In Discussion with Julie Pallesen from This Way

This Way
Travelling has never been so easy, with our new collection of sustainable travel necessities from This Way. We recently caught up with model, sustainable activist and founder, the lovely Julie Pallesen, on business tips, sustainability, and how life changed in lockdown. 

 

What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Sustainable fashion has different aspects. Brands can have a made to order process and therefore have no waste. It can be that all suppliers and fabrics/ingredients they work with are sustainable and environmental friendly. Also choosing carefully which manufacturers you work with and make sure there are good working conditions is very essential for sustainable fashion. 

There are many ways a brand can be sustainable and I do believe that brands have to aim as being fully sustainable in all these aspects. 

What does green living mean to you?

Green Living to me is a mindset of “thinking about the environment in your daily life”. It means avoiding plastic at the supermarket, and instead finding local organic markets who use paper bags instead of plastic. It means swapping your everyday necessities for sustainable ones. I always take my This Way tote whenever I go shopping, its the perfect size and always fits everything I need...

A girlfriend recently gave me a sustainable coffee cup that I now take everywhere, and I always remember to take a sustainable water bottle with me wherever I go. I cannot remember the last time I bought a plastic water bottle. 

I try to think about the small things that we can substitute for something more environmentally safe. And I take one step at a time. It is very difficult to change everything at once. 

Describe ‘This Way’

This Way is a sustainable travel brand to making your journey smarter and  more convenient. Our product line varies from vegan and cruelty free sunscreens to compression socks for the airplane, vegan leather notebooks to hand made silk sleeping masks, silk robes to organic cotton towels, and much more. All our products are to be used on and off board.

Furthermore on our online site (awaythiway.com) we have travel guides to all over the world so you can get inspiration and dream about your next journey abroad. 

When and why did you start the brand?

This Way is a culmination of my experiences, my education through a Masters in communications and IT from Copenhagen Business School, involvement in the fashion industry and my passion for traveling. On my adventures I felt I was missing a few travel necessities to make my journey more comfortable and beneficial to my skin. I have created a line of products for my fellow travelers with the intention of making them feel sexy and comfortable while away. 

Travel is a human right - that is our mission. 

Before I started This Way I did not find any other travel brands on the market. Either you have luggage companies, skincare brands that make a small travel size line but that’s it. I wanted to be the first to start a travel brand and then to make it sustainable but without compromising on quality. All the products we have developed are high end quality working with amazing suppliers all over the world.

What’s been your biggest accomplishment with your online store?

I am happy to see how many customers from all over the world I had from the day we launched (November 2018). And it makes me really happy to see that most of the customers comes back and shop again and again. 

And our site is on the top % of most visited sites of business launched the same week. That makes me proud!

Which mistakes did you learn from most?

Starting a business is hard, especially when there doesn't seem to be any guidelines. In business school, the number one rule was to work with one supplier or as few as possible which I broke the first month of starting my business. I work with suppliers all over the world because my skincare manufacturer in Spain producing my sunscreens cannot make silk or compression socks - that is not their expertise. So it is a big challenge to work with different manufactures around the world and also very hard to find good manufacturers. 

I trusted too many people from the beginning and paid my price for that. That was my biggest mistake. I still have lawyers chasing some of the people who tried to scam me - so please watch out for that!

What advice would you give to someone starting out?

Be really clear about what your business is and how you want to do it. Make a proper business plan and find good people to work with. Listen to your gut feelings. If it doesn’t feel right don’t do it.
And then the best advice is “patience”. You got to have patience. Everything takes times. I have read a lot of books and articles about successful companies and they all took years, many years. But you have to keep going if you believe in it. 

How have you adapted to life in lockdown?

Before lockdown my focus was to sign with hotels, villa rentals and airline companies but before of COVID-19 all these deals dropped (for now) and I changed my focus to online sales. I did a lot of course on SEO and boosted my online sales. I also tried to focus on working with some subscription box companies around the world as a good way to get out to consumers. 

I think it is important to being able to adapt to your surroundings whatever happens and I think we did well. 

Which sustainable designers are exciting you most now?

RMS beauty is a sustainable make-up brand which I love. They are sustainable and cool and make amazing products. 

I remember being introduced to them years back and falling love with their products, sustainable philosophy, and market positioning.