The Belgian brand Eskimo has been thé specialist in underwear and nightwear ever since its founding in 1906. For over more than a century Eskimo has stayed true to its roots to create warm, comfortable and soft products for the entire family. Our brief history.
One company, one family: 115 years of Eskimo in a nutshell
Today, Stany De Groote represents the third generation leading Eskimo towards success. It was his own grandfather who founded the brand at the beginning of the 20th century. What started of with knitwear has grown to a big assortment of underwear, nightwear, homewear and knitwear. Eskimo releases two seasonal collections per year, entirely designed in Belgium. “That pure feeling of crispy, freshand blueish white cotton? That’s Eskimo!”
- 1906: Everything started in 1906 with a small shop near the Sint-Jacobs church in Ghent. It was there that Ferdinand De Groote, alongside his wife, established the ‘Bonneterie De Groote’ where they sold knitwear and sewing equipment.
- 1936: During the thirties, the De Groote family relocated to a brand new and more spacious location at the Krommewal, staying in the beloved Ghent area. It was around that period that interlock was invented; a dabble knitwear that could be cut without unraveling. Bonneterie De Groote quickly realized the importance of this innovative novelty and started the to produce underwear in this fabric. The business kept expanding and to be able to keep up with high demand the Bonneterie decided to collaborate with subcontractors from Ronse, and even the West-Flemish Meulebeke later on.
- The 40s: The brand Eskimo is born. The name derived from the then main purpose of underwear; to keep warm. After the introduction of the rhovyl-fibre Eskimo begun the production of thermal underwear. Those thermic lines, Antartic (men) and Dolomites (women), are still a relevant key feature in the assortment. On top of that, Antartic got named ‘Best thermal underwear brand’ by Test-Aankoop in 2002.
- 1953: For years Eskimo supplied its underwear through wholesale, but during the course of time those clients started to focus more and more on the production of their own collections. And so, nightwear was born. The nightwear collection expanded year after year with the addition of new styles, both for adults and kids.
- 1973: Bonneterie De Groote relocates to the Wiedauwkaai at Ghent to be able to achieve further expansion.
- 1996: Bonneterie De Groote settles on its current location at Melle. The former Wiedauwkaai location at was successfully rebuild to one of the most famous event halls in Ghent; ‘Eskimofabriek’.
- Eskimo anno 2021: Nowadays Eskimo is distributed through independent retailers (over 300!) as well as key-accounts and warehouses (Inno, AS Adventure, Molecule, Sleepworld, Dreambaby, …). Bonneterie De Groote also has a branch in Paris, De Groote France. DGF is specialized in the creation, production and delivery of private label collections, mainly nightwear, lingerie and swimwear for adults, kids and babies. Eskimo is sold in Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Germany, Luxembourg and some export countries. On top of that, they have three showrooms located in Belgium, the Netherlands and France.