Small adventure: Sustainable Fashion in Malmö
Go on a small adventure with Kim and pingle
This post is sponsored by Pingle the app.
One of the greenest cities in Europe should not miss out on sustainable fashion alternatives. And whether you’re a visitor or resident of this beautiful city in Southern Sweden, let’s together explore sustainable fashion with Pingle. The sponsor for this post, pingle, connects you with things to do and people to do them with. In cities like Malmö, Lund and Copenhagen.
For obvious reasons I have chosen to show you my favourite sustainable fashion spots of the city to indulge in some conscious shopping. But first things first,
What is sustainable fashion?
Sustainable fashion comes in many shapes and forms. If you’re trying to shop according to your conscious, chances are you’re coming across a myriad of buzzwords. Conscious fashion, slow fashion, fair fashion, - all of them are used almost interchangeably. They simply represent an antidote to what is happening today. It is a change in the system. The fashion system.
Right now we have fast fashion ruling the industry with an immense pace. Fast fashion is run by huge corporations (like H&M and Zara) that mass-produce clothes in a quick, namely fast, pace. On the backs of poorly paid workers in third world countries. Bäh, dislike. But there is hope. Small labels, local productions and consumers like you who want to become more conscious. Let’s explore what Malmö has to offer.
New vs. Old
How Cherie Birker has described it in the Conscious Closet Guide: “Second hand is a super sustainable solution because the pieces already exist, so you are saving the entire negative impact of production.” There are many more advantages to buying items that have been previously loved:
You prolong the life span of an already existing item. That means you value the resources more that have been used in the beginning to produce it (like the water to dye the piece and the energy and working hours needed to produce it).
Generally speaking it is cheaper.
The thrift experience is totally different to running into an H&M.
The other solution to shop sustainability is to invest in newly produced items that are not fast fashion. You can:
screen labels for their certifications. Don’t worry, I’ve spotted the shops in Malmö that have these kinds of labels, so you don’t need to engage in research.
support your local. There are small brands that produce locally and make a living of their fashion. And their items are likely to have a lower carbon foot print due to the short ways of transportation. Often times they end up being certified too.
look for timeless pieces. These pieces will last longer than the upcoming season and can become integral part of your personal style.
Sustainable Fashion in Malmö. Let’s explore.
I can proudly say that Malmö has many initiatives running to promote small local businesses. Also when it comes to fashion. In 2006 it became Swedens first Fair Trade city, a certification system to indicate a city is engaged in the issue of ethical consumption. Hurray!
And with it’s own register for sustainable shops, namely ‘Go! Green Options Malmö’, you truly cannot miss out. Let’s together explore my favourite spots of both, second hand as well as sustainable fashion.
Small adventures. Shop second hand and vintage.
The city has many options to shop previously loved items. From curated vintage boutiques to shabby thrift hunts a la Macklemore. Here are my top 5 addresses in Malmö.
// Emmaus- fighting for sustainability
Emmaus Björkå (thihi there it is, the Swedish å) is a solidarity organisation found already in 1965. Through their clothing collections they receive items, both clothing and household goods, which they resell in two stores in Malmö. A spacious shop in the city center and a hidden gem further outside. You can visit the more central shop with its 1450 m2 here, representing how stylish, contemporary and competitive second hand can be.
The other shop is located in Heleneholm and more calm than the other. Check the location and opening hours here.
// Pop Boutique - your besties recommendation
I have to admit that I haven’t been here for a while, but many of my close friends have happily reported on their vintage finds. Pop Boutique holds retro items of many decades and is a recommendation I should not miss out on. Richard, the founder of Pop Boutique has started selling thrift finds in the 80’s and brings the charm of Camden markets and streets of London to the center of Malmö.
// Beyond Retro - the creme de la creme of vintage
If there is a place for the rawest and most awesome vintage in Malmö, than it's this one. The store Beyond Retro is one of the hidden gems, located in an 60's style shopping mall, which is now known as a bustling hub and meeting place for the city’s creatives.
