Interviews
Feb 17, 20207 min read

How Sustainability and Ignoring Trends Brought This Brand Victory.

by Isabella Ahmadi

Classic designs, no wholesale and a sustainable profile. These three blocks were the foundation of men’s fashion label A Day’s March and have remained central as it has grown from a small seed in Stockholm to a strong brand with global reach. We talked to the founder Marcus Gårdö about the company’s journey.

While shopping for a classic white shirt seven years ago, the entrepreneurially minded Marcus Gårdö found mass-produced, low-budget options and premium, top-of-the-line ones. But neither of these was what he wanted. Marcus Gårdö simply craved good quality at a fair price. With this perfect shirt nowhere to be found, he decided to fill the market gap himself.

And so the men’s fashion label A Day’s March was born.

The idea was simple: to offer quality clothes at a better price than consumers would normally pay. How is this possible? By skipping wholesale and the subsequent mark-up that is applied. Enough said.

In 2014, A Day’s March was founded in Stockholm, where the label found quick success. It soon became clear that other markets also had a wolfish hunger for the products, and today the company has several brick-and-mortar stores as well as a thriving online shop with international shipping.

“We’re a modern company that adheres to present-day needs. We follow developments in the industry and believe we’re at the leading edge. Controlling our brand and selling directly to consumers are two factors that keep this company moving in the right direction. People want to shop however they want, both in stores and online. The best solution is to combine the two,” Marcus Gårdö says.

Without any intermediaries, Marcus Gårdö and his co-founders Pelle Lundquist and Stefan Pagréus have found a golden way of keeping prices low. But not too low – they still wanted every person in the production chain to be fairly compensated.

It’s all about the environment

Sustainability is a cornerstone of A Day’s March’s business profile. The aim is to be as eco-friendly as possible, standing out in the notoriously dirty industry of fashion. The whole chain is under Marcus Gårdö’s scrutiny. To make it easier to monitor, 85% of production is situated in Europe. Marcus Gårdö’s team regularly visits the factories in order to verify that the standards are kept high, from both an environmental and a human perspective.

Carefully selected materials like ecological cotton and Tencel ensure their clothing keeps its eco edge. Putting effort into being environmentally friendly requires extra thought and care. But Marcus Gårdö thinks it is worth it, and not only for the sake of our planet.

“The sustainability profile has a positive impact on our brand. It’s something that unites people, something that we all strive for to make the world a better place. This positive impression of the label contributes to increased sales.”

Going into 2020, the brand’s efforts towards sustainability will evolve even further. After calculating the company’s footprint, Marcus Gårdö realized that they needed to focus on production and energy sources. As a result, A Day’s March will start to climate compensate for all production and e-commerce activities this year. This insight is just one of many that is helping the company become even greener.

Another defining trait of the brand is that they sell classic, basic clothes. They want to encourage people to ignore passing trends, ditch wasteful fast fashion and instead purchase products which are made to last.

Offering simplicity and smoothness to customers

A Day’s March prides itself on offering value to its customers, and therefore chooses its partners with care. Deciding on who to collaborate with regarding e-commerce and payment solutions, the choice was easy, according to Marcus Gårdö. He recognized Klarna as a market leader, a partner that could be beneficial in growing the company.

A couple of things were particularly important in his decision. Firstly, he wanted the shopping process to be simplified, requiring as few clicks as possible to finish a purchase. Secondly, he didn’t want consumers having to waste their precious time on payments when shopping. Focusing on “mobile first” was also on the wishlist. Klarna’s checkout is easy and fast from a customer’s perspective since they don’t have to write their address and personal information again and again – the details are stored and automatically filled.

Today, A Day’s March uses Klarna in Sweden and Denmark. In these countries, conversion rates are higher than in other markets, which is one reason why Klarna has won over 80 million shoppers’ hearts. And customers seem to love the checkout.

“We receive positive responses from our customers. They think it’s smooth and that refunds work well. In the fashion industry, some returns are inevitable and it’s important we handle them efficiently. Klarna makes the process painless, which is great,” Marcus Gårdö says.

Using Klarna in other existing markets and in new is very interesting for the A Day’s March to explore. Klarna currently offers its services in several European countries such as Germany and the UK, as well as in the US and Australia. And the payment company will soon be expanding to new markets with its smooth shopping experiences and flexible payment solutions that allow consumers to buy now and pay later.

Klarna offers a valuable partnership that helps merchants to grow. Learn how to hack and master today’s online retail environment with Klarna’s experts.

Growing thanks to a great concept and hard work

The future for A Day’s March is definitely exciting. The company is expanding and – hold on to your hats – actually opening more physical stores in new countries. For years, the industry has been dreading the death of brick-and-mortar, but this clearly doesn’t apply to A Day’s March. Instead, all of the company’s physical stores are profitable, even achieving 20% growth.

It’s all about what you offer, rather than where you sell it, Marcus Gårdö says, encouraging others to seize the opportunity to start a new business.

“In today’s market, there is a clear division between the old and the new,” he says. The old is struggling while the new is striding ahead. Therefore, it has never been a better time to create something new.”

Success doesn’t have to be that complicated

So, how does a brand keep on growing and reaching new goals as A Day’s March has done? Marcus Gårdö is happy to share his thoughts on the recipe for success.

“You need a clear business plan and a clear concept. Why should people buy your products? Sometimes fashion companies are born from a passion to make clothes, which is fantastic, but I think you also need the dimension of a concept.”

In addition to this, Marcus Gårdö believes that successful business owners take risks. The more the better. Pretty frightening, huh? But without risk, you won’t reach your goals, he says.

“Lastly – and this might sound boring – you have to work harder than everybody else.”

Looking at A Day’s March, these tips have evidently led to success. In just six years, Marcus Gårdö and his co-founders have created a brand with a solid concept and a strong sustainable profile. The business is flourishing and new markets are on the horizon. Certain to say, this company has proved that a day’s march can really take you far.

Want to go even further? Learn how Klarna can help you to reach your goals here.