Swedish startup uses virtual wardrobes and local mini factories to offer more conscious ready-to-wear
Johanna Mörk, co-founder and CEO of TINI: ”We are exploring tools with the potential to disrupt various aspects of the industry.”
By JOHAN MAGNUSSON
December 12, 2023
TINI specialises in crafting timeless, everyday clothing designed for long-term use, all produced on-demand through an efficient and scalable local production model.
— We prioritise quality and longevity while reducing waste, for conscious consumers seeking personalised, stylish, eco-friendly fashion, founders Tini Warg and Head of Design and Johanna Mörk say.
How did you come up with the idea in the first place?
— From a deep concern about the environmental impact of the fashion industry, Tini, who’s also Head of Design, shares. Instead of conforming to the traditional fashion designer role, I took a step back, did an extreme scale down, embraced simplicity, and questioned the status quo. Our vision became to reshape the fashion landscape, unburdened by conventional rules. We started with just three models and some fabric, crafting clothes that we genuinely loved and considered essential. This approach allowed us to create a win-win solution, prioritising both personal satisfaction and environmental responsibility.
You produce the garments in special ateliers.
— Yes, our ateliers are vital to our business serving multiple functions, Tini continues. We have one in Hudiksvall in the north of Sweden, where everything started, and one in Stockholm. Every piece becomes an original made in Sweden.
— Our ateliers serve as both mini factories for production and showrooms for our collection, Mörk explains. When you buy a piece, you start by visiting one of our ateliers to select your preferred style and fabrics. We then customise the garment to your specifications and measurements, and after a fitting session, you pick up your tailored piece when it’s ready.
— Besides being a showroom for our clothing, they provide a space for events where people can connect and explore a new approach to fashion, says Tini. Additionally, they’re central to our production process, acting as a bridge between our vision and its realisation. They serve as laboratories for creative production techniques and enhance our understanding of our target audience.
You’re also about to launch a Virtual Wardrobe. Tell us more!
— We’ve pioneered a distinctive approach to garment production, wherein we create a digital clone for each garment we produce, establishing a direct connection between the item and the user, Mörk explains. We achieve this through the use of QR technology (pictured above) which allows us to track garment usage and provide an opportunity to encourage and reward our customers for their sustainable choices. In the near future, we’re taking this concept even further by providing personalised user pages. Here, customers can access their virtual TINI wardrobe, add their personal measurements, make adjustments as needed, and effectively curate their own collection of garments. This digital interface enhances the overall shopping experience and empowers customers to take a more active role in personalising and managing their fashion choices.
What other technologies do you work with?
— Currently, Mörk continues, we are exploring tools with the potential to disrupt various aspects of the industry. This includes user-friendly software for personalised pattern grading and the exploration of potential hardware solutions for fabric cutting. Our focus remains on harnessing technology to advance our vision of a more sustainable and innovative fashion landscape.
The industry often focuses on material innovation and recycling while TINI focuses on social sustainability by emphasising the human aspect and well-being.
— Value what’s in our closets for a longer period of time promotes a sense of contentment and authenticity, steering away from the relentless pursuit of acquiring more, Tini says.
What’s been your biggest challenge since launching?
— The endeavour to create something entirely new and innovative while transforming an industry norm where fast consumption has long been the standard. Adapting to evolving customer behaviours and shifting away from this fast-fashion model has required us to rethink our strategies, processes, and approaches. We’re constantly learning and we aim to balance the disruptive vision and mission while navigating in the current landscape of fashion.
Another challenge for concepts like yours can be to scale. What’s the plan there?
— Scaling has been part of our strategy from the very beginning, Mörk shares. Our current focus is on scaling within Sweden, aiming for profitability and establishing strong partnerships to expand our physical presence. Once we’ve solidified our position locally, we’ll strategically expand internationally.
The latest addition to the brand’s made-to-measure collection is a shirt (pictured at the top) and next year, TINI will be introducing a complete collection.
— Additionally, we’re venturing into the B2B sector, Mörk says. Our mission is to partner closely with companies, providing sustainable clothing solutions for corporate representation and workwear. We specialise in circular textile handling, transforming unused textiles into eco-friendly products, and excel in alterations and repairs to maintain clothing in excellent condition. We see a unique opportunity to assist businesses in elevating their sustainability efforts within the textile industry. This strategic move aligns seamlessly with our mission to have a more substantial impact on the fashion landscape by promoting sustainable practices not only in our consumer offerings but also in the broader business ecosystem.
— We see that changes are underway in the industry, Tini predicts. Laws and regulations are emerging that put pressure on the fashion industry. From 2025, it will be prohibited in the EU for companies to discard or incinerate unsold textiles and shoes and Extended Producer Responsibility for the entire life cycle of textile products is on the table at the EU level. Slowly but surely, these kinds of measures will begin to make an impact.