In this exclusive interview, House of Coco sits down with Sofie Andersson, the visionary founder of Anekdot, a groundbreaking brand that is redefining sustainable fashion. Dive into the inspiring narrative as Sofie shares the captivating journey behind Anekdot, her commitment to ethical practices, and the fusion of exquisite nostalgia with modern design that sets her lingerie, swimwear, loungewear, and accessories apart.

Join us on a journey through the brand’s sustainable mission, empowering local craftswomen, and the unique design process that shapes each limited edition piece. Discover the fascinating stories behind Anekdot’s upcycled materials and how the brand is making waves in influencing the broader fashion industry towards a more sustainable future.

As Sofie unveils her future sustainability goals and the vibrant Anekdot community, readers are invited to delve into the world of conscious fashion, where loved clothes last and every piece tells a story…

Origins and Inspiration:

Can you share the story behind the inception of Anekdot? What inspired you to start a brand that focuses on transforming surplus materials into high-quality fashion pieces?

I wasn’t happy with the social injustices and environmental crisis caused by the fashion industry and I could not find lingerie that reflected my values while also having the aesthetic, quality, and comfort that I was looking for to wear myself. I felt an urge to create lingerie in sensual and special materials sourced in Italy where I studied, and design them in a way that celebrates the female form.

I wanted to empower women from within, knowing that the item worn close to the body is made with love and ethics. Lingerie that makes women feel comfortable in themselves and live their values. By using surplus materials each item also comes in limited edition that’ll make you feel as special as when you are thrifting quality vintage.

Sustainable Fashion Mission:

Anekdot has a strong emphasis on sustainability. How did the idea of upcycling surplus materials come about, and how does it align with your vision of fashion and environmental responsibility?

As a designer, I have always been inspired by the fabrics themselves and been the most creative when looking at the fabrics available and do the best out of them. After I graduated in Florence and relocated to London to work with sustainable fashion pioneers, I understood better the massive environmental problem caused by the fashion industry due to the crazy amount of pre-consumer waste in the production chain, and I got utterly committed to continue to source and work with these materials to save precious resources.

In my opinion, to use already existing materials that would otherwise get thrown away is the most sustainable material to use, since even recycling them into other materials would require more energy and water resources. To create underwear and swimwear out of surplus materials is perfect since we can easily cut around potential defects and use smaller off-cuts and smaller quantities and still make designs without necessarily showing a patchwork aesthetic. It’s more work to source the materials and more time-consuming to produce from them, and when we finish a loved product unfortunately we can not reproduce it. But as a small responsible brand, we are highly committed to working in this way for a sustainable future.

Local Craftswomen Empowerment:

Your production involves collaboration with small woman-owned factories in Poland. How has this partnership empowered local craftswomen, and why is supporting women in the manufacturing process important to Anekdot?

We are producing partly with local seamstresses in Berlin and partly with small woman-owned factories in nearby Poland, to save CO emissions by local production, and by having a close relationship with our craftswomen we make sure that each person gets paid fairly. We want to avoid blood, sweat and tears in the production of our collections, which sounds like something to take for granted, but unfortunately is not easy to control if producing far away or even worse outside Europe.

We want that the women who produce for us can actually live from it, and even better, also enjoy the process. It is important for Anekdot because me as the designer and owner of the brand would not be able to sleep at night if I knew that the people who produce for us were not treated well. There have been many catastrophes happening in the fashion industry which shine a light on the problem, like the Rana Plaza disaster in 2013, and unfortunately child labor and extremely bad work conditions are keep on happening. If I want to continue work in fashion, I want to avoid being a part of this problem, at any cost.

Unique Design Process:

Anekdot’s designs are described as a fusion of exquisite nostalgia and sleek comfort. Can you walk us through the design process, particularly how you balance the historical and the modern in creating your lingerie, swimwear, loungewear, and accessories?

First of all, I´m inspired by the material that I source. A decorative floral lace, a minimal sexy mesh, a classy silk.. once I have the materials that I fell in love with in front of me, I imagine how they would best fit the female body and the everyday life of a modern woman. I want the woman to feel comfortable, sexy and special and to bring a touch of nostalgia in the way that the lingerie is shaped or having special details that´s inspired from vintage lingerie.

