October’s – ‘The Bravery Issue’ – Download Now
BITE Studios is bravely progressive and quietly confident. First launching in 2016, the label was uncompromising in its values bravely putting sustainability at the forefront before it became interconnected with the fashion industry. With an acronym meaning ‘By Independent Thinkers for Environmental Progress’, the brand ensures that 95 per cent of every garment is made of organic, recycled or low impact materials. Four years on, BITE has been chosen as part of NET-A-PORTER’s – The Vanguard in their Net Sustain programme, giving the Stockholm and London-based brand a global platform like never before. What started as a simple Instagram message to BITE from the e-commerce platform catapulted the brand to new heights, making the sustainable conversation the label’s CEO William Lundgrenn and his four co-founders are so passionate about, known to the world.
How did you begin your career in fashion? Veronika [Kant] and I met five years after graduating from business school. Suzanne is an established photographer and has created the visual identity of the brand alongside London-based designer Elliot, who has honed his eye for tailoring since founding his own label after Art School. We four met and formed BITE together out of the lack of environmental progress in the fashion industry. We wanted to create an alternative to people who, like us, believe in the urgency to fight climate change and don’t want to compromise when it comes to the clothes we wear.
You started BITE in 2016. How have things developed over the last four years?
The sustainable conversation has moved quickly. When we started sustainability was seen more as a separate entity that was difficult to interconnect with fashion. Now material sustainability is a future target for most brands and more and more people are buying in line with their belief system. This is wonderful and of course the only way forward.
How did the brand start?
My co-founder and partner in life Veronika and I formulated ideas around how the world of fashion would need to evolve to be in line with a new modern society. Both of us wanted to create a label that by true actions could set the tone for how sustainable fashion should look, feel and be talked about. For decades, eco-fashion has been associated with a bohemian look. Treating sustainability and design as equally important is what truly sets BITE apart.
What does it represent?
It represents a modern approach to design and environment, a new optimistic way forward with amazing garments that you will love. BITE wants to present a new way of relating to fashion with lots of love for the product. Why would you buy an oil-based synthetic garment that does not breath at all closest to your skin, when you can wear a luxurious organic garment with a completely different quality and airy feel to it.
What is the DNA of the brand?
We should hope that BITE feels progressive and somehow quietly confident, since that is what we feel about what we do. We very much enjoy working in a way that matches our belief system and that releases a lot of energy and inspiration for us.
What sets BITE apart from other brands?
We are very proud of the philosophy and the people behind the BITE. We start in the very beginning in sourcing and developing new materials. We have taken out almost all petroleum-based fabrics from our garments. We collaborate with our suppliers in developing beautiful high-quality organic silk, organic cotton, organic wool and organic linen as well as recycled and innovative fabrics such as bio-vegetable leather from corn. We take great pride in that 95 per cent of every BITE garment is made of organic, recycled or low impact materials. We have always believed that the perfect pieces for your wardrobe are the ones lasting over time, that becomes one with your personal expression and even more valuable over the years. In the core is the grounding principles on how we view the world, the element of carefully selected fabrics, details, materials and construction based on time, knowledge and beauty. Working with a respect for nature and all living things connects an element that luxury fashion traditionally has been lacking.
You have a strong focus on sustainability – was this a key factor for the brand from the start?
Sustainability was the key factor from the start, since we believed the industry needed to change, but also because we personally would never have started a label that did not care for the environment in a time when this is one of our most important crises to solve collectively.
What support has being involved with NET-A-PORTER’s The Vanguard programme?
It has been truly great to be chosen as a Vanguard brand by Net-A-Porter. Net-A-Porter has given us a global outreach that is difficult for a new independent brand to get on its own.
How did the partnership with NET-A-PORTER begin?
They found our Instagram (@bitestudios) and reached out for a meeting to view the collections.
How have you adapted over the recent months to accommodate the global changes?
We were used to working remote and digital even before the pandemic, with creatives in London, New York and Head Office in Sweden. Like all luxury brands, we have faced difficulties so it has been a lot of re-planning and hard work this spring and summer.
Where do you get your motivation from?
We want to achieve big things and are only at the very beginning. If we can shift the industry just slightly in the right direction we have achieved a lot, but we want to make as much impact as possible.
What advice would you have given yourself when you started the brand?
We got so much advice in the beginning and have received a lot of support throughout, so I think we have avoided many mistakes by meeting many wonderful and generous people that believed in our vision.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome and what have been your proudest moments?
Starting up your own business always means a lot of hard work and constantly overcoming obstacles. Getting the first investment and seeing the first amazing sales figures and seeing people in BITE on the streets has been wonderful.
This is ‘The Bravery Issue’ – how do you define bravery?
We like the idea that bravery is different for everyone and that it can only be defined in relation to yourself. Being vulnerable could be one definition, daring to change your habits and consumption patterns could be another.
And finally, when it comes to the future of BITE, what are you most excited about?
Everything! We are looking forward to the upcoming 10 years, and think we will achieve great things and be a positive needed force for change!
October’s – ‘The Bravery Issue’ – Download Now
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