Process & Ethos

Ketums has had a singular vision since its founding in 1925: create deliberately crafted, durable clothing that you will love and wear. As we explore a new chapter and evolve beyond outerwear, we’ll continue being a responsible company that designs beautiful, handmade pieces that wear well with age.

To us, a responsible company owns its processes and externalities and continuously makes adjustments as necessary to lessen its environmental impact and increase its community engagement.

We hope to create a positive legacy through our designs and business practices and we use these six principles to guide our decision making here at Ketums:

Design-First: Our primary goal is to create pieces that you will love, wear, and ideally pass down. This requires deliberate design, including fit and functionality, and a focus on crafting timeless pieces that will outlive trends.

Invest in the Best Materials: We invest in the highest quality fabrics and materials. This means finding materials that are durable, carefully crafted, and unique in order to ensure their longevity. It also means finding materials that are organic or recycled in order to minimize our impact on the environment.

Keep it Local: We try to keep sourcing and construction close to San Francisco. We like being able to monitor the quality of our pieces in person and make quick adjustments with partners we know and trust. Having production close by gives us peace of mind knowing the people behind our pieces are treated with fair wages and working conditions. Sewing is hard work and there is no excuse for a bad work environment.

Minimize Waste: Our goal is to minimize waste throughout the product lifecycle. We design with clean lines that minimize excessive fabric that leads to bagginess, and strip away any elements that are neither aesthetically additive nor functionally integral to the piece. We strive to close the resource loop from one item to another, which means up-cycling the waste created during production of one product to be used as details on future pieces made by Ketums or our partners.

Encourage Care & Repair: Everything lasts longer with proper care. We’ll provide resources for alterations, if necessary, as well as educational resources for repairing garments and how to care for them to maximize their lifespan.  

Change Mindset: Ultimately, we know that Ketums won’t be your only source for clothing, so if we can inspire you to think about where your clothing comes from, learn how it’s made, get involved in the process, and invest in fewer but more valued pieces, we’ve succeeded.

For us, it’s important to understand that being a responsible company is a journey. We’ll be the first ones to tell you where we need to improve. For example, our fabrics for the Bondy jacket are currently sourced from Japan and Scotland because we haven’t found American fabrics of comparable quality. This doesn’t mean that we aren’t looking. Going forward, our goal is to be able to deliver on all six of these principles, without compromising the creative integrity and quality of our pieces.

We’ll provide the highest transparency into our process and create inspiring content that brings you along our journey. We hope that you’ll get involved and support us along the way.

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Origins & Process