In a world of fast fashion, Camilla, founder of PHI, strives to make us slow down and choose a more sustainable alternative.
“I am the founder of MODIN Communication and a newly started frashion brand, Phi. I spend my days working with small and big fashion-, lifestyle- and design brands focusing on sustainability, communications and brand strategy with my team of amazing girls at MODIN. I live in Stockholm with my husband Pontus, our sons Sigge and Lelle and our little dog Rufus.”
What’s the story behind Phi?
“I have always loved knitted sweaters and they are key pieces in my closet. The reason why I wanted to create yet another fashion brand (a question I asked myself over and over and spent a lot of time contemplating) is because I couldn’t find beautiful timeless responsibly-made knitted sweaters on the market. Strangely enough, it was very hard to find a sustainable simple cashmere or wool sweater. The knits available today often follow the trends, and there were always one or more details on the sweaters that I didn’t like or that I knew would go out of fashion in a season or two. Phi doesn’t follow trends and most pieces are iconic classics like the striped wool sweaters with buttons on the shoulder. I also want people to be proud of mending their clothes, so we have a ‘PHIX Kit’ containing yarn in different colours, extra buttons and handmade playful patches. This also makes it possible to ‘pimp’ your garment or make it more personal.”
Where are you and Phi in 5 years? A dream scenario?
“I hope we have many happy customers, who love their Phi garments, and that the brand has grown globally through word of mouth and repeat customers.”
How is the fashion industry today?
“It’s exciting that so much is changing, both when it comes to sustainability and digitalization. The young consumers are thinking about fashion in a different way than our generation has previously done. They shop online and many of them truly care about Mother Earth and our future in a real way. We still have a long way to go when it comes to the actual buying patterns of the majority though. It is also interesting to see how someone like Virgil Abloh can rise so fast and successfully in the fashion industry and now also in the art industry. What he is doing is amazing and he is getting so much respect and acknowledging from those two hard-to-get-into-busniess. A big part of making it possible, except for his obvious design talent, is the z generation and the way he communicates with them on Instagram. He has a huge super loyal following.”
Can the fashion industry change to a more sustainable production?
“We need to get away from fast fashion and make sustainability a priority in every aspect of the way we consume, and the industry is starting to understand this. There are a lot of discussions about sustainability, which is great, but more action has to happen quickly. We can’t wait for technology to ‘save’ us. We have to take immediate action. Less and more conscious consumption for instance. Using natural materials and stay away from cheap production on behalf of the earth’s and people’s health. I think we will start to think of clothes and fashion in a different way. We will buy clothes that are wearable and less trendy. Personally I am so tired of strong trends, which results in everyone looking the same. Personality in fashion and your own style is far more exciting. It took me two years to find the right ‘ingredients’ in the creation of Phi. Our sweaters are made of organic and recycled wool and cashmere, and therefore, I was very specific about which factory and yarn producers to use. I love being very involved in the process, but I also feel that it is important to use the advice and feedback of others.”
Do you apply sustainable thinking in your everyday life?
“Yes, and I have for a long time. I am 95% vegan, I buy things/clothes/products that I know I will use and appreciate. I buy high quality products only, but I also lead a very simple lifestyle. This year our family has decided not to go on a flight vacation, which so far, is easier than I expected. Unfortunately I still have to travel (by airplane) in my job. I am prioritizing time for reflection, meditation, yoga and time in nature.”
Do you have a life philosophy?
“Life is an illusion and everything is possible. We create our own reality and the existence is too far intricate for us to undertand with our human minds.”
Who is your role model?
“If I have to pick a person as a role model it has to be Jesus and/or Buddha. And all people that are standing up for something or someone. I am so impressed by Greta Thunberg (as many people are) and it has been wonderful to see what an impact she has. Very inspiring.”
What makes you happy?
“Life, beauty, love and compassion. Spending time with my family and friends and my second family at work. I love them all so much, and they bring me tremendous amounts of happiness and joy. I feel so fortunate to be
surrounded by so much love.”
Where do you get your inspiration from?
“Everywhere. For instance, I love how children dress themselves without their parent’s involvement. I get inspiration from nature, architecture, art, people, food, animals. My lastest inspiration for a sweater comes from a cashmere dog sweater that our Yorkie has!”
Is there something you would like to recommend?
“I quote Gandhi; Be the change you want to see in the world.” ☮