15 hours ago | By Isabelle Coates
May 17, 2016
Wondering what it takes to start a swimwear line? Then you might have come across Under the Same Sun the eco-swim line started in Sweden in October 2013 by friends Anna Engellau and Emelie Lindgren. We caught up with the fashion duo to ask what goes into launching a sustainable swim line that looks Insta-worthy and stands out in the retail market.
Check out their answers below:
Hi ladies, so tell us why did you start the brand?
We had been looking for yoga/swimwear that meant we didn’t have to compromise on our love of fashion and eco conscious thinking. We wanted something we could wear both during and outside practice, and in our search for this we kept coming home empty handed. Basically we wanted to start the brand to dress ourselves and others like us.
Tell us about your background in PR and film- and what tools did you learn from that which helped you set up a clothing business?
Emelie’s PR knowledge has been invaluable when it came to creating a presence on social media. Our combined contacts have made it easier to produce high quality look-book materials and other necessities on a low budget in the beginning. But what I think has been most valuable is our “project managing” skills. Having a clothing line is so much more then just designing, you have to run the business.
How did you develop such a distinctive design style?
Our collections are always very personal and have a deeper meaning or story behind them. Our aesthetics have naturally grown from there and what artists we choose to collaborate with.
Why swimwear/yoga wear and not a full head to toe clothing line?
It felt natural to start with yoga and surf since they were close to our hearts. The plan has always been to expand to become a “full range” brand and with every season we are slowly evolving into that. Our goal is to become a lifestyle brand and offer items with great fits and quality.
For the AW16 collection we are launching our new cashmere hoodie and for S/S16 we are adding a few more lounge items in cupro. It’s a really exciting time!
How hard or easy is it to begin a start-up line in Sweden?
I think what was hard about it was the actual production of the garments. Being such a small country (although very productive ) way up in the north you don’t have access to factories and printing houses that can supply a small start-up.
What are some of the challenges and benefits of being a sustainable clothing company?
It has been very difficult to source fabric. When we just got started we had to e-mail almost 200 fabric suppliers until we found someone that would develop our fabric. And they were located in Los Angeles. Since then things have improved slightly, but there is still much less for us to choose from and the minimums are higher. Sustainable fabric and techniques are also more expensive which has taken some markets a bit of time to get use to. But as people become more aware they understand that they are getting a better deal in the long run since our quality of fabric is higher than many cheaper brands.
Athlesiure/activewear is a huge trend right now- are you both interested in the future of activewear and helping customers live healthier lives?
Absolutely! We want to show and be a brand that inspires healthy choices and a more sustainable mindset.
How much of a role does social media play?
Social media is a huge part of how our brand has grown. It’s more than just a marketing tool for us, but also a way for us to connect with our followers and what they like/want. We want to make clothes that women love wearing and promote a healthy lifestyle. We contacted the social media ambassadors we have because they are women we admire and inspire us, luckily they liked Under the Same Sun and wanted to wear our clothes.
WANT MORE? Check out our article on how to start a sleepwear line .
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