At Stockholm Fashion District, there is a great deal of collective knowledge on the fashion industry in Sweden. In our network and among the professionals acting from the district, there is unique knowledge including our textile suppliers’ material knowledge, expertise from wholesale, e-commerce, physical stores and much more. Stockholm Fashion District is run by Trade Partners Sweden, an international trade organization that consists of experts in wholesale and export with the help of agents and distributors. Here, we have gathered the 10 most frequent questions. More knowledge can be gained from Trade Partners Sweden’s experts, learn more here.
The 10 most frequent questions
I am a start-up brand, how do I establish myself?
At Stockholm Fashion District, you can participate in Nordic Lab where young brands and companies can meet reality and are given an opportunity to build experience for future challenges and show your unique design. You will also get great new contacts and a network of other start-ups or young brands.
During Nordic Lab, we gather experts with strong roots in the fashion industry or in their respective field to help participating brands to add knowledge and experience to their company. Experience can then help them reinforce their brand story, values and expression.
Here, new brands and designers can interact with stores, broaden their network of buyers and build relationships with other brands, agents and sales organizations. Our goal is to create a platform where we can contribute to building global fashion brands from the Nordic region for the future.
Nordic Lab is an annual event in February each year at Stockholm Fashion District. Our aim is that the participants will continue to benefit from the network and use their new knowledge throughout the coming year.
I am interested in textiles and accessories for my collection, can you help?
Stockholm Fashion District includes textiles and accessories, such as buttons, zippers, labels and much more, for designers and buyers production. Preview Fabrics & Accessories is something as unique as an international, but graspable, creative textile fair in Scandinavia. For many designers, the new season begins as much here as at the sketch table. Within the walls of this fair, there is a great deal of knowledge among the experts in textile materials and accessories who participate. Here, the new textile collections are presented before the international fairs. We also host pop-up days, such as Textile Day, where representatives of international weaving mills and factories meet Scandinavian designers.
Of course, all weaving mills and suppliers are also presented in digital showrooms here at Stockholmfashiondistrict.se.
I am interested in sustainability, how do you work with sustainability?
Stockholm Fashion District is active in the sustainability issue and believes that a brands’ commitment in combination with new business models, innovations and development will lead to a more sustainable and very exciting fashion future.
An example of how we support the work for a more sustainable fashion industry is through the materials library that is categorized in sustainability segments at the district and online here at Stockholmfashiondistrict.se. This makes sustainable choices easier ang you get an overview of different alternatives.
In June 2018, Stockholm Fashion District instituted an incentive prize – Encouragement for Action – to encourage sustainability and development. The award should be seen as an encouragement to continue on the path taken. In this way, we want to be involved in creating awareness and help spread important ideas in sustainability in our industry.
All brands and suppliers on Stockholmfashiondistrict.se have the opportunity to state which of the 17 global sustainability goals they work with.
We are active in working groups with a focus on the issue of sustainability and help keep our network up to date. One such example is the Swedish Shoe Environmental Initiative (SSEI), a learning network in the shoe industry that has developed an index with the aim of supporting companies to make more sustainable choices in production and purchasing.
How can I as a store work with the sustainability issue?
The experience from many stores and brands is that the knowledge of sustainability looks very different among consumers. The answer to whether a particular product is sustainable is complex. It is often not possible to answer with a simple yes or no. Sometimes it is good to discuss grayscale with a customer, such as if organic cotton is good for the environment, which depends on what aspect you look at more closely – chemicals, water consumption, global warming or something else. In other cases, a more black/white or simpler answer is needed, such as “yes, it is a more sustainable choice”. Feel free to open the conversation with a question to the customer to find out what sustainability means for this person. When you have an idea of how well-read they are, you can give an answer adapted to the customer’s level of knowledge and any special areas of interest. The conversation is also relationship building with the customer.
The information from the brand and the design team is perceived as very important for the store staff. It is great to use information carriers, such as the laundry advice, tags, etc., to transfer important information about sustainability, how to take care of the garment so that it lasts a long time and where to find more information.
