Founder duo Elin Mohlander and Evalena Jonsson’s hard work with transparency and sustainability pays off.
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON & ERIK SEDIN
April 13, 2021
It’s a duo with vast experience and complementary backgrounds from the fashion industry. Elin comes from a sale and marketing career within brands such as Filippa K and J.Lindeberg while Evalena has worked within design and trend analyses for clients like Gant, J.Lindeberg, and Swedish Fashion Council.
— Sustainability is the core of our business and responsible and ethical practices are key to every product we create. We set out to provide the market with garments that women feel comfortable in and good about consuming. Accessible and fun high-quality clothing that you keep coming back for. We call it luxury, quality, and sustainability — at an honest price.
Could you further explain how you work with sustainability?
— We never compromise just because ”we have to have a product”, the duo states.
— We operate from two different angles, where one is our sustainable-certified qualities where we aim to be traceable from fiber to end product and show the whole supply chain to the customer through QR-codes in each garment. For us, it is not about claiming to be sustainable but to open up the books and showing the consumer everything from fiber to sewing. It is forcing us to make better choices and to act responsibly and ethically in what we do. Then it is up to you to decide if you think we are a sustainable brand. The platform that the QR code leads to is set up by our tech partner Trustrace. Together with them, we are also working on an algorithm to nail down the total impact of each product. The goal is to be able to see the exact numbers behind the garment and all steps of the process behind it, and through this make choices that will reduce each garment’s environmental impact to a minimum. Our traceable qualities are produced so that each player in the supply chain is certified and works actively with sustainability and care for both the planet and the people in the factories. Our garments are produced close to home, in Europe, and the raw material is certified and harvested in ways that ensure and sustain our planet’s ecosystem.
— In addition to this, we also create limited-edition projects where we take care of and create new products from industry waste. Examples of this are when we use the fashion house’s exclusive catwalk fabrics that have been left over and create limited-edition luxury capsules. Another one is our Swedish Gotland wool project where we try to take care of a small amount of the eighty percent wool fiber waste that is left over in the Swedish sheep industry each year and create high-quality wool garments. It was a real pilot project that originated during a summer vacation on Evalena’s home island. Having found out that seventy percent of all of the wool cut from the island’s sheep is burned or thrown away each year, we set out to try and take care of some of this natural high-quality fiber. We found a spinner in Denmark and a knitter in Latvia that helped us carry the project through. The Gotland’s wool capsule was successfully received by consumers and we are now developing wool products for FW21, with the aim to make use of even more Scandinavian fibers and turn them into amazing knitted products. We are also always on the hunt for industry waste and trying to find new innovative ways to take care of leftovers and reduce our ecological footprint. It is a reverse design process, but it is just as fun and a lot of the time an even more creative one.
Today, Residus is awarded Show Up Fashion Award 2020, one of Scandinavia’s leading fashion prizes for new designers, and a tailor-made ”entrepreneur package” to help secure a bright future in a competitive industry.
— For us it’s an amazing confirmation that the product and the sustainability work that we do is relevant to the industry, says Mohlander and Jonsson. We hope that our goal of total transparency and open books is the future for all brands that want to work with sustainable and ethical fashion.
What’s next for you?
— We are now looking at making use of leftover cashmere straight from a high-end Italian supplier. If everything goes according to plan, our first outerwear pieces made from cashmere industry waste will be launched this fall. As mentioned, our popular Gotland’s wool project will return in the fall, in a wider range of products and colors, accompanied by Danish crossbred sheep fibers.