SLEEPY ISLANDS, ICELAND
THE ORIGIN OF OUR SEAWEED FIBERS
The seaweed that is used in our seaweed blend products originates from our very own Sleepy Islands (“Svefneyjar”) in Iceland. The Sleepy Islands are a cluster of 63 islands located in Breiðafjörður, off the west coast of Iceland and are one of the country’s hidden gems. Katla has had satellite offices on the island since the summer of 2022.
The Sleepy Islands and surrounding fjord are the cradle of seaweed harvesting in Iceland. During the summer of 2022 we additionally kicked of testing of seaweed cultivation around the islands in collaboration with our local partners.
WHY WE LOVE SEAWEED
Not only are our seaweed fiber products super soft on your skin, seaweed, is also one of the key tools for combatting climate change. As it grows, seaweed has an extraordinary ability to sequester carbon – it is approximately 20x more effective at carbon sequestration than land trees.
Since 1976, Thorverk, a local business in the Breiðafjörður fjord, has carefully harvested the Ascophyllum nodosum (rockweed) that is used in our apparel. Each area is harvested only once every four years.
Thorverk uses geothermal energy to process the freshly harvested seaweed. Once drying and grinding of the seaweed has taken place, it is shipped to mainland Europe, where our partners at Smartfiber further process to create Seacell fiber using their patented technology.
From their, our partners at PYRATEX® create the final fabric blend which includes Seacell and organic and upcycled cotton.
ABOUT SLEEPY ISLANDS
The islands have a rich and romantic history. They feature the oldest house in Iceland (“Ranakofinn”) and were the birthplace and home of one of Iceland’s most famous 18th century writers, Eggert Ólafsson. His work includes an extensive Icelandic travel book as well as the first cookbook ever written in Icelandic.
Sleepy Islands are a haven for Icelandic wildlife, including a wide variety of birds such as puffins, eider birds and eagles. Perhaps the islands most unique inhabitants, the "Famous Five," as they have come to be known, are five female sheep who escaped a few years back from the island cluster north of Sleepy Islands and now roam around and island hop yearlong. They live off the land and enjoy the abundance of seaweed that the island shores have to offer.
And unlike most sheep, they love to swim!
Sleepy Islands are an environmental treasure. The island shores offer one of the largest sources of seaweed in Iceland and are one of the cradles of seaweed harvesting using modern harvesting technology. Today Sleepy Islands and the surrounding Breiðafjörður are one of the main sources of sustainably harvested seaweed used in fabric for apparel.
On the main island where our satellite operations take place, you can come visit the Katla Showroom where you will see Katla styles in their element.