Heroic expeditions do not begin at the base camp of the most prestigious climbings. Attention to detail and meticulous preparation have been central in the history of alpinism to transform adventures in history. The same happened when Level decided to start its collaboration with Fiwo, a not-for-profit company in the field of the production of wool derivates with a keen eye on the planet and social justice.
Fiwo goes back to 2005. The idea behind its creation was born in the mind of Hans-Ueli Scherr, an experienced social worker with years in the field. Scherr wanted to collect an amount of wool in between five and ten thousand kilograms of raw products during the first year of the company.
With such a quantity, the charitable enterprise would have been able to keep the new industrial process alive. Expectations were exceeded in the first two years of the newborn project, a common ground shared by all great histories of success. Fiwo managed to collect from 2005 to 2007 a hundred and fifty thousand kilograms of raw wool. “In the first year we did all our best to collect as much wool as possible”, said Andreas Mey, Managing Director of Fiwo “then the year later we commissioned an article to a Swiss newspaper, and by creating interest in people, we managed to collect 140.000 kilograms of raw product”. The company succeeded not only in its production mission but also in its social mission. Since 2005, Fiwo managed to give working opportunities to more than 100 people every year, most of who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and with difficulties in getting a fixed contract position. “We have always aimed at putting unemployed people back into the first job market”, said Andreas Mey “and over the years, we paired full-time employees to unemployed people in order to both keep up the production and fulfil our social mission”.
The collaboration between Fiwo and Level did not happen by chance. “We were looking for a local company with a keen attention to environmental issues”, explained the Ceo of Level Davide Compagnoni “and we found in Fiwo the ideal partner”. Part of the wool produced by the not-for-profit comes from Poschiavo, a little village on the Swiss alps where Level is based. Over the years, the gloves company has started to use more and more of the local wool.
This resulted in the creation of iconic models such as the Off Piste Leather Trigger, the Off Piste Leather and the Alaska Mitt. This very last model has been worn by the Italian Alpinist Marco Confortola in many of his climbings to the top of the most iconic mountains. “The fact that local Swiss wool can happen to end up on the top of the K2 is just pure satisfaction” Davide Compagnoni added, “and this means that quality is key”.
As of today, the collaboration between the two companies is still growing. Level is planning to use local wool in more products. “For us, it is very important to send a message in addition to sell gloves that are reliable in every situation” Davide Compagnoni concluded, “we cannot put a product on the market without the collaboration with responsible and modern companies”.