Established in 2011, Kastel is the creation of two friends in the Nordics frustrated with their lack of choice for winter footwear. As sneaker fans, they enjoy the lightweight feel of footwear, but traditional sneakers soon become soggy and worn. The alternative - chunky boots, were simply not what they wanted. One lacked protection from the cold, wet climate and the other lacked style. Spotting a gap in the market and satisfying their own needs, they set about designing sneakers with a difference. Kastel makes life-ready footwear, wearable in any climate, and ready for almost anything.
The goal for Kastel is to completely shift to natural materials, favouring those with inherent qualities of durability and ruggedness. Wool and hemp are two of their particular favourites, both able to withstand frequent and lasting contact with nature.
Both HÅG and Kastel are fans of wool-based textiles, including the hardy Norwegian woolen fabrics produced by Gudbrandsdalens Uldvarefabrik (GU). Not only do they feature in HÅG chairs but Kastel have been trialling the fabrics in their shoes, looking for the unique lustre and durability they provide.
Visit GU Website
A balanced approach
Like HÅG, Kastel are passionate about reducing their overall impact on the environment. Not only does their approach focus on improving their use of renewable and organic materials, but in changing the way people perceive trainers and fashion in general.
Kastel Founder Andreas Malo Dyb: "We want to bring back the focus on useful shoes that are not over-marketed or over-engineered. An honest “just what you need” approach. In the same way, a chair has to function, otherwise it has no chance no matter how good it looks. And we think as a Norwegian brand we feel a great connection with the design philosophy of HÅG. Balance is everything, both physically and metaphorically. You have to balance design, functionality and sustainability. Only then can you leave some room for some culture to grow on its own merit."