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Employeneur Malin starts circular clothing company

‘I always knew I wanted to have my own company,’ says Malin Fredrikson, Employeneur at TMC Sweden. ‘In the summer of 2018, I had an idea that felt promising and relevant, and I decided to pursue it. Fortunately, I could combine it with my work as an Employeneur. Everybody at TMC was very supportive, which made the early stages much easier.’ It also helped that Malin and her business partner were successful right away. Within some six months, Malin’s brand new company Cirkelbyrån was nominated as Startup of the year in one of Sweden’s biggest Startup competitions.

‘We were one of the ten finalists for the Western region of Sweden,’ Malin says. ‘We didn’t make it to the national finals, but being part of the regional finals so early in our company’s development was a huge surprise and a tremendous honour. All of the other nominated companies had been in business much longer. All of a sudden, we were in competition with companies that were started three years ago. Several of our competitors already had a solid customer base - we only had a business plan and a short movie!’

Malin’s idea emerged from her background in Textile Management. ‘Currently, I’m working as product developer at Volvo Cars, which I enjoy a lot. But I also have a Masters in Textile Management, and I’ve worked as a Textile Engineer for years. I’ve never lost interest in the textile industry and I’ve always thought a lot about its impact on the environment.’

Cirkelbyrån, which translates as ‘Circle wardrobe’, is a subscription service. ‘Lots of clothes today are not sustainable - especially the ones that are only worn for short periods of time, such as children’s clothing. We feel something needs to be done about that. At Cirkelbyrån, customers can rent a box of organic children’s clothing. Once the children have outgrown the clothes, the customers can send the entire box back and the clothes can be re-used. We will then send the customer a new box.’

We’re positive that living in a more environmentally friendly way can be easy, time-saving and affordable, and we’re out to prove it!’

It’s an ambitious project, even more so because Malin is determined to offer clothes of the highest quality. ‘We want the clothes to look nice, and we want them to feel like new. It took a while, but we managed to find a great supplier. We tested their clothes by washing them about seventy times. They looked exactly the same as the day we received them. At the moment, we’re still looking for one more quality supplier, so we can order more clothes and actually start filling the boxes.’

‘Since we’re still in the first stages, we’re currently focusing on clothes for 0-1-year-olds. But the recognition from the Startup Competition has made us even more ambitious, and our goal for the near future is to produce boxes with bigger sizes. We’re positive that living in a more environmentally friendly way can be easy, time-saving and affordable, and we’re out to prove it!’

Photo: Malin (left) and her business partner Rebecca Emilson

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