Store managers in our network have a strong wish and emphasizes the importance of information from the supplier in order to be able to take care of and inform the customer in the best way.
Suggestions of focus areas in store
-Laundry advice: We have often inherited our washing habits from our parents. See it as part of the service to keep track of washing advice and give advice. Train your staff and offer care products in your range.
-Bags, packaging and other consumables: Ask the question: Do you really need a bag? By law, stores in Sweden must inform consumers about the impact of plastic bags on the environment.
-Learn what different eco-labels stand for that are on products in your store.
-Learn of new materials and fibres.
-Point your customers in the right direction. Where can the customer find more information if they want to read and learn more?
-Remember the extra staff.
-As a store, you can follow the big companies and make your own sustainability report. After an analysis and follow-up, improvement can take place.
-Adopt one or more of the 17 global sustainability goals.
How are promotions and sales regulated?
There are certain rules about how the word sale may be used, how long a sale period may last and it is required that the price is significantly lower than the regular price.
Due to the fact that free pricing is safeguarded within the EU, it is difficult to determine and control the extent to which campaigns and sales may be organized. Our recommendation is to take a general discussion in new relationships between store and brand to determine how to work with sales.
Most of us wish to be able to sell products at full price and would like to avoid promotions and sales as much as possible. Feel free to come up with tips and have an open dialogue about sales, how the products can be sold at full price.
Each year, Stockholm Fashion District conducts a survey on sales to find out how the attitudes on sales, phenomena such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday change over time.
I want to export, how do I step out into a new market?
Many companies that sell products usually start thinking quite early on how to reach markets outside Sweden.
An alternative is an e-commerce aimed at that market or that you try to sell the products yourself to retailers in other countries. For many companies, this is a difficult alternative as it is too resource-intensive and they simply lack knowledge of the new market. In this situation, it may be a good idea to start a partnership with an agent or distributor working in the country you are interested in.
The main advantage of collaborating with agents and distributors is precisely that they are locally based and have better knowledge of the new market. Many agents and distributors also often already have a large customer register, which makes it faster for you to enter the new market.
What is an agent or distributor?
Agent/Commercial Agent [Agent/Generalagent]
An agent is a trading partner/entrepreneur who works to promote the sale of the principal’s goods. Usually the agent takes orders from customers on behalf of the principal and forwards the orders to the principal. The principal delivers the goods and invoices the customers. In return for their work, the agent receives a commission on the sales that the orders generate.
Distributor/Exclusive Distributor [Distributör]
A distributor is a trading partner/ entrepreneur who buys goods from a supplier and then sells the goods to the store/customer themselves. The distributor have their own warehouse, distributes to and invoices their customer themselves. The distributor’s revenues in the business consist of the margin between the own purchase price and the sales price to the store.
Is it possible to rent conference rooms or have activities with you?
Yes! We love to include new people and companies and look forward to welcoming you!
We have two conference rooms, Small for up to 10 people and Large for up to 60 people in cinema seating. Of course the rooms are equipped with projectors etc.
Stockholm Fashion District is large in area and in addition to the conference rooms, we have several other exciting areas for various activities, events and exhibitions.
What is the difference between having a showroom and participating in trade fairs?
Stockholm Fashion District offers showrooms open 365 days a year to be used as often as you need with benefits such as a logistics department that receives packages when you are not in place, joint activities for customers, efficiency, inspiration and much more.
If you don’t need a showroom all year round, we also offer guest spots with the opportunity to tailor made solutions when it comes to area and time periods. It can be in the form of a trade fair stand or an individual meeting room.
What is the difference between commission & consignment?
Commission means that a seller leaves their products to a store for sale to the consumer. The seller only leaves the products to the store and thus does not sell them. The store is entitled to a commission on sales to consumers. The store must keep the products separate from their other products. The store must also keep the payment received on sales of the products separate and report it to the seller.
Consignment means that a seller leaves their products to a customer/store. The customer/store acquires the ownership of the products in connection with them being sold to the consumer and is entitled to the payment that the consumer pays for the products. The customer/store must pay the seller as the products are sold. The customer/store must also keep the products separate from other goods.