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Industry Talk

Borre Akkersdijk: portrait of a creative thought leader

Dutch film director Johan Kramer makes a short film about Borre’s Future Vision.

26th January 2024

Knitting Industry
 |  Amsterdam

Knitted Outerwear

The Dutch creative industry is a top sector - an industry in which the Netherlands excels worldwide. Accordingly, the country’s CreativeNL an international label, wants to celebrate this and is introducing a series of short films about shining examples of the Dutch creative industry. Top director Johan Kramer made the first film with Borre Akkersdijk, founder of BYBORRE, who aims to make the textiles industry sustainable worldwide.

The Dutch government sees the creative industry as a vehicle for innovation and as a means to make the world - faster - better and more beautiful. CreativeNL, the international label that encourages cooperation and knowledge exchange across borders, focuses on social themes such as circular design, digital society and future living environments.

Borre Akkersdijk is one of the Creative Thought Leaders with whom CreativeNL will join forces in the coming years - as a proving ground for the Dutch creative industry as innovative, attractive and system-changing. This is what the world desperately needs right now, it says.

Looking at the world with an open mind

Borre Akkersdijk, founder of impact-driven textiles company BYBORRE, which works with leading brands such as Palace Skateboards, Natuzzi, The Social Hub and Porsche.

“For me, the basis of Dutch creativity is - how does something grow, and what system is behind it? Other creatives I find inspiring who have changed the international landscape include architect Rem Koolhaas, Boyan Slat (of The Ocean Cleanup) and fashion designer Iris van Herpen. Each of them has put the Netherlands on the map as a ‘changemaker’ within a particular industry,” says Borre.

“The issues in the textile industry are huge, I believe that change always starts with inspiration and idealism. I sincerely believe that we have only just begun. We have proven over the past 10 years that BYBORRE, we can do things differently and that we have the perseverance to actually change the textile industry - by offering sustainable materials, digitising the production process, and our open-source mindset making it more transparent and accessible for everyone.”

“By now we have sat at the table everywhere, in all the innovation labs and with influential brands. Everyone knows it can be done, to design and use better and sustainable textiles. It is therefore an honour to be asked by CreativeNL, to work together for the better world of tomorrow and to join hands in this to literally take the story further into the world. There are no more excuses to make.”

“In addition, it was a joy to work with Johan Kramer; Johan shows (me) how you can and perhaps should continue to look at the world very openly, uninhibitedly as a child.”

Maximum creative freedom

Nils Adriaans, part of team CreativeNL comments: “When we approached Borre, he was very open to a collaboration, on one condition: that we at least sound out the most creative director in the Netherlands, Johan Kramer, whether he wanted to make the short film. There was one problem: we don't have the mega-budgets of Nike or fashion houses - we work with public money. What we could offer Johan (and Borre), however, was maximum creative freedom. Aside from the fact that that is often the key to the best work, as far as we are concerned, it paid off to the max. Spoiler alert: the film is awesome.”

A new narrative

Film director Johan Kramer commented on the short film and Borre: “What makes him and his company special is that they try to completely innovate a conservative industry and show that you can get very far with enthusiasm, a new narrative, decisiveness and playful naivety.”

“Actually, Borre's story makes so much sense. It's crazy that the textile and fashion worlds are still far from transparent. We do our best to keep finding innovative forms to tell the same story in a different form. From new collections to PR. From mascots to a short film with CreativeNL. All those moments are opportunities to reach yet another new group of people, but that is only possible with truly original and sincere content.”

Besides being about established creative talent, the Creative Thought Leaders short film series should also become a platform for new talent to develop toward international work. For example, Borre's Vision, produced by Holy Fools, came about in part thanks to young talent such as Bart Hoveijn (camera) and Zon van Noordwijk (editor).

Film credits

Director: Johan Kramer

DoP: Bart Hoveijn

Camera Assist: Boyd Bakema

Light: Jan Narring

Sound: Erik Thomassen

Production Company: Holy Fools

Production: Julia Oosterwegel, Gianna Mazzeo & Frank de Kok

Post Production: Ambassadors

Post Producer: Carolina van Vugt

Edit: Sun of Noordwijk

Grading: Amy Besate

Online: Jeroen Baars, Stijn Waterman

Sound & Music: Sounds By Thomas

Title Design: Maria Walnut

Presenter: Anthony Joseph

Client: CreativeNL

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