Swedish husband-and-wife workforce William Lundgren and Veronika Kant had been successfully newcomers to the style business once they based BITE Studios (BITE is an acronym for ‘By Impartial Thinkers for Environmental progress’). The truth is, that they had each begun their careers in finance; Lundgren labored with NGOs and Kant specialised in provide chains and logistics, although not in vogue. ‘We each got here from environments the place we felt it was so unusual that there isn’t any possibility in vogue that is not compromising on design or sustainability, as a result of in skincare or meals and different industries it felt so pure,’ says Lundgren.
Their distance from the style business afforded them freedom – or, certainly, a strong naivety – to experiment with, and subvert, the perceived protocols and established rhythms for producing, exhibiting and promoting clothes. ‘Once we began in 2016 nobody was combining sustainability with design. That’s completely what BITE is all about – we’re equally concerned with design and in environmental points. I feel a necessity from the business – and loads of different industries – is to construct firms which are aligned with values as a result of so many individuals are eager for it,’ says Lundgren.
BITE Studios: ‘By Impartial Thinkers for Environmental Progress’
Right now they base themselves between a shared area in Galleri Andersson/Sandström artwork gallery in Stockholm and areas in Gothenburg and London. ‘Our buyer could be very a lot based mostly in London and New York,’ says Lundgren, ‘however we like residing within the quiet, peaceable Scandinavian surroundings.’ Kant, COO, handles product growth, manufacturing and financing, whereas Lundgren, CEO, is targeted on advertising, branding and gross sales.
Whereas constructing the enterprise from scratch they consulted with ‘pioneers who had been producing within the Nineties and 2000s, creating and rising natural cotton and dealing with good manufacturing’, says Kant. Their monetary backgrounds stood them in good stead to safe funding: it got here from Nudie Denims. ‘They’ve the same imaginative and prescient, however on a totally totally different taking part in subject, doing up to date menswear,’ says Lundgren. ‘It’s a long-term collaboration based mostly on how we take into consideration the longer term.’
Kant provides that regardless of funding, they don’t compromise on the ethos of BITE, which is rooted in sustainable product and good design. ‘I feel that’s the explanation we’re so robust. If we comprised we’d have taken a shortcut a very long time in the past. Everybody who’s working with us shares the identical form of imaginative and prescient for the longer term. We have now to say no loads of the time. That is the one means that we really feel comfy with making a vogue model on this trendy world, as a substitute of placing merchandise on the market which are petroleum based mostly or artificial in a means that is dangerous.’
They’ve additionally launched a radical ‘purchase again’ programme, providing money for BITE clothes sooner or later, regardless of how outdated they’re. ‘It places strain on us to construct a garment that is actually prime quality, and it is a mind-set about constructing one thing long run,’ says Lundgren.
By way of design, the duo have constructed up a powerful workforce which options alumni from Proenza Schouler, Pimples Studios and varied LVMH homes. ‘The workforce is made up of people that have labored for a very long time within the business and now wish to be part of one thing new,’ says Lundgren, who talks of inventive power shaped by their collective method. ‘I feel, particularly post-pandemic, individuals have reevaluated their working lives,’ provides Kant. They count on their workforce of 12 to develop to round 20 subsequent 12 months. ‘There’s an optimism in individuals’s eager for one thing else.’
BITE’s designs are outlined by sure pillars: tailoring, jersey, sheer layering, and long-line draping. ‘Understatement and self-expression, masculine, female, directional and poetic,’ describes Kant of their method. The newest assortment, ‘Assortment 10’, sees an evolution of earlier designs – the duo need items from all collections to have the ability to be worn collectively – with lengthy, lean silhouettes and uneven draped clothes assembly extra playful strapless tops, board shorts and slouchy tailor-made trousers.
Materiality is on the coronary heart of each assortment. BITE is constructing an ever-evolving library of textiles that meet the workforce’s stringent sustainable metrics; both sourced from the very best world suppliers, of which there are only a few, or proprietary materials they’ve developed. ‘We begin our material library and the way sure textiles drape or fold,’ Kant says. Usually restrictions with materials will form the designs. ‘We rejoice lots after we obtain one thing.’
A few of these revolutionary textiles embrace seaweed material (a collaboration with French artist Violaine Buet, who harvests seaweed and makes it into textiles), pineapple and corn leather-based, pea silk (the silkworms survive the method and it isn’t chemically handled) and regenerative wools, recycled cashmere and sustainable viscose. In ‘Assortment 10’, 98 per cent of the materials are recycled, natural or low-impact. ‘It’s getting more durable and simpler in several areas,’ says Kant of the ever-evolving sustainability business. ‘By way of materials, I feel we’re nonetheless pioneering in lots of senses, by pairing high quality with accountability. It’s simpler as a result of as persons are changing into extra knowledgeable, you do not have to clarify the reasoning a lot. However then it is changing into a crowded area.’
They’re evaluating the best way they work throughout the enterprise from delivery to packaging and the power the workplace runs on. Not that there aren’t huge challenges. ‘Delivery is extraordinarily exhausting,’ says Lundgren, so that they local weather compensate for air freight when it is used.
‘We wish to set up a model that makes an affect. And that requires us to be fairly profitable. In order that’s vital for us, to have the ability to shift the mindset. And there is a lot on the horizon, loads of thrilling progress arising,’ says Lundgren. ‘However in the meantime, we wish to do every thing in our energy to do what we are able to with each resolution.’
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