Made from the very best materials and designed for comfort, durability and style, Snow Finel Ski Wear is a British brand that offers unique designs combining luxury merino wool, signature zips and embroidery. With Brand Ambassadors Graham Bell and Chemmy Alcott the brand has made quite a name for itself already. We got the opportunity to interview Founder Louise Waldron as to why she started the brand.
What does Snow Finel Ski Wear stand for and what sets you apart from other ski wear brands?
The Finel in Snow Finel is a reference to a piste in Mürren in Switzerland. We are lucky enough to have a place there, the Finel piste is one of the last runs down to the village, it changes everyday, sometimes it’s pisted, sometimes it’s icy, bumpy…a bit like running a small business! What sets my brand apart for others is the fact that I design and get everything manufactured in the UK. I am a passionate skier but I also like to look good on the slopes. I design functional but stylish merino knitwear for skiers who want practical, smart kit.
How do you decide on each seasons designs and collections?
Merino is the perfect choice for exercise kit, it’s natural, it’s brilliant at regulating your body temperature and it’s a sustainable fibre. I knew the only fibre that I wanted to use was merino. It’s fantastic! The merino wool comes from New Zealand as we do not farm merino sheep here.How do you decide on each seasons designs and collections?
The collections are pretty classic, I always make a range of baselayers and jumpers that work well together. I decide on new colours ever season. This years inspiration for the collections is the Mountains. The Chemmy racer and the Mountain range jumpers outlining the great peaks in The Alps.
Where do you produce your ski wear and why is it important to be able to trace production?
All production is in the UK. I use three factories who make my designs exclusively for me. I spent time in each factory to help me decide which factory to use.
Why is a personal touch so important to people when shopping and how can you achieve this digitally?
I believe people to buy products from people. People love the story around my brand and appreciate the fact that I understand what it’s like to live in the mountains and the requirements of the kit to ensure you are always comfortable and warm. I am always happy to discuss customers requirements, that’s what people like, advise and clear information.
How did the ambassadors of Snow Finel Ski Wear come about? What’s it like to with Graham and Chemmy?
Chemmy is a member of my ski club The Kandahar club based in Mürren, we started to work together last year. We skied together in Austria and Mürren last season – brilliant fun but slightly terrifying too… Corning at speed made me shut my eyes! Graham came on board after hearing about Snow Finel on Ski Sunday. He’s been great fun to work with… he never takes his Snow Finel off. Fingers crossed we will ski with him this year!Have you found the present economic situation has changed how people shop and if so how?
Historically I have spent winter out on the road at Christmas Fairs, this year we are totally online. This has been a learning curve to ensure we present ourselves well online, people need to get all the information online rather than through touching and feeling the product. It seems to be going OK.
What has Snow Finel Ski Wear done to pivot its business to work with these new shopping trends?
Selling online is all about giving the customers everything they need to help them decide if the product is right for them. I hope we have achieved that with the website.
Do you think becoming more ethical and sustainable is important in the fashion and ski wear industry? What are you doing to be more sustainable?
Merino is a sustainable, recyclable product. My garments are knitted in one piece so very little wool is wasted. We don’t treat the wool with chemicals to keep it as natural as possible, we pack in cotton bags and send out on paper. We are trying really hard to reduce the impact we have on the environment. It costs more but it definitely the only way for me.
What is in the future for Snow Finel Ski Wear and do you have any exciting new launches in the pipeline?
The future is about continuing to develop new products and designs. We do have a really exciting new partnership in the pipelines… more on that later!
Visit Snow Finel’s website for more information and to see their collections.