Monthly Parenting Magazine

Interview: Charlotte Galsgaard, founder of Wheat

Interview: Charlotte Galsgaard, founder of Wheat


Absolutely Mama gets a sneak peek behind the scenes at Charlotte Galsgaard’s studio. Charlotte is the founder of dreamy Danish childrenswear brand Wheat and chatted to us about everything from how she designs her beautiful prints, to her favourite Scandinavian summer traditions…

What made you want to start a childrenswear brand? And how did your own motherhood journey play into the decision? 

When my husband, Peter, and I started Wheat around 2000, we had three children, and we had been working with kidswear as agents of other brands for some time. We knew the industry and we knew the needs and challenges of dressing children responsibly. Back then most kids wear contained synthetic fibres, none was organic, so our initial drive was to create clothing made from all natural fibres; cotton, linen and wool. I was inspired by the nostalgia and carefree simplicity of Swedish artist Karl Larsson and classic children’s stories such as Emil fra Lønneberg and Børnene i Bulderby – stories set in the Swedish countryside which connects to my own childhood memories of sailing in the Swedish Archipelago. 

What were some of the biggest challenges you faced when starting the business, and how did you overcome them?

In the early stage we had to handle everything´from design to production, sales, storage, and financing – ourselves! Surely, it was a big task juggling family life, a start-up, and a home full of samples. I still feel, however, that the biggest challenge is to keep up with the industry… So much has happened in the industry over the past two decades – imagine, when we started almost everything was analogue. Improving and remaining an industry leader is not easy, but it’s important. And it’s a ride! 


Where do you find inspiration for your beautiful hand-drawn prints?

Nature is my biggest source of inspiration, and my garden is where I find peace and joy in the small things – like seeing a lemon grow. I grew up sailing, and the outdoors has always been a big part of my life, and I have actually been drawing flowers since I was little; some inspired by meadows and fields, some just springing from my imagination. In the current Summer collection there is a print with strawberries and Forget Me Nots, which reminds me of summers in my grandmother’s garden. All our prints are seasonal, so on the coming Autumn/Winter collection you will see winter berries, tulips and lots of shades of lilac, purple, blues and browns.

How important is sustainability to the brand? 

We prefer the word responsibility over sustainability, and to act responsibly is a premise for everything we do at Wheat – from the solar panels on our roof to organic fabrics, ethical working conditions and safe means of production. It’s a continuous journey, but we are guided by two main criteria: To avoid chemicals as far as possible, and to make clothing than can last as long as possible. Quality is key, as is pushing ourselves to do better. How sustainable can we go? This is a constant exercise. Our organic cotton shell jackets coated with natural cottonseed wax is one answer. Our water based PU-rainwear, where water replaces toxic solvent and oil in the coating, is another. Conventional rainwear is a tricky category when it comes to sustainability, and the water based option is a game changer of highest international standard. We have come far, but still much can be done.


How are the collections designed and produced?

Each collection begins with a mood board for the season. This turns into a visual story that we interpret across the entire collection. Each season we introduce new styles, new colours, new fabrics, and new prints, and we make sure each style is fitted to perfection. Our suppliers are chosen according to their expertise, and some of them have been on this journey with us since the beginning. Our supplier in Bangladesh is a wonderful example of how we have been able to make a positive impact by helping them transition to a more responsible business model by setting high standards from everything from fabrics and materials to access to health-and daycare for the employees and their children.  

Wheat Sko April Highres
Wheat AW24 barefoot shoes

Do you have any favourite pieces from the coming collection? 

Barefoot shoes are in demand, and this Autumn we are launching new series of barefoot shoes. On outerwear, the Laust jacket is a favourite of mine. As something special, just in time for ‘back to school’, we are launching an exciting collaboration. Stay tuned this August!  

And finally, could you share some of your favourite Scandinavian summer family traditions with us? 

Oh, there are so many! Strawberries with fresh cream is one, and my garden is full of strawberries. We have some of the best berries in Denmark, because summers usually don’t get too hot, and they ripen and sweeten over a long period of time. I also love the long bright evenings where the sun sets very late, and we gather around the bonfire and bake bread on sticks.