Norm-breaking fashion designer reaches global market from Umeå
The company Design by Björk, run by Umeå designer Karin Björk wants to change an entire fashion industry and contributes to increased inclusion and equality. In 2022 she reached the Great Britain market however, the goal is to reach all of Europe shortly.
I want people in wheelchairs to have the same opportunity to find nice and adapted clothes in the same places and at the same price as everyone else. Now I hope that more people want to join and support that vision, says Karin Björk.
Collaborating for change
Through the collaboration signed 2022 with Adaptista, an organization sharing Design by Björk’s values of norm-breaking fashion the venture towards Great Britain is the first step towards reaching out to the entire EU. With the determination of finding new ways of reaching new markets Karin says that the collaboration with Adaptista should be seen as a way to reach out further and contribute to increased awareness in other markets.
Karin says that many in her target group value independence very highly. "I want to shop where everyone else shops," she often hears. It has almost become a motto that Design by Björk lives by – a more equal fashion industry where everyone can participate. Hence, Design by Björk explores possible collaborations with major players, such as Amazon and H&M that possess well-structured sales channels and ways of working.
- There is a great demand for clothes that are adapted for people in wheelchairs. Although it is a niche market, it is large internationally. The challenge is to reach beyond the noise and to make production more efficient without renouncing the sustainability aspects. This requires some investment and know-how, thus Design by Björk is constantly interested in meeting potential investors and designers who want to be a part of the movement in challenging the norms in the fashion industry.
We have a long way to go to an equal fashion industry and Design by Björk wants to be a forerunner in this process. The future feels exciting to say the least, concludes Karin Björk, owner and founder of the Umeå company Design by Björk.