Behind The Brand...Månsken
We sat down with co-founder of sustainable knitwear brand, Lucía Radeljak to uncover the unique story behind this female led brand Månsken.
What inspired you to launch your own sustainable knitwear brand?
I was inspired by the opportunity to blend my passion for high quality knitwear, soft yarns and coziness with my love for nature. I'm the number 1 fan of cashmere & wool sweaters, they are my best friends and there's nothing that makes me feel more elegant and cozy at the same time. I wear them with everything, layered in the winter and over dresses on chilly summer nights. They are noble not only because of how breathable and light they are (they can fit into the smallest suitcase) but also because they can literally last a lifetime. I still keep my grandma’s cashmere sweater in perfect condition; it only gets softer with the years. When thinking of sustainability the first question I ask myself is, ‘how can I make something that is not only beautiful but that lasts forever?’ I feel like we have lost this essential trait of fashion. We don’t need more but we do need better. We need to wear clothes that tell a story and that reflect the values that we cherish for our community and the generations to come.
Sustainability is at the core of all the work you do. Can you give us a brief definition of what it means to you?
Sustainability means giving back to the planet and society what you have received. It’s about designing and producing things that will have a positive impact around us. Unfortunately most things in our society are made to satisfy the user's needs and increase profitability. Personally, I think this is not enough. Businesses should also care about the impact their products and processes have on the environment. It’s common sense, making things in a way that will assure your sons and your grandsons will also be able to live, drink, breathe in this Earthship. This is why it’s really important for consumers to stand up for their values and be knowledgeable and conscious about what they consume. They are not just consumers, they are decision-makers that can shape the future of our children.
Your relationship to the garment designer of Mansken is rather unique, can you tell us more?
Yes. Denise has been a designer for 10 years but she had three kids and a full-time job and it was very hard for her to develop the brand. She had always worked with organic yarns and natural dyes and her designs were stunning. I decided right away to help her and work together by challenging ourselves to make the most sustainable knitwear we could make. We had to do tons of research and make sure our values were represented at every stage of the production. I really love working with Denise and I like the idea of women supporting women. Mansken means moonlight in swedish and it’s a good representation of femininity and cycles, two elements present throughout our philosophy.
What has been challenging so far?
So many things! Developing a product with values means we had to be open to finding alternatives to mainstream paths. Finding the right raw materials, certifications and challenging the standard processes to keep ourselves aligned with our philosophy. Nothing can be left out of the circle: the raw material, processes, packaging, transport, water use, every detail counts. It definitely takes more time than we expected. It’s not a linear process but rather, it comes in cycles, on each circle we learn and we grow, one step at a time.
Can you give us 5 tips for living a more sustainable every day life?
When I did my studies I was surprised about how much the small things we do in life count the most.
1. Switch your energy supplier for a green one
2. Grow your own vegetables & Compost if you can! It’s a great reminder of how to give back to the earth all the nourishment she gives to us
3.Support ecological transition in underdeveloped countries
4. Live a minimal life, stay aware of what you really need. What’s essential and what’s not. Only keep the things that bring the most joy to your life
5. Practice intentioning everyday and guide your actions through it. Be kind to yourself, it’s not a linear process. One step at a time.