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It all started at Hyssna

The story of Hejco is fasinating success story that is result of an idea of something better
for everybody in the world to wear while working. 

In the beginning of the 1950s in a small town called Hyssna near Borås in Sweden, a couple of young guys Henry Johansson and Åke Arnell drove around the villages in their Fiat 500 with a small collection of mainly women’s clothing items. They drove around and picked up orders which later on got send by mail to the buyers. On one certain drive a dark night Henry drove up to a house where he found a dead body laying on the couch. He instantly lost his desire and returned to his home in Hyssna.

Time passed by and one day autumn day the guys Henry Johansson and Åke Arnell from Lockö sat in a cottage called “Röda Stugan” in Lockö and was discussing business ideas. Åke showed Henry a piece of cloth which had been laying on dustiest shelf in Locköstrumpans warehouse. Henry started looking and feeling the material and he was sure this was the same material as his girlfriend’s Margareta’s workwear that she had in the Hospital.

Now they also wanted to start advertising in the nursery magazines with work clothes that were considerably cheaper than the previous offer but sadly this was neglected from the head of the people responsible of this magazine. But thanks to an useful contact in the advertising industry the guys could fight this with the threat of a possible revealing report in the country's largest newspapers. Only now did the trade unions know about the exclusive right of the clothes and the alleged "exclusive right" on the fabric.

The response to these ads became huge and orders were storming in as never before. This therefore meant that Henry's sister "Anna Eriksson in Anderstorp" was getting busy with sewing up all orders. Annas factory was now growing very fast and had now grown to having 40-50 employees. Hejco had about 20 custom seams and here it was Dagmar Häggebrandt who made sure everything was as it should. The company started printing its own catalogues with all the Hejco models of work clothes for healthcare, restaurant, cleaning staff and more.

It was also Hejco who introduced white trousers to the healthcare staff groups.

From the beginning it was mostly clothes for women but later they started producing clothes for the male staff as well.Manufacturing in Sweden did not succeed for long and in 1973 the production started in Finland in a factory outside Turku and soon there were close to 50 employees. Hejco then started his own textile factory outside of Gamla Karleby in northern Finland. The payroll situation in Finland was very favorable at this time.

When the business was peaking the Hejco sales offices was in Finland, Oslo, Copenhagen, Dusseldorf and the Netherlands. From these offices, clothing was sold to such an extent that the company became the dominant manufacturer of professional clothing for medical services, - restaurant employees, etc. Åke and Henry were active in the company's board, but management was also taken care of by the newly employees CEO and staff. From having started on a small scale with complaints, Hejco had now become the largest and leading company in professional clothes for medical staff in Scandinavia.

However, when the trade went best, it was decided by the two to sell the company in 1983 to Fristads Protective Clothes. The company Hejco has since become a winning business in its segment and a real “milking cow”. Hejco's turnover has, for the years after 2000, usually been over 250 million a year. A small business idea by two entrepreneurs from a small village in Sweden has now grown into Hejco,  one of the most known brands for working clothes in the Health and care, Cleaning,- and Restaurant- and hotels indusrty.

Today customers around the world are able to buy their working clothes on the webshop easily and get them presonalized with logos and embroidery while enjoying the expertice of Hejco workwear.

And then you came along

Some of our customers have joined to this story of us decades ago and have became our heroes, the one's that keep the story continuing. Others have just joined to bind our stories together and some are just about to take their first step in this adventure. Which one are you? We would love to hear your first memories of Hejco, would be brave enough to share them with us?

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Hejco | Fristads AB – Box 1102, 501 11 Borås, Sweden | Org.nr. 556023-8486
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