Hands down – what brand comes to mind when you’re looking for a proper pair of gloves? If you’re a skier or an equestrian, there’s a big chance it’s Hestra. 85 years in the business and still going strong, they’ve certainly been doing something right – not to mention that they’ll now be the official supplier for the Swedish Olympic team in Beijing.

But don’t let the sporty edge fool you; they’re just as dedicated when it comes to quality gloves for all the other professionals out there. Whether it’s the national defence or construction workers laying the foundations for new living areas, they’ve got it covered. They even have a complete fashion range, should you need a pair of gloves for a night out, or just for looking stylish during the colder months. Anton Magnusson, a qualified glove maker, is the company’s CEO, and the fourth generation in the family business Hestra Gloves. “The company was founded here in the town of Hestra in 1936, by my great grandfather,” says Magnusson. “My big brother, our two cousins, father and uncle are still active in the company. And we all work very hands-on.”

Hestra Gloves: Quality at your fingertips

A brand by demand

The brand started out making gloves for lumberjacks. And soon after, a ski slope was built in Hestra – Isaberg Mountain Resort – which led to them making gloves for skiing. Since then, the company has expanded and offers a wide variety of gloves in several different categories worldwide. The company name was simply a result of customers more frequently asking for ‘gloves from Hestra’; it was a natural consequence that ultimately became the brand. To produce quality gloves that will last is the driving factor. “That is what leads to happy customers, which in the long run leads to customers that like what we do,” explains Magnusson. “We spend a lot of time sourcing the right materials – fabrics, leather – and we even have
our own production and four factories worldwide. That way, we can verify the quality from the start, which makes our work easier.”

The art of sourcing good-quality materials is something Hestra Gloves has perfected over the years. Working with carefully chosen tanneries and weaving mills means they can guarantee a high-quality product, no matter the occasion. “We’ve worked with some of them for decades,” adds Magnusson. “There’s a tannery in France that we started working with in the 1980s. Together, we developed a chrome-free leather.”

And the development is showing no sign of stopping. They are constantly thinking about ways to improve their products, or on the lookout for what to do next. “A lot of our employees are engaged in sports and other activities,” says Magnusson. “If
they have an idea of something we can improve, then we’ll discuss it and try to find a solution. When we test our products, we might be out skiing or enjoying other activities. That inspires us and gets the thought process going on what we can do next, or better.”

Form from function

The use of quality materials also results in products that look good. “Aesthetics aren’t the main focus,” explains Magnusson, although the use of good materials “shifts focus to function, which together often leads to a pleasant aesthetic”. In other words, the raw materials are often attractive in and of themselves. If you’re not a fan of leather, don’t worry – Hestra Gloves provides other options. The synthetic alternatives are becoming increasingly popular. “There is still a lot of faith in natural products,” Magnusson reflects. “But we do have a lot of nice alternatives that don’t contain animal raw materials. Our aim is to be experts in gloves, which means we need to have alternatives for everyone. Those alternatives have grown in the last few years, and we are looking at alternative materials to meet the demand.”

So you now already know about their gig at the Olympic Games, but that’s not all that’s in store. Continuing to expand the brand worldwide is among the prospects that excites Magnusson the most. “Our main project at the moment is to make our brand more relevant all year round,” he says. “Bicycle gloves, gloves for outdoors, equestrian gloves, fashion and professional – to have them in use all year. We want to be as relevant during the spring and summer as we are in the winter. That’s an exciting project at the moment, and we want to push internationally even further.”

Hestra Gloves: Quality at your fingertips

Web: www.hestragloves.com
Facebook: HestraGloves
Instagram: @hestragloves

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