Having met each other at Stockholm’s Beckmans College of Design, Josephine Bergqvist and Livia Schück realized that they shared the same interest in sustainability and soon decided to start their own fashion line. In 2017, Rave Review was born. The goal of the designers was to create a fashion brand that would not exist at the expense of the environment but on the contrary, that would be sustainable and eco-friendly.
With a mindset to contribute to a better way of consuming fashion, the duo came up with a perfect solution to the existing problem in the industry: they established a brand whose clothing is solely made from upcycled garments and pre-existing materials. The commonly shared view that sustainable can’t be fashionable was sabotaged the moment the Scandinavian duo started to create attire entirely remade from second-hand clothes and textiles.

So, whether you choose to dress in a tablecloth redesigned into a dress or a coat made of scarves, wearing Rave Review means taking care of the environment and, at the same time, looking high-end. The brand got much spoken about ever since its creation and gained even greater attention after having participated in Paris and Stockholm fashion weeks. Josephine and Livia believe that working sustainably is the future and are already making changes in the existing fashion practices, starting with their very own brand.
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Josephine, Livia, first things first: how and when did you two meet and how did the idea of working together spark?
We were classmates during our fashion studies and soon became best friends, working closely with each other along the whole period. One year after graduating, we began talking about starting our own fashion line. We both shared the same interest in sustainability and at that time we felt very hesitant about working in the fashion industry, which comes at such a huge cost to the environment – especially, creating ‘just another fashion brand’ contributing to it.
Was the concept of Rave Review the first thing that came to your mind, or did you ponder other ideas?
Rave Review was born out of the excitement of realizing that we found a way to beat this dilemma, which then became our niche – to create clothes out of pre-existing materials and contribute to a better way of consuming fashion.
Rave Review is an interesting name. Do you expect people talking positively about you and recommending you, as it suggests? Or are you looking at a more fun side of it – the illegal parties?
The time we were searching for a name for the brand, we came across ‘rave review’ on an old vintage tag and thought to ourselves: “Why not recycle this name as well?” It’s fun that people get all sorts of ideas when they hear it, especially when it comes to the illegal parties. If we are ever out of ideas in the near future, we promise you a rave collection!
What’s the main idea behind the brand?
Our vision is to become one of the first high-end fashion lines with a circular business model, using only recycled and recyclable materials. The main idea behind the brand is to show how creative and fun remaking can be. The strength of the concept allows building a brand around it. We believe that both upcycling and remaking hold huge promises for the future of the fashion industry.
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You are a brand with sustainability at its core and you basically use pre-existing materials. Where do you get them and how different is what you do from other existing practices in the fashion industry?
Currently, we are sourcing materials mainly in Sweden and are collaborating with recycling companies that sort second-hand clothes and textiles for us. There are not that many sustainable brands working on ‘remake’ and especially, doing it in a high-end way. In this field, we are yet pretty alone, which is one of our strengths, but also what makes it complicated. Since what we’re doing isn’t that conventional, we need to invent new ways of working.
Terms like sustainable, upcycling and environmentally-conscious are becoming more popular and we start to see them more and more. Yet, generally, these are not the most common terms used when talking about fashion. But you’re proving everybody wrong. What was your first impact like in the industry, and how has it reacted so far?
The response we’ve got during this first year has been amazing. We’ve seen a big interest in our concept and demand for the clothes. People are overall very welcoming to new ideas and expressions. The goal is to give sustainable fashion a good boost and inspire to think and consume in better ways.
Would you say you have found your place on the market already? Who wears Rave Review?
We’re just in the beginning phase. The Spring collection is actually the first one we offered to the buyers. But the response has been good, and we have a few new retailers for the next season. Plus, a web-shop with exciting drops is coming soon!
“Most people know that working sustainably is the future and we believe that making this change will soon not even be a matter of choice but rather a necessity.”
What inspires you? Your contrasting aesthetics are very different from what we know regarding Scandinavian minimalistic design. In what way does your Swedish background influence your work?
Our design process often starts with the materials, so we get a lot of inspiration from second-hand markets and antique dealers since we love to work with home textiles. Also, looking back at designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen in the ‘90s gives a huge impact on our work. But mainly, we get inspired by our friends and cool people we meet. The ‘Scandinavian style’ doesn’t really mean anything to us. We always thought the Swedish fashion scene was quite boring with its minimalistic aesthetics and classic ‘wardroby’ mindset. Maybe this is what triggered us to do the opposite.
You’ve already participated in Paris and Stockholm fashion weeks. What kind of feedback did you get? Did it differ much from city to city?
We feel both scenes are important for us. We are from Sweden and are part of the local industry, which is a small and cosy community we really appreciate. Still, it’s not the market for alternative luxury brands, so going international is important for us. The response from Paris was really positive, so we will continue going there for fashion weeks.
Do you think that your innovative concept could incite action and encourage both big and emerging brands to change their approach towards clothes making? Can fashion be both sustainable and high-end?
It’s always hard to change a business structure, especially in big companies. Most people know that working sustainably is the future and we believe that making this change will soon not even be a matter of choice but rather a necessity. And now, partly thanks to us, it’s proven that fashion can be both sustainable and high-end. However, it’s not cheap. But it wouldn’t hurt people to learn that they don’t need to buy new clothes every week.
What’s next for you?
We have a lot going on. Among other things, we are finally starting production in Sweden and abroad. We will begin a collaboration with The Swedish School of Textiles in a project called Re: textile, a project with an ambition of developing structures for circular processes in the textile industry. The goal is to contribute to the decreased consumption of resources through new design processes and business models. It’s super exciting and fun to see that the Swedish government is investing in researching these fields. We are also working on a new collection, which will be presented at Stockholm Fashion Week at the beginning of February!
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