Fashion label STAMM on how an emerging brand can drive change in the industry

We speak to founder Elisabet Stamm after winning this season’s Zalando Sustainability Award.
February 13, 2023

During Copenhagen Fashion Week, STAMM took the stage to show its genderless collection, designed for what Elisabet Stamm describes as ”longevity”, which highlights the use of sustainable fabrics and materials in every design.

— My brand is a unified field that spans across cultures — we call it ’Something To Wear For Superhumans’, she explains. We always wanted to drive a change, not just in design but also in finding the most beautiful meaning in life when worlds and cultures collide. When we say that we create for longevity, we mean that each design is first and foremost genderless and diverse, using more responsibly sourced materials. 

Tell us more about the runway show during Copenhagen Fashion Week.

— Our aim with this collection is to bring a positive change to the fashion industry by creating clothes with both style and sustainability in mind. I also worked closely with casting director Benyamin Arno to bring diversity while also including some of our family members and friends. I was also fortunate to collaborate with artist Courtesy on the sound, which was inspirational.

You won this season’s Zalando Sustainability Award. What will you do now after winning?

— It’ll let us expand our network and keep working towards bringing positive change. I also hope to be able to inspire others to create with purpose and believe in exchange across borders. We are still in the establishment so there are many new and great aspects to work with.

You mention positive change. Is it possible to drive change even as a small player?

— I think it’s important not to see yourself as a small or big player. What is crucial is what we are doing now. Communicating. Sharing. The award and the awareness are such a positive change and platform. It doesn’t matter if you are a student or a large fashion house. We understand that it can be difficult. We strive to bring awareness and transparency to our practices by focusing on sustainability as well as using responsibly sourced materials. Additionally, we put an emphasis on educating our customers about what they are buying and promoting an understanding of why sustainability is important.

”I wish to work with aesthetics that bring something, more than a more sustainable fabric”

And how do you work with sustainability and implement it into your daily operations? 

— In the design process I work on shapes that are versatile and I wish to work with aesthetics that bring something, more than a more sustainable fabric. In that way, I think design and artistic approach is and will always be relevant. For the daily operations, we’re using responsibly sourced materials and ensuring that the origin, craft, and general existence of each design is carried forward with both transparency and traceability. We also put a lot of focus on innovation — constantly introducing new sustainable fabrics or methods in order to reduce wastage while preserving quality.

In what other ways do you focus on innovation?

— It might come off controversial, but I really don’t want to ’force it’. If a fashion designer sits down and thinks too long and too hard about how to be innovative, I’m worried about the outcome. I build on many years of work experience and so does my business partner on the production side. I use it to flex and I try to stick to my meditation and stay open, breathe, and listen. Except for the new sustainable fabrics and methods I mentioned, we are always experimenting with new ideas and pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of fashion, design, and technology. By working closely with our partners and suppliers, we remain at the forefront of innovative practices within the industry, says Stamm. She continues:

— There are challenges that come with being a sustainable business in an industry such as fashion. We understand that sustainability is a priority for many businesses nowadays and we have been striving to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to implementing solutions while still maintaining quality standards. Furthermore, we focus on creating awareness around sustainable practices through education initiatives, collaborations with other brands, and by utilising transparent communication channels. All our decisions and processes are carefully reviewed regularly in order to ensure that we remain true to our mission of becoming a responsible brand. We use recycled fabrics while still maintaining quality standards. Hopefully, this will serve as an example for other brands and help drive change within the industry overall.