Scaling a Slow Fashion Business with Kristian Hansen (episode 445)

Kristian Hansen is the founder at slø, a jeans company born on TikTok and a leader in the slow fashion revolution. Founded in December 2021, they’ve been selling for six months via their Shopify store – they’re close to hitting the first million dollars.

Kristian Hansen slø on eCommerce MasterPlan Podcast

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Dive in:

[00:00:29] Podcast intro: Inspiring guest talks TikTok and fashion.
[00:04:51] Slow fashion denim company expanding to fashion.
[00:07:43] “Instagram model”: small, versatile, content-based team.
[00:12:05] Market segmented, diverse community, successful growth.
[00:15:34] Customer feedback loop powers community growth.
[00:18:28] Social media audience wants entertainment, not sales.
[00:24:36] Training chat generates reliable information efficiently.
[00:27:24] “One Tribe preserves endangered lands for trees.”
[00:29:51] eCommerce trends discussed with expert advice.

About Kristian

Kristian says he has always been into eCommerce and, in his early teenage years, began to try and sell things online.

He worked on different eCommerce projects, and slø was born out of those projects. They’re a slow fashion company existing in a fast fashion world, and they’ve encountered challenges along the way. Still, they continue to move forward and aim to offer products that are not only affordable but, more importantly, sustainably made.

Startup Team

The slø team is presently exclusively in-house. Aside from Kristian and his co-founder, Abby, they have people handling customer service, communications, and production.

A majority of their team handles their content, so this includes videographers, creative directors, and those handling their social media.

Not Niching

Currently, slø is a denim company with the goal of selling head-to-toe fashion in the near future. They’re focused on being the first solution for slow fashion and ensuring that they’re able to offer something for everyone, regardless of size, color preference, or even style.

They’re also looking to expand by having their own manufacturing facility. This way, they’ll be able to offer products to even more customers who are outside of the standard size range of the fashion industry.

TikTok Organic Tips for Success

According to Kristian, every single slø customer they have is from TikTok, and the platform is still the core driver of everything they do. And he adds that it’s all organic; they have never done paid ads.

They just make authentic content, talking about the truth regarding slow fashion versus fast fashion. It was through this approach that they found a lot of like-minded people who are now part of their community. 

Kristian adds that he never pushes the product. Their customers go to the website for different reasons and eventually end up buying, but he never directly sells.

Best Way to Build Community

Kristian shares that there are three core drivers for community building:

  • Feedback loop. Spend time asking people questions and asking them for their opinions. This will make a big difference in your community.
  • Authenticity. Don’t pitch the product. For Kristian, it’s important to let the people know that there’s no purchase necessary in order to be in the community.
  • Be open to different groups. You’re going to attract groups of people you never thought would be interested in your product, and making them feel welcome in your community is key.

eCommerce Book Top Tip

eCommerce Traffic Top Tip

  • Ask people for their opinions with no other end goal other than finding out what they think. 

Tool Top Tip

  • For Kristian, it’s ChatGPT. He spends roughly five to six hours feeding it information that it needs before he asks any question. 

Carbon Top Tip

  • Kristian is a big advocate for offsetting, but done in a different way. They work with One Tribe, a company that protects areas that are endangered because of logging or mining. Instead of tree planting, they preserve endangered lands by buying them through donations.

Interview Links

Related episodes

  • Launching a luxury sustainable fashion brand with funding and a kickstarter! It’s VENIM (episode 382)
  • Championing Sustainability Through Seasonless Fashion with Lyndie Benson, Bleusalt (episode 434)
  • How Boden Hit Their Carbon Neutral Target in 2022 with Ben Dreyer, Strategy, Sustainability, and Operations Director (episode 421)
  • A truly inspiring sustainable startup – Marc Bucci from Social Socks (episode 407)

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