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‘We haven’t had a single clearance sale since we started’

“Reliable deliveries are extra important, since we offer a permanent collection of essential garments”, says Jakob Dworsky.

They got to know each other at the Stockholm School of Economics, and following their studies they both had their sights set on a career in consulting. Instead, they tore up their employment contracts and started a clothing company focused on designing essential garments of the finest quality. Today the company Asket has annual sales of more than 100 million kronor. SEB has been with them on their journey from the start.

“A lot of people thought we were a bit crazy to start a clothing company. But we had an idea to build a brand in a new way by focusing exclusively on essential garments. We wanted to break away from the fashion industry’s constant launching of new trends and collections,” says Jakob Dworsky, who founded Asket in 2015 together with August Bard Bringéus.

Asket sells directly to consumers and only via its own channels. Distribution is conducted mainly online, while a brick-and-mortar store was also opened in Stockholm in 2021. The company’s focus is on making essential garments of the finest quality, with the best fit at a reasonable price.

“We have a permanent collection,” notes Jakob Dworsky. “This is a decisive factor that allows us to dedicate so much time and effort to all our garments. The t-shirt that we launched in 2015 is still the same. We have made a few minor improvements and switched from conventional to organic cotton, but basically it is the same garment.”

Asket had sales of 100 million kronor in 2021, with approximately 25 employees. The company sells its products around the world, but the largest markets are Sweden, Germany, the UK and the USA.

Its priority going forward is to continue pursuing organic, profitable growth in its main markets. Another key focus is to ensure a well-working supply chain following the disruptions that arose in the wake of the pandemic.

“Reliable deliveries are extra important in a business like ours, since we offer a permanent collection of essential garments. Customers expect that we have products in stock when they want to make a purchase.”

Asket is also continuing its work on building up a women’s collection. It is based on the same model as for the men’s collection, with a slow build-up and launch of a few garments at a time.

Essential partner

SEB has been along on the company’ journey from the start.

“SEB is our first and only bank, and they have always been an essential partner,” Dworsky notes. “As a small growth company reliant on product sales, our scalability is limited by how much inventory we can maintain. Here SEB has played a key role in financing our growth over time.”

Jakob Dworsky describes the relationship as being characterised by openness and clarity.

“By having worked so long together with us, the people at SEB have a good understanding of us as a company and what sets us apart in the industry. Due to our focus, we have a lower level of risk than other clothing companies. If we don’t sell what we expect to this year, we can do it in the following year. We have not had a single clearance sale since we started, which reduces the risk of our inventory losing value.”

What do you appreciate most about SEB as a bank?

“That we not only get help with things that we have identified ourselves, but also get proactive advice in other areas. This can pertain to, for example, currency hedging or other matters that we have not thought about,” says Jakob Dworsky.