“Working sustainably is a tough road. It always is for those who are ahead of their time.” — Ernesto Prosperi, founder, Malmö Industries
A NEW SWEDEN: WHY DID YOU START MALMÖ INDUSTRIES?
Ernesto: It all started when a couple of friends and I decided to do something different. We wanted to create our own styles and give the market something that was missing. Our goal was to sell accessories and leatherwear but to give back to the community as well.
We started a small company, but the idea developed quickly into what today is the brand Manér.
To achieve our vision with Manér, we realised that we needed to control the manufacturing of the clothes.
So in addition to creating a menswear brand, we also started a company to make the products we wanted.
YOU STARTED IN 2015. WHAT MADE IT THE IDEAL TIME TO START?
There was no ideal time to start. But by starting when we did, we ended up being ahead of our time.
Our aim was to make people rethink fashion. To go back to craftsmanship and quality.
We’d always been inspired by what was happening in the food industry. In fact, our original atelier in Malmö was inspired by a chef’s table restaurant. We saw that the food industry had changed. It was going back to restraint and purpose. We knew that the fashion industry needed to do the same.
We couldn’t continue living like we always have.
WHAT WAS THE MAIN PUSH FOR YOU TO DECIDE TO START MALMÖ INDUSTRIES?
At the beginning we focused on our own brand Manér and being a socially involved and sustainable company. But it evolved to become what it is today because of the need in the market.
We started producing our own garments but through our network and being pioneers, we slowly heard from other brands and designers that contacted us.
They were interested in producing locally. So in 2019 we we decided to open our factory for white labelling. This eventually became Malmö Industries.
Malmö Industries offers its services to any brand that wishes to produce locally and sustainably in Sweden
TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOUR PHILOSOPHY.
Our goal is to design garments that are easy to understand and produced with the right materials that give each garment the right flair and longevity.
It has to be a garment that is easy to repair, and that becomes even more beautiful as time passes. This for our own brand Manér where we also give lifelong guarantees. But the same philosophy is used for any company that follow our core values.
If we talk about our own brand Manér then effortless style, authenticity and easy-going living are at the heart of the brand’s philosophy.
But at Malmö Industries the positive values shine through at every level. Beginning from the use of natural materials and fallowing the process with a responsible, social and sustainable production.
HOW IS BUSINESS?
Everything that is new has its price. Since we decided to work sustainable and socially-involved it has been a tough road. It always is for those who are ahead of their time.
We decided to go down a path that has a lot of obstacles. However, views have changed lately and we hope for a lot of more business in the near future.
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT CHALLENGE IN STARTING MALMÖ INDUSTRIES?
Like any other company, the economic part has been difficult. But the greatest challenge has been convincing people of our idea to make in Sweden. A lot of people said our idea and style is great, but that we should manufacture abroad.
WHAT’S THE MOST ENJOYABLE ASPECT OF RUNNING MALMÖ INDUSTRIES?
There are two parts. The social one where we saw our tailors develop their social skills. Many people that have to move to new countries can have a tough time getting integrated into a new society.
We have seen that through our work, we are able to give some people a better possibility, and that is something we are proud of.
The other part is to see that we contribute to positive climate change, happy customers and also see our own brand develop.
WHAT’S THE MOST REWARDING ASPECT?
That from a small seed, an idea we grew to a small tree and it’s still growing. Today we have developed to a company that you can count on.
IS THERE ANYTHING YOU DON’T ENJOY?
COULD YOU IMAGINE DOING ANYTHING ELSE?
As a serial entrepreneur, saying no would be a lie, since I work with a broad view and am always looking for new things. So yes I could do something else and be involved with other projects that follow my core values.
WHAT IS ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU WOULD GIVE TO SOMEONE ELSE WHO WAS GOING TO START A BUSINESS?
Spread your wings, believe you can do it, and never give up. There is a quote I love:
An entrepreneur is someone who jumps from an airplane and sews the parachute on the way down.
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