Our sewing factory

The strength of having our own sewing factory

Since 1998, our products have been sewn at our sewing factory, Avadan. Located centrally in Marijampoles, Lithuania, our sewing factory employs 270 skilled seamstresses and workers. To this day, the majority of our clothes are sewn here.

We are in daily contact with the sewing factory and work very closely with our colleagues in Lithuania. We also visit the site several times a year. The work at the factory is overseen by Vita, the factory director and Skirma, the head of manufacturing. Vita is celebrating her 30-year anniversary this year and Skirma has been at the factory for almost 27 years. Deep, decade-long relationships like these are a priceless asset and of great value to us. Meet both women as well as our seamstress, Erika, from Avadan here.

Working conditions

The seamstresses work 40 hours a week – a five-day work week, eight hours a day. They used to work two shifts which meant they would return home late every second week, because the work in the second shift ended at 10 p.m. In 2007, however, that was changed, and the seamstresses started working one shift, so they could have their nights off – free to spend their evenings with family or engage in other recreational activities. The change meant investing in more equipment and an expansion of the premises. The investment was definitely worth it – because it meant our colleagues in Lithuania could have a better work-life balance.

The factory is equipped with some of the finest machinery available in apparel manufacturing. Each workstation is equipped with detailed instructions - next to the sewing machines - and explanations on how to sew a product according to the instruction of the model. This work is performed by the shift operatives, sewing technologists, and instructors. It is a concrete and exact explanation about every sewing operation.

The sewing machines are serviced regularly by highly skilled mechanics. We have a wide range of products for children and adults, and to ensure that every machine is set correctly for the specific product, our experienced mechanics handle and oversee these important settings. To get to know one of our valued mechanics, meet Albinas who has worked at our sewing factory for 26 years. We always use premium threads and other accessories that are necessary for the sewing of every model.

We also installed an “air pull system” adapted to each sewing machine. The dust formed during the sewing process is pulled to special containers. Thus, the working environment in the factory is much cleaner and healthier.

Both good working conditions and compensation are important factors to retain skilled workers – which is something we place great value on. We operate with two payment systems - a fixed salary and a salary according to the output rates. Our employees stay with us for a long time – and fair compensation is a contributing factor.

Daily operations

We shuttle our employees at the factory to and from work in two buses, so they don’t have to worry about their own transport. We have two modern canteens where the employees can eat and hang out with their colleagues over a cup of coffee during breaks.

The employees don’t work during the holidays, and instead have time off work to spend with their loved ones. They are also gifted with small gifts as a token of our appreciation at the end of the year.

Quality assurance is a big part of the day-to-day business at Avadan. The seamstresses produce the very best quality products. Before leaving the factory, the products go through a quality assurance and inspection to make sure our high-quality standards are upheld.

Sewn products get to the unit of control-packing, every product is inspected thoroughly, and the excess threads left after the sewing operations are cut away. The products that comply with the quality requirements are classified as those of sort 1 and defected ones – of sort 2 or 3. Once quality inspections are done, the products are tidily packed according to model, colour, and size and shipped to our warehouse in Denmark.

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In 2022, we initiated an independent third-party BSCI Social Audit of Avadan where we achieved the highest ranking. Our sewing factory stands in line with the amfori BSCI code of conduct, which consists of 13 principles and values based on international conventions and the UN principles for business and human rights. The ranking goes from A to E, where A is the highest rating, you can achieve.

The result of the three-day audit of Avadan was an A.

To access the report, click here.

Production in Ukraine

In 2022, we have commenced production in Ukraine.

Due to an increased demand, we have needed to expand our production capacity. It has always been our wish to keep production capacity in Europe because of the proximity to our own facilities in Lithuania, which means decreased CO2 emissions.

Ukraine had been on our radar for quite some time, even prior to the war, because they are recognised sewing manufacturers known for their excellent skills working with textiles and their high quality of work.

When Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year, we decided to terminate our collaboration with the Belarussian sewing facility, Lubawa. This decision increased our need for more capacity even further.

We are thankful for the newly started collaboration with a skilled Ukrainian sewing manufacturer. At the same time, we are happy to show our support to Ukraine by generating local jobs in a time when they are at war.

Lesya

The Lesya Factory is based in the city of Novohrad-Volynskyi in the North-western part of Ukraine. Lesya is a modern sewing and production facility with advanced equipment, employing skilled workers with extensive sewing knowledge.

The product quality at Lesya is required to meet our high standards, just like our own Lithuanian sewing facility, Avadan. Being a recognised subcontractor to other textile manufacturers, Lesya has thoroughly tested quality control systems, which is also evident in the products that we receive.

Currently, we have 30 seamstresses sewing for DILLING. The goal for 2023 is to increase the number of seamstresses to 50 and to produce 12.000 pieces of clothing a week.

