Six Cutting-Edge Scandinavian Slow Fashion Labels to Watch Now


Scandinavia, a region perhaps most renowned for fashion brands sculpting innovation paired with sustainability, is forever creating fertile grounds for new talent to be the catalyst for change. These six enviable young slow fashion brands have now quickly risen to become the epitome of mindful elegance, continuing to prove encoding a dose of social good in their DNA is the only way forward. 


Studio August

Born out of Äli Kärgoja’s bold vision to reform Scandinavian minimalism back in 2014 — Studio August offers a more versatile take on sustainable fashion. Mindfully-crafted in Estonia down to every detail, Studio August seeks harmony between comfort, practicality, and style — principles deeply and diligently ingrained in its design philosophy. Guided by a certain innuendo of Frenchness perhaps never entirely passé, what makes this brand even more sought-after is the emphasis on blissfully harmonious, symmetrical lines that transcend time. Think what you’d find adorning a sensual woman that seeks no validation from the faraway observers; the rarest prototype — femme fatale — ready to allure audiences with her awareness of the eco-conscious cultural climate whilst looking utterly put-together. “August’s customer is a confident woman, who expresses her being, choices and way of consuming also through the way she dresses. And to whom sustainably made clothes and certified organic fabrics make a huge difference,” says Äli Kargoja, head designer at the label.  

NO/AN Studio

Created as a reaction to the reckless speed of fashion industry, Helsinki-based NO/AN believes in a detailed design approach coupled with transparent craftsmanship. Bringing us a carefully curated collection of artisanal bags brushed up with immaculate care from start to the finish, Finnish NO/AN Sudio boycotts fashion seasons, presenting its muted-palette craft as ‘seasonless’. Being long locked in the system of speed and seasons that often leave no space for creativity, designer Anna Lehmusniemi experienced a fatigue with ‘fast’ and ‘more’ — the last qualities Anna hopes her creativity to submerge in. When creating, instead of following the kerfuffle of fashion cycles, she gives her designs some space to breathe, so they could evolve more organically, not strictly in a vacuumed bell jar. "As a designer, I also feel that it is important to give the design process the time it needs to create a product that is resilient. When it comes to fast fashion, this route is not the objective,” designer Anna Lehmusniemi explains her take on slow fashion and directing NO/AN far forward into the future. 

Liisa Soolepp 

Another ethical fashion maverick from Estonia, Liisa Soolepp, is bringing vibrant knitwear back with a vengeance with her quirky eponymous label. Liisa’s funky pops of knitwear have already conquered hearts all over the globe — although she first started out exploring knitting merely as a hobby, this young designer now fails to keep up with growing demand. Her knits, often described as ‘talismans’, reflect a refined, clean aesthetic mixed with an ethical twist — a subtle play on surfaces, textures and geometric shapes, so they can be associated with brighter colours. Her knits are made not only to inspire the fashion-loving wearer, but the maker as well. Here, Liisa admits that the medium allows to bravely toy with her creative boundaries beyond choosing a strict fabric. “What I like most about designing knitwear is that I don’t have to base everything on the fabric, but can take the yarn and create my own ‘material’ out of it. This gives me a chance to essentially create something from the very beginning,” Liisa Soolepp explains the creative process behind her beautiful Nordic knits. As spectators, we must admit, these pops of colour proudly enable imagination to flourish beyond the mundane. 


On a global mission to support marginalised women, this unique Danish label — and don’t be fooled by their immaculate, visually appetising aesthetics — has inserted a revolutionary social mission into its very DNA. By setting up production in women’s prisons in two Third World countries, Peru and, more recently, Thailand, Carcel’s vision is to support imprisoned women with all they can. Cutting-edge Carcel pairs quality Danish designs with materials found in their collaborative destinations, such as alpaca wool and silk, delivering a delicate, uncompromising take on slow fashion. “Our unique vision is to add value to the quality of life of these women. We aim for creating beautiful designs that our customer will love for many years. Even if they don't know the story, they should simply be drawn by the design aesthetic of the styles”- say the founders of their unique vision taking shape. Thumbs up, Carcel. We now hope other brands will only follow suit.

Gritt & Borris

In 2015, when a Danish couple was looking to reflect their mutual pursuit for a greener fashion industry to the outside world, Gritt & Borris was born. This slow label takes you straight to Destination Dreamland with its versatile garments inspired by the richness of nature. By putting ecological well-being at the very forefront, Gritt & Borris strives to minimise the effect the global fashion industry has on our precious planet — thus, they boycott mindless consumption with keeping production in firm correlation with demand. Yet, carefully curated collections are equally a driving force. Their latest collection 17.1 entails a meaningful narrative inspired by the nostalgic feeling of gardening: they closely reveal how plants change throughout seasons and cope organically with changes in weather. Gritt & Borris have successfully combined high-end Scandinavian design and a fully transparent production concept — altogether forming an innovative young fashion duo worth watching now. While the brand’s roots surely stretch far forward into the future. "Fashion has become so affordable that we don’t value it as much any longer. We want to change that with a 'buy less, choose well' approach,” the couple reveals their mission behind the brand. 

Artistically, this UK-based label’s style inspiration is deeply rooted in its signature quintessential Scandinavian simplicity. Borrowing a comparison, like yin is powerless without its yang, BYEM’s suave cuts are set out to naturally empower the life of the modern woman, and the comfort we nowadays so avidly long for. At BYEM, these easy-to-wear, prim pretty pastel pieces dreamt up by Emilia Wik make sure to adorn your everyday comings and goings, forming a beautiful basis for an enviable capsule wardrobe made to last. With its first limited GOTS-certified range in earthly, magnified hues, BYEM has set out to bring the concept of ‘personal style’ back in vogue. Or at least get you started on a move away from fast fashion trends. ”Ultimately, it’s all about rediscovering what represents you, and embracing it. I think everyone should take a step back from the 52 seasons of fashion, and follow their own style,” head designer Emilia Wik describes the inspiration behind BYEM’s first capsule collection. BYEM proves that the future of fashion lies in conscious consumerism today. 

+ Words: Hanna-Amanda

Hanna-Amanda is a London and Paris based Lifestyle Journalist and Copywriter avidly boycotting fast fashion and proactively keeping herself on the radar of new sustainability trends. Eventually, she sets Savant Magazine, a platform dedicated to a carefully curated visual assemblage of all things ethical and sustainable. She is our regular contributor on Ethical Fashion Trends. 

Platform: Savant Magazine

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