Welcome back to Better TLKS: A Swedish Sustainability Series. From our roots in Sweden to our over 100-year history of designing premium products that help people live better at home, this series will spotlight leaders and pioneers in the sustainability space, much like us, to uncover their sustainability journey and help inspire you to live a more considered life.
This month, we’re talking to fellow Swede Elin Marcic, co-founder of UNIKSPACE, a minimalist and romantic fashion brand with a commitment to slow fashion and a way of life undefined by seasons or trends.
Elin and her co-founders, Camilla and Luci, met while working in the fashion space in Sydney, deciding to fuse the sunny beach lifestyle of Australia with a minimalist sense of ease, taking a leap and starting their sustainable dream fashion brand. Here, we talk to Elin about how her Swedish heritage and affinity for sustainable living has influenced her work and life.
1. What was the inspiration behind creating UNIKSPACE?
We wanted to create a brand that focuses on timeless, versatile, and easy-to-wear garments that you can wear season after season. Clothes that make you both feel and look good.
2. What is coming up for you in 2023?
We have big plans for UNIKSPACE this year launching our UNIK Mini range for babies and children. Additionally, we’ve developed two new gorgeous colourways for our resort collection, one was in fact inspired by a beautiful Dhalia I saw in Sweden last summer.
3. Electrolux is a Swedish brand. What about Swedish cuisine or ways of living do you admire or feel inspired by?
Being a Swede myself, I love the simplicity and the strong focus on traditions that are passed down through generations, as well as the celebration of each of the seasons and what they entail, across all aspects of life.
4. Electrolux has a Better Living 2030 program that encourages people to employ more sustainable approaches to fashion and laundry. What are some tips you can share on shopping, wearing, and caring for clothes so they last for longer?
Quality over quantity: Focus on creating a capsule wardrobe with high-quality, wearable classics that won’t date, can be worn on different occasions, and suit your style and lifestyle.
Shop second-hand: Stay away from fast fashion and try not to fall for short-lived trends. Support sustainable brands.
Washing: Spot clean or air out a garment until it needs a proper wash in the washing machine. Wash in cold water with a natural gentle detergent.
If you choose to invest in high-quality, well-designed pieces in 100% natural fibres, naturally you will take more care looking after your clothes and treat them with the respect they deserve. Wash them more gently. Mend clothes into sustainable approach if they need it instead of throwing them away.
5. If there was one thing New Zealanders could learn from Swedish habits and way of life, what would it be?
There’s a saying in Swedish ‘Det finns inget dåligt väder, bara dåliga kläder’. The saying about no bad weather, just bad clothes (it sounds better in Swedish as it rhymes!) but it’s a great motto to go by. Throw on a good raincoat and boots and you don’t have to stay inside just because it’s a rainy day!
We’re so spoiled in New Zealand with the beautiful sunshine that people can really hibernate when the weather is a bit wet or cold. I guess in Sweden we don’t have that luxury, so I think Swedes are a lot less fussy about the weather, and a lot more set up with weather-appropriate clothes!
I also have to say again I love all the traditions and celebrations throughout each season. It's something I miss in New Zealand and something I want to make sure I create for my son now that I’m a parent.
6. How do you practice sustainability every day?
We shop for organic fruit and veggies at the local market and buy most of our other groceries from a bulk store, Co-Op. This supports both local farmers and producers as well as cutting down on unnecessary packaging and plastic.
We recycle of course. I make my own cleaning products – toxic products don’t have a place in our home! We have a worm farm where we throw our veggie scraps, and we use the worm castings as compost for our veggie garden. There is so much you can do day to day that once you start it just becomes second nature.
7. What sustainability successes have you had, that you would share with either other businesses in your industry or people at home?
We’re proud to have never used plastic in our supply chain. All our buttons are made of shell, our products are shipped to us in compostable cassava bags, and we ship our online orders in sustainable and eco-friendly packaging. We only work with 100% natural fabrics, which means no shedding of microplastics when washing. Therefore, our clothes breathe and last longer, when they are at the end of their life, they can be composted.
www.unikspace.com.au // @unikspace