Mitt Möllan, is located in the heart of Möllan, and home to another slow fashio alternative that will be presented later. Beyond Retro, the UK based chain has a total of four shops in Sweden. Despite having a great collection of the finest vintage, the staff has also always been very welcoming. High five to those guys. If you're into high-waisted jeans, bomber jackets and denim, this is your paradise. And if you feel like giving those items a little twist, Beyond Retro upcycles some collections themselves. Give these guys a like on Facebook and follow up on their events here.
// Myrorna XXL
If you're a student, this is where you should spend your valuable time instead of learning for the upcoming exam. Myrorna has two locations in Malmö, which are offering 10% student discount when showing your Kåren ID (oh there it is again, the Swedish å). And their price-quality ratio is the best in town.
The store in South Sofialund is about the size of Emmaus. Bring enough time to cycle there! And even more time to spot the treasures you may be looking for. But trust me, it's worth it. the prices are unbeatable. Further, the shop is also great for furniture thrifting. And I do recommend the books to all my English speaking homies.
Check the opening hours here.
// HUMANA - where to meet the cool kids
If you want to thrift a more curated collection, then you'll feel at home right here. HUMANA offers limited categories of items and a collection each hipsters heart is beating for. It's an easy one stop shop with a pleasant size. If you're into turtle necks, Adidas trainers and 90's style net shirts, that’s the place. Check out their Instagram to get the hang of it.
But there's two things worth mentioning here. These stores, four in number, have nothing to do with the HUMANA organization you may know from other countries. This is a pure for-profit business with little donations. And also be aware that it may be a bit more pricey, but that only justified the curation of nice items.
If you’re on the hunt for even more vintage and second hand, I can recommend some more shops: Stadsmissionen, Open Heart Second Hand (in Swedish Öppna Hjärtat), Erikshjälpen or Konnekt Second Hand.
Small adventure. Dip into the world of slow fashion.
Malmö has more to offer than thrifting only. Besides green concept stores you can get to know local designers and watch them sewing right here in Möllan. Ready?
This is, for many obvious reasons, my favourite green concept store in town. Not only do they have ecological Fika, but also slow fashion. For all genders and little ones too. From Kings of Indigo, Maska and pinqponq, AbSmåland has brands. They curate mostly Scandinavian brands and add others that suit their portfolio. Here you can browse and be truly sure that all of this is conscious fashion.
// Helgrose Studio
Unisex clothing made in Malmö. Originally from Melbourne Australia, Helgrose was founded by Birgitta Helmersson and Sam Grose at the beginning of 2018. The Studio store is an open area incorporating both store and workshop space, allowing a glimpse into the behind the scenes of their every day workings.
I was able to borrow two items for Copenhagen Fashion Week last summer and fell in love:
// Uma Bazaar
As with AbSmåland, you can be a 100% sure that brands in this shop have gone through a sustainability screening process. Whether organic, vegan or fair fashion, - they have it all. Visit Uma Bazaar for well-know fashion labels or smaller brands. Their items vary from colourful prints to sleek minimalism.
Liebling is a shop I’ve highlighted together with malmotown in a short video. The shop follows the values of sustainability, timelessness and respect for people and the planet. Besides well-known brands, Liebling even has its own collection, made by a women-run factory in Lithuania.
// Samson Concept
The two founders of Samson concept likewise emphasise Swedish design and local production. They target business woman of all ages by pairing pure Scandinavian minimalism with a sensual French flavour.
Check out their spacious store and say hi from me!
Some last thoughts.
Repair your clothes first.
Don’t buy anything you don’t need.
Many of us go shopping while we travel, but there are many other options on how to spend dat cash. Sweden has a great fika culture and minimalistic Scandinavian cafés. If you fancy some clothes and want to meet locals, do a quick search on upcoming ‘Loppis’, the Swedish word for flea market. Public parks and saunas are other great alternatives to dive into the culture. I highly recommend to check out the sponsor pingle for other activities in Malmö, Lund and Copenhagen.
Ready to go on a small adventure with me and pingle?