Interview By Rockland



Introducing By Rockland: new clothing suppliers of SHG and SHMS!
Starting the upcoming academic year, Stenden Hotel Management School (SHMS) will get a new clothing line for their first year students. The students will wear these clothes during their practical period at Stenden Hospitality Group (SHG), which includes Stenden Hotel, Wannee, Stones and Stenden meeting u. Sofie Rockland of By Rockland from Amsterdam is the supplier of this sustainable collection. Time to introduce her to you!

A young company, that's what we can call By Rockland. After she was asked by one of the hoteliers at a previous hotel project if she knew someone for company clothing, Rockland took the plunge: "I was on my bike on my way home from that appointment and thought, "I've got so much experience in clothing, I need to jump into this!" And so she did. Even though she didn't win the pitch for that hotel in question, she hit it at the next opportunity. Hotel Jakarta was her first client in 2018 and since then several large companies have been added to her list of clients. By Rockland has supplied Van der Valk Amsterdam and Tilburg, among others, but Hotel Casa is also one of her projects. Getting these large clients is pretty special for a company that has only been in existence for two years: "I think that's because I already know a lot of hospitality companies from previous projects. This has allowed me to build up a large network and I think this also provided me with some good will. Although I think that answer is too easy actually," Sofie says. "We are also a unique company", she continues. "We can produce in smaller quantities as well and we produce everything in Europe. In addition, we are service-oriented and I think that's also part of hospitality." All designs by By Rockland are made from as many durable materials as possible. For the SHMS collection, among others, they work together with the renowned Dutch sustainable designer Francisco van Benthum.

By Rockland for SHMS and SHG

In 2019 Stenden Hospitality Group invited several companies to present their ideas for a new collection for 500 students. The fact it concerns students in the hospitality industry, is what triggered By Rockland: "These are the upcoming talents, the upcoming managers in this industry! And besides that, what I really like is that this way I can also explain and tell more about sustainability to these students. This way I hope to give them a bit more awareness and that is a huge gain with this assignment."

Sofie thinks she knows why SHG choose her to design the new SHMS clothing line: "We have a unique design and meet all the requirements from the briefing the hotel and hotel school drew up. By moving away from the formal suit, but instead offering a current-day suit, we are creating a modern signature for the school. And, even though we are sustainable and unique, we are still affordable." The SHMS collection of By Rockland consists of various clothing in a white, grey and dark green color. A part of the materials in the new collection of the International Hospitality Management course are easy to wash and do not need to be ironed.  "We have looked at group cohesion and wanted to use military colors to give uniformity a modern look."

The corona crisis

Sofie's company is also affected by the corona crisis. On the production side, for example, certain materials are not available because the factories in Southern Europe are closed. Or because the factories cannot run at full capacity due to a shortage of personnel because people are ill. "In addition, fashion companies are taking their orders away from the various factories. As a result, there is no work for the staff in the workshops, who are sent home", she notes. "I have had the opportunity to have an advisory role in this respect and have pointed out that there is a great shortage of protective suits for the care sector, for example, in the Netherlands. This is now being produced in the factories we normally work with. This is how we retain the employees. I am really happy that I have been able to contribute in a certain way in this day and age." But the crisis is also having an impact on the sales side: "The entire hospitality industry is down. There is no way I am thinking of acquiring any new clients at this moment. In Amsterdam, where most of her clients are located, she notices the already low throughput of her clothing is now even lower, because there is no tourism and therefore less staff in hotels, for example. "If the clothing is not being worn, there is no wear and tear and therefore less need to buy new clothing again.”

In response to the corona crisis, she likes to share with the students: "Try to be a little more conscious in life and thus deal with everything. Try to cooperate as well. We have to do it together now! Did the crisis make you lose your side job? Go help people, try to make the best of it together!"

Curious about Sofie? Check her website for more information and projects.


By Muriel Walinga