Gudrun Sjödén: Boho Chic Has Never Looked So GreenOctober 23, 2019
Dating to the 1970s, Gudrun Sjödén has been crafting her own brand of sustainable clothing with Nordic flair. Over the years, Sjödén has built an eco-friendly brand that still allows customers to be adventurous, expressing themselves through eclectic, lively fashions.
The business idea behind the brand, named after herself, is to make colorful clothes and home textiles in natural materials, with an emphasis on Scandinavian design by creating hardwearing, timeless pieces that age with you. Gudrun Sjödén believes that fashion doesn’t have to harm the environment. Along with enforcing strict manufacturing codes, the brand makes regular visits to its factories to ensure that its standards are being upheld.
Currently, Gudrun Sjödén has collections of clothing and homeware available to purchase online or in one of several stores located throughout Scandinavia, Europe and the United States. Along with continuously evolving new arrivals —such as From the Middle Kingdom—the brand’s current selection of winter apparel, Gudrun Sjödén also has a collection of essential items like this Livia dress in eco-cotton.
In the homeware department, Gudrun Sjödén designs products for any room in your house. In your bedroom, add a beautiful rug such as the Småland runner or cushion cover. Or add a pop of color to your kitchen with this Amita table cloth. Keeping with its eco-standards, each item listed online has a link to a virtual product label, where you can learn all about the sustainable materials the item is made from.
We caught up with Monica Ekervik Hedman, head of communications for Gudrun Sjödén to learn more about the brand’s sustainability efforts and what’s to come for the Swedish brand.
Describe the Gudrun Sjödén style.
The Gudrun Sjödén style is unique. It’s in our own design, colorful in layers on layers, always in natural fibers. For an inner-directed woman with no age. If you like the style, you like everything about Gudrun’s world.
What is the most challenging part of making sustainable clothing?
Sjödén’s idea, started in 1976, was to make clothes in natural fibers. In the beginning of the 90s, she started to produce in eco-cotton. Now, it’s made of around 70% good, sustainable fibers. For us, it’s not a challenge, it’s in our DNA.
Your company gets involved with an environmental charity project every Christmas. Have you decided on this year’s project and can we get the scoop on this year’s effort?
Yes, every Christmas it’s a “Gudrun’s Good Deed.” We have done this since 2006. I can’t tell you what project we are working on yet, but it will be out when the Christmas collection releases, beginning in November.
Aside from the Christmas project, does Gudrun Sjödén have any new sustainable practices in the works?
We are always looking for green values. Therefore, we are looking into the total change of production: going with more boats instead of flights, not overproducing and “Gudrun’s Vintage.”
“Gudrun’s Vintage” is an environmental practice where you can bring in clean Gudrun Sjödén clothes that you don’t want anymore and get a voucher to shop for more. Can you tell us a little bit more about this program and the inspiration behind it?
We have had it for some years now- and it’s very popular. Since the quality of our pieces is very good, you can keep them for long term, using them again and again. Or you can leave them in a Gudrun Sjödén shop and buy new ones. Since the design is more of a style than day-by-day fashion- you can keep a Gudrun Sjödén item for a long time!
Speaking of your stores, currently the only store in the United States is in New York. Are there any plans for expansion?
The U.S. store is a place many customers visit on holidays. The U.S. market is going great for us, along with the catalogue and e-commerce. So, for now we do not have any more shop plans. But you never know! In the 80s, we had two shops in San Francisco area: Berkeley and Palo Alto.