Photo by Elin Andersson

Cool Person: Elin Frendberg on the Future of Swedish Fashion

Audio, Interview

“Sweden makes a very good base for the digitalization of fashion” – Elin Frendberg

‘Connected’ clothing and wearable technology may seem very futuristic to most people. But some people are already primed to see them enter the mainstream. Elin Frendberg, CEO of the Swedish Fashion Council, is one of these people. The Swedish Fashion Council acts as a representative for Swedish designers both domestically and abroad through supporting, strengthening, inspiring and developing Swedish fashion. At Lund’s Internet of Things Conference, she highlighted the possibilities that technology and fashion have leading into the future.

During the presentation, Frendberg highlighted three major headaches that the fashion industry faces moving forward: consumer changes, sustainability, and digitalization. Fashion is an industry that is constantly changing, a revolving door of styles and tastes.

Photo by James Galbraith

Elin Frendberg talking about the future for Swedish fashion. Photo by James Galbraith

Digitalizing fashion, especially through wearable devices, presents companies with huge opportunities. There are “lots of cool innovations around wearables” began Elin. Not only is the digitalization of fashion changing tangible clothing but it is also giving rise to new business models and digital materials. New techniques (like 3D printing) are giving rise to original garments that couldn’t have been imagined a few years ago.

However, companies are still adopting ‘fast fashion’ business models – models that remain unsustainable moving into the future. The real challenge now facing the industry is how to develop in a sustainable way – and to figure out what role technology will play.

So what does Elin Frendberg think the fashion industry can learn from the tech world?


The tech industry thrives on ideas that disrupt and innovate. It adopts the approach that everything is possible. The fashion industry could tap into that same optimism and energy – figuring out what can be done rather than why something can’t.


By nature, fashion is a very competitive industry. “Everyone is always competing,” says Frendberg. But collaboration within the fashion industry could lead to innovative and sustainable designs in the future.

We had a chance to ask Elin a few questions after her presentation. Click on the play button below to hear what she had to say!