.
Pitupi outfits are currently sold in two stores in Malmo, and other target markets are in Germany and the US.
Startup companies like these, which presents a unique face in an industry that has been around since the dawn of time, empowers local people and especially women, in the bid to reduce inequalities and make the world more sustainable, is indeed admirable to say the least.