The amount of vintage feel needs to be balanced with the fabric and to fit into the modern life. For example, if the fabric already is vintage style, I would do the style more minimal and Scandinavian style details, meanwhile if the fabric is modern-looking, I would prefer a high waist vintage style panty and small front hooks on the bra like a vintage corset. Anekdot lingerie should not be pieces to hang and create dust in your wardrobe; they are created to be lived and loved in the everyday life and this harmony and a good amount of comfort is, therefore, super important.

The Upcycling Concept:

Anekdot is an upcycle brand, focusing on using leftover materials. How do you ensure that the upcycled materials meet the high-quality standards expected in the fashion industry?

Most of our leftover materials are sourced directly from the fabric supplier and they have all the quality composition tags on them where the quality is tested as usual on their production. The reasons why they are leftover vary; it could be a defect every 10 meters like a hole or stain, or it could be that the color turned out a bit different than what the original client order, or it could be that the elasticity or width of the fabric became different than what it was supposed to be.

It could also be that they produced too much or too little.. or because it was produced a long time ago and not in their latest catalog. The quality is still perfect. When we source from other designer leftovers or deadstock in other ways when there is no fabric composition tag on them, I quality control the fabric personally by burning them to know the composition (I studied fabric science) and test washing them to know if any defects appear.

Limited Edition Philosophy:

Anekdot’s products are described as limited editions. Can you elaborate on why this approach was chosen and how it aligns with the brand’s values and commitment to sustainability?

I wanted to create pieces that make women feel special and not look like everyone else. I always loved shopping vintage because when you find a treasure you know it´s only you who will wear that unique piece. For hygiene reasons, I don´t want to shop vintage lingerie, and therefore I wanted to create a collection of lingerie and swimwear that is produced in limited edition and feels as special and fun to shop as vintage.

At the same time, by producing from surplus materials, we have no other choice than to produce limited edition, since once we finish the fabric of a certain piece we cannot buy it again.

Championing Slow Fashion:

Anekdot’s commitment to making sure “loved clothes last” reflects a slow fashion philosophy. How does the brand encourage consumers to adopt a more mindful and sustainable approach to their fashion choices?

Our lingerie and swimwear are meant to be lived and loved for many years, and therefore many of our items are versatile to be able to wear them in many different ways to not get bored of them. Many of our items also fit to wear to different occasions; like our robes, they fit to wear from the beach to the bedroom to a restaurant.

And our swimwear also fit well to wear for sport like yoga and as tops for clubbing (Berliner style hehe), and our swimwear are also sold as separate items, so you can mix and match top and bottom to have a lot of variations, if you one year want to buy just 1 new item to get more variations of your already existing Anekdot items.

We also encourage to repair your Anekdot items if they break in any way. Laces are delicate materials so if you get stuck in your pants zipper for example, we are happy to repair them for you!

Empowering Anekdot Community:

Anekdot seems to build a community around its brand. How do you envision the Anekdot community evolving, and how can individuals become more actively involved in supporting the brand’s mission?

We love to treat our community with exclusive deals and exclusive limited edition product launches, and also offline and online events to mingle together in person. The best way to know about everything Anekdot is to sign up for our newsletter!

We also have a Rewards program where you can Earn points (=discount) by placing orders and on your birthday, for example, and you can also Earn discounts by spreading the word about Anekdot to your friends. All of this means the world to us and supports our mission in the best way. And the more people we have onboard, the more amazing products and events we will be able to offer!

Our readers love to travel, what destination is at the top of your bucket list?

India, it’s a fascinating country using Ayurveda a lot to encourage health and wellbeing and I’m curious to learn more about this and also to meet creators there.

What’s your go-to quote when lacking motivation?

Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.

Where can people follow you and find out more?

Instagram @anekdotboutique

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Northern girl Laura is the epitome of a true entrepreneur. Laura’s spirit for adventure and passion for people blaze through House of Coco. She founded House of Coco in 2014 and has grown it in to an internationally recognised brand whilst having a lot of fun along the way. Travel is in her DNA and she is a true visionary and a global citizen.

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