The wages at Lesya are carried out in accordance with the European Labour standards. Lesya employees also receive social packages which include insurance, preferential food, and transfer to and from work.

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Like Avadan, Lesya achieved the highest possible rating at their last audit in 2021 – an impressive A. This is your guarantee that Lesya stands in line with the amfori BSCI code of conduct, which consists of 13 principles and values based on international conventions and the UN principles for business and human rights.

In 2023, Lesya were supposed to undergo a new independent third-party BSCI Audit to renew its current rating, but because of the war it is not possible to audit companies in Ukraine because it needs to be undertaken physically by a third-party organisation. We are in close dialogue with Lesya, and we expect and have great confidence that they will maintain their high standards and principles and ensure their workers the best possible terms under the current conditions in Ukraine. As soon as the circumstances allow, Lesya will work on undertaking a new audit.

To access the latest report, click here.

Production in Belarus

As of March 2nd, 2022, DILLING is terminating our contract of co-operation with the Belarusian sewing facility, Lubawa, that has supported our production for years.

The termination of co-operation is a direct response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, and to the support that Belarus is extending to Russia.

We would like to underline that we are deeply affected and appalled by the horrors that Russia and Belarus are inflicting on an innocent nation and its people.

At the same time, we are not blind to the impact this decision will have on the 60 very competent and innocent women and their families in Belarus.

During the notice period, DILLING intends to honour our contractual obligations to Lubawa.

Prior to Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 and the following termination of our partnership with Lubawa, we had initiated an independent third-party BSCI Social Audit of the sewing factory. Lubawa stands in line with the amfori BSCI code of conduct, which consists of 13 principles and values based on international conventions and the UN principles for business and human rights. The ranking goes from A to E, where A is the highest rating, you can achieve.

The result of the 3-day audit of Lubawa was an A.

To access the report, click here.

Why we have had production in Belarus

By far, the majority of our production takes place in Denmark and Lithuania, but our sewing factory in Lithuania has had a hard time keeping up with the increased demand. To meet this demand, we have attempted to hire more seamstresses for the Lithuanian factory. Unfortunately, we have had trouble recruiting new employees in Lithuania, because a lot of the younger generations emigrate to western countries for work and education. Accordingly, we had to look for skilled labour in the neighbouring countries. We started a co-operation with Lubawa, a sewing factory in Belarus, in 2017. This was the first time we have moved outside the European Union.

The decision was made, partially, on the principle of subsidiarity. The sewing factory, Lubawa, is geographically close to Avadan. That means less traffic and subsequently, we are able to limit our CO2 emissions. The principle of subsidiarity also applies to the exchange of experience and knowledge that occurred between the two sites. At Avadan, we have 30+ years of sewing experience and quality assurance of the products. We shared our decades of experience with the workers at Lubawa through training and mentoring. This exchange of knowledge allowed us to create a great synergy between our sewing factory in Lithuania and the production at Lubawa. At Lubawa, around 60 women have been sewing for us. The women at Lubawa work a maximum of 40 hours a week.

When we started our co-operation with Lubawa in 2017, the political climate between the EU and Belarus was very different to that of today. We have always monitored the situation and conditions at the sewing factory closely. It is important for us to underline that our primary focus has always been on people instead of systems. In other words, we did not enter co-operations with Lubawa in Belarus because of the nation’s administration, but because of the very capable Belarussian men and women that live there. Moreover, we have been able to provide jobs in a country that is very much afflicted by social and economic inequality. One thing is the country’s administration, but another thing is – from our point of view – the women we have working for us, and we are absolutely pleased with them and their work.

Socks produced in Turkey and China

We cannot produce socks ourselves at our sewing factory in Lithuania, therefore we have searched for a supplier that lives up to our demands for sustainability and quality. Our socks have previously been produced in China, but in 2021, we decided to change our supplier and the production is now solely done in Turkey. The production in Turkey is still fairly new, so a small part of our assortment of socks on the webshop will still stem from the production in China. Our socks have always been – and still are - GOTS-certified. This is your guarantee that no harmful chemicals have been used during production and that the working conditions set by the ’International Labour Organization’ are followed.

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DILLING is a Danish family enterprise with a long tradition of producing organic wool products that will keep you warm. Today, we make organic clothing in organic merino wool and cotton for the whole family with the fourth generation, Morten Dilling, at the helm. Our organic wool wear sells at favourable prices because you are buying directly from the manufacturer.

You’ll find soft, breathable, and allergy-friendly clothing in natural materials on our website, produced without harmful chemicals and within Europe's borders under good working conditions.

Most of our products are certified with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel and gently dyed at DILLING's own dyehouse in Denmark.

You'll find DILLING's products in the following countries:  dk.dilling.comdilling.dedilling.sedilling.nldilling.fidilling.frno.dilling.com.

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