Marise and Nikolaj Østergaard met by chance in what used to be Nikolaj’s cashmere store. They quickly found a common love and interest for quality, design and each other. Månestråle was established shortly after in 2001 with their own store and wholesale.
Next followed the multibrand store Magilleriet and a lot of Monobrand Flagship stores in Denmark and Sweden such as Marc Jacobs, Christian Louboutin, Stella McCartney and Isabel Marant.
After years of buying endless collections 4 times a year, a dissatisfaction started to occur. Countless goods passed through the system, but somehow, it still felt like being behind. The more you get, the more you want and after a couple of months it needed to go on sale.
It wasn’t sustainable anymore for the spirit nor for the wallet. So Marise and Nikolaj decided to give their old Månestråle baby the attention it deserves, with a new digital platform, a modernized logo and last but not least, all the styles they missed.
THE NAME MÅNESTRÅLE
Månestråle (moonbeam) are rays of light from the moon that hits the surface of the ocean a late evening. They are more mysterious than the rays from the sun, they have their own cycle that comes and goes and when you see a full moon in a clear night sky, it's pure magic.
It was actually the old Danish cartoon ‘Sølvpil’ who inspired the name of the brand. The chief’s daughter, Månestråle was the epitome of a smart and intelligent woman. She was beautiful, she was brave and her loyal companion was a puma kitten. It doesn’t get better than that.
Cashmere is like a precious metal in the clothing industry. It has a pure value, which demands you to make your best effort. We don’t work with seasons, instead we are creating our styles as little families that compliments each other. This means, that a Månestråle knit is just as relevant now as in 5 years. When you are working with knitwear, it’s often the small things that makes the difference. We are putting a lot of attention into the details.
Our design studio is located in Copenhagen, where we design and measure everything before sending it off to our production at Mauritius.
We first visited Mauritius on a vacation, that ended up being a big inspiration for something else and more. Mauritius is mainly famous for three things: tourism, sugar and knitwear production. We came as tourists and met friends that turned out to be extremely skilled knitwear manufacturers.
We’ve been passionate about producing in places with good conditions, where our business can make a positive impact in the local community, long before it was in fashion. We choose Mauritius because of the skilled people. The human aspect is important to us and we also wish to uphold the luxury it is to be able to only produce in small quantities to avoid waste.
A large amount of clothes in the western world is only used a few times before living a life in the back of a stuffed closet. At Månestråle, we wish to do the exact opposite. We want our styles to be used over and over again – and with the natural antibacterial properties of cashmere, it is built to live a long life.
It is our demand, that our manufacturers can guarantee a good working environment and that all employers get a proper salary. We are only producing in small quantities and to demands – in order to avoid crowded warehouses and reduce waste.
It is our intention to take actions towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
All Månestråle cashmere and merino wool is due to the nature of the material, biodegradable. This means, that you can technically bury your Månestråle knit in the ground where it will disappear with time. We are furthermore, as a modern business, always on the look for new technologies or methods in our production that can promote a greener planet.
It means a lot to us to work with skilled yarn suppliers, who take responsibility for the environment, ethics and the social aspect of the production. It is important to us, that the entire supply chain is transparent from the fibers to the final production. Our yarn supplier works with circular economy, reuse of waste and works towards 100% green energy by optimizing energy and use of water.
Our cashmere has recently been awarded with Good Cashmere Standard, that follows three main principles: promoting animal welfare in cashmere production, supporting the cashmere farmers to secure a sustainable stream of income and to protect the environment.
THE FUTURE OF MÅNESTRÅLE
At Månestråle we want to keep acquiring more knowledge about the wonderful craft and quality of knitwear. We want to explore and experiment, but we also demand longevity. We will not be making knits only based on fast trends, as everything we create needs to live a long life. If you’ve had our knits for so long that you’ve become tired of it, you won’t throw it away but put it in the back of the closet for another time or pass it on to someone you care for.