With sustainability and ethical sourcing still at the forefront of industry conversation, Swedish resort and streetwear brand NIKBEN, likes to follow its own principles and journey in establishing best practice for their burgeoning business and evolving offer.
Working with global brand performance fibre REPREVE which is partly created from recycled ocean plastics – having recycled a staggering 25 billion plastic bottles – as well as the utilisation of the Cassava plant in packaging, NIKBEN strives year-on-year to better themselves with the aim of becoming fully sustainable.
“Every brand is on its own journey when it comes to sustainability,” says co-founder
Nicklas Abrahamasson “We are not influenced by others, we do what we can and really we are inspired by creating quality products that stand the test of time.”
The buy better, but buy less theme is arguably more clear-cut. With brands even more switched on to creating less waste and holding less stock.
“It’s very important, especially today, to be transparent,” says co-founder Benji Lega “Where customers feel they can interact with a brand and find out exactly what goes into the product they are buying. That knowledge is needed. The world is changing.”
At the forefront of creating some of the most stand-out, stylish and bold swimwear, with a distinct cross-over to street style, NIKBEN’s stock is rising. Humorous, quirky and completely independent in their design aesthetic and motivation, the brand, hailing from Stockholm, could be described somewhere in-between Palace and Vilebrequin.
With well-known names including Orlebar Brown, Ralph Lauren, Paul Smith and of course Vilebrequin, NIKBEN throw themselves into the mix with edgier designs to sit alongside the more classic pieces with a strategy not to be considered merely seasonal – understanding the north European mentality of needing to ‘get away’ to sunnier climates throughout the year.
“We have both mid-to high end price products, but they are achievable,” says Lega, “I guess we are effectively selling a dream for people day-to-day, providing a product that can help them to realise that little bit of escapism.”
Produced across Portugal, Poland and Thailand as well as Turkey, the sustainability issue has always been high on the agenda, especially around packaging. “We try to create nicely designed packaging like the recycled PVC bag that can be re-used either for keeping wet swimwear in or as a beach bag to carry and protect personal items – phones, wallets etc…,” Lega adds.
With distribution now in 40 countries, Sweden is the key market, holding 40% of the whole distribution, followed by US, North America and Canada, NIKBEN presents two offers across two categories – the mid, classic playful and colourful and then the higher-end studio where perhaps less is considered more.
The recent pandemic has not dampened the performance of the brand either.
“We’ve managed to build an organic online growth with strong conversions. There seems to be more money to spend and people are treating themselves to goodies – we’ve doubled sales as opposed to last year, which is a huge up-side.”