[7 MINUTE READ]
Happy Friday and welcome back to a brand new interview everyone! My oh my! Summer is seriously heating up here in London, and we are all about keeping things simple while we’re soaking up the sun.
This week we had a delightful chat with Peter, the Creative Director of The White Briefs. The White Briefs are a Swedish underwear brand for all genders that emphasises sustainability and simplicity through their beautiful pieces.
In this week’s interview, Peter chats to us about the importance of selecting the right fabrics and why meaningful collaborations mean so much to him. So for your weekly serving of inspo, just brew yourself a cup and keep on reading.
Good morning Peter! Thanks for chatting to us. Could you begin by telling me a bit about your childhood and how you feel that has influenced you today?
Born in 1970 in Malmö, Sweden I always was a curious soul. I grew up on the fringes of town, so I had to be inventive in order to find ways to play and engage. These early years of spontaneous interaction helped form a vital part of my personality and helped propel me towards a long journey as a spirited designer and entrepreneur.
"We started The White Briefs with the idea to create comfortable memories."
That’s so cool that you recognise where that spirit came from! How did you get started in the fashion industry?
During high school, I started looking for a part-time job and I stepped into a tailor menswear boutique in a small town. I asked if I could work after school and explained that I wanted to learn everything about suits, tailoring and fabrics. I was so eager to learn that the owner hired me straight away, on the condition that he would teach me everything he knew. He inspired me to explore the industry and keep learning, which I still do to this day!
I love that! You can always learn more about your industry, and it’s important to keep flexing those muscles. When did you decide to start up The White Briefs and why?
During my role with Bjorn Borg as Creative Director, I realised that the underwear segment was in need of improvements. Even though I had never worked with that division specifically I saw potential there and I wanted to explore it... The White Briefs was born one year after my resignation.
Wow! What a plunge you took! We are really curious about brands that consider specific fabrics and sensitive skin throughout the manufacturing process. Is this an important issue to The White Briefs?
Absolutely! All sourcing and fabric decisions are consciously selected for ultimate skin satisfaction. We started The White Briefs with the idea to create comfortable memories. The feeling briefs give you is important as they sit on the skin all day long.
Why do you think sensitive skin is an important issue for you?
The skin is the biggest organ we have so naturally it should be protected in the best possible way. For underwear it is crucial that we have the best first layer next to your skin.
100%! So do you think people are more conscious of the materials they wear in their clothing nowadays?
I think so. Today we have more transparency as the Internet educates and challenges everyone to make better and more conscious decisions. We hear things like “quality over quantity” all the time and I do think that sustainable and healthy products are what consumers seem to be looking for these days. Consumers want this not only for themselves, but for the sake of the planet.
I completely agree! How does sustainability factor into The White Briefs as a business?
We create all our products in Europe with vertical production and GOTS certification. The White Briefs reduced will be launched soon; this is a range with reduced packaging and no tags that aims to create as little waste as possible. For our online business, we still need to improve transportation. We are slowing down the tempo a bit, by delivering every other day... We have been quite spoilt in recent years and I think consumers need to lower their expectations for delivery time if we truly want to help reduce carbon emissions.
Totally! And what strategies have been key to the success of The White Briefs?
We try to keep it simple. We aim to find a balance between new items and staple products. We also only engage in collaborations that add real value to the brand.
That is so key to success and creating meaningful connections in the industry. What would you say is your favourite thing about having started The White Briefs?
"We reinvented the perception of underwear by doing a 100% merino wool collection from briefs to shirts and gowns."
I bet! And what’s the best part of your job?
The process of creating new products from a blank canvas and later seeing the reaction from markets.
That must be so fulfilling! And what is your absolute favourite piece that you have ever created?
The White Briefs aka Platan
What were your biggest challenges in starting up The White Briefs?
Striking financial balance was a challenge and making revenue from the small investment we started with.
You’re not alone. We find that financial barriers tend to be the thing that is the trickiest for most businesses starting out. What makes The White Briefs stand out as a company?
We have a formula of unique brand image, unique product and unique context.
I would agree with that! What has been your biggest “pinch me” moment?
Oh my! I think it has to be our collaboration with Nick Wooster and Woolmark… It was a great experience. We reinvented the perception of underwear by doing a 100% merino wool collection from briefs to shirts and gowns.
And it is gorgeous! What inspires you?
l find inspiration in everything. It is all about opening your mind and noticing the small things everyday… People, conversations, and the feeling of no stress is very inspirational.
That’s a great one. And what does an average day look like for you?
Ideally, I start the day with a garlic rubbed avocado sandwich, topped with chili and tomatoes from the garden. After that I perform various work tasks that I follow up with some tennis. I usually wrap up the day with dinner with friends and family.
That sounds idyllic. Would you say you have a work/life balance?
After years of trying… Yes, I would say I am now pretty much in balance.
That’s brilliant. What words do you live by?
“It’s better to burn out than to fade away.” Neil Young
Oooh, I haven’t heard that one. Love it! What’s next for The White Briefs?
A new digital strategy with a lot of news to come! Stay tuned!
Like what you read? Head to The White Briefs to shop!
Alternatively, if you fancy checking out some of our previous interviews, you can find them here. Want more from CAROLINAGMX? Check this out: Face Wash For Sensitive Skin; The 10 You Need To Know