We talked with Sofia Järnefelt, co-founder and creative director of HEDVIG, about sustainable values behind the brand.


How would you present Hedvig in one-to-three sentences to anyone who isn't acquainted with the brand?

Hedvig started as an art project of mine, which Taru and I then decided to turn into something industrially and commercially adaptable. What we are building is a womenswear label consisting of (and let me quote reporter Stephan Rabimov from Forbes here) “dynamic garments {that} have a time-traveling sensibility incorporating different stylistic elements from the epic journeys of our lifes”. 

We design, with a curating mindset, a wardrobe for whatever life brings with it.


How was the concept behind the brand born?

In 2019/2020 I was working on an artistic collection project with the help of a one year art fund by Svenska Kulturfonden i Finland. I was intrigued to visualize the backgrounds and lifestories of both of my grandmothers. The other one a baroness from a very prestigious family and the other one a woman from the rugged cliffs of north-east Åland. The concept of Hedvig is based on stories from my very peculiar family lineage. Not the grande stories that people are already familiar with, but the more intimate destinies and personalities. Utterances that have stayed in the minds of their descendants. Small details, like the story of a ghost that used to turn over my aunts perfume bottles when she was asleep. The name of the brand happens to be my second name, but more so, it is also the very first female name in the Järnefelt family.

hedvig sustainable ASK Scandinavia


How do you portray the importance of Heritage in your designs?

Well, as you can read, heritage is at the very core of our brand. But we find living in the now and curiosity for future equally important to that of history and heritage. In our opinion, a coalition of all the three is what fashion is all about.

What elements of your business model have sustainability at its core?

We try our best to take sustainable and responsible issues in consideration in our decision making throughout our process. 

Just to give a few examples. For now, as a small business with a small production, we are able to produce our collections of deadstock materials - in other words, no new material is being produced for our production. When we hopefully grow as a business this of course will change, and therefore we are constantly looking for new sustainably produced fabrics with smallest possible footprint. 

Next to that we are developing a pre-order model for our webshop in order to minimize overproduction, we keep our production as close as possible and “small things” like having our labels and tags produced of recycled material are things that we feel should be something every label should strive for.

We have a lot of things still to figure out, and we feel that starting with a slow pace is the best way to make sure our decisions are something we can stand behind.


How do you think design can contribute to a more responsible fashion industry?

Design has a remarkable effect on the longevity of garments – the physical quality, but also the aesthetic one. That we can design garments, that stimulate us now, but will not be outdated tomorrow. Garments that people want to take care of.

But also, designers and furthermore, brands, need to require sustainable production methods, slow down the pace of seasons, re-think the whole concept of collections.

Hedvif ASK scandinavia sustainable fashion


What do you think people should look for in fashion if they want to be responsible and eco-friendly consumers?

Easy things to do for anyone when standing in a shop or browsing an online store is to look at the info tag of the garment. When you do so, check where the garment is made and what it is made of. Unfortunately some countries are more reliable than others when it comes to both socially and ecologically responsible production. And not all fabrics that we have learned to view as “bad” ones are not actually the worst ones. Thinking of the garments life after consumption, blends are more difficult to separate and therefore more complex for the recycling process compared to garments made of 100% one fibre fabrics, just to give an example. 

And then there are always the more aesthetic aspects as well! As a consumer I tend to ask myself before I purchase something the following questions: Does this go with the other things I have in my wardrobe? Will I like this 10 years from now? Can I wear it for more than one occasion?

 Thank you Sofia!



Portrait by Ilkka Saastamoinen

Campaign images by Karoliina Bärlund