Grace Achieng, the heart and soul behind Gracelandic, experienced the power of fashion from an early age and it marked her path as an entrepreneur. Born and raised in Kenya, she recalls as a child how she felt when she put on a new dress she received as a gift from her aunt. A simple yet radiant sun-yellow dress, adorned with a silver star and the words “5 STAR” became her source of empowerment and joy. Her childhood started from what she herself describes as “humble beginnings” and drove her to design clothing that promotes sustainability and empowers its wearers.
In 2010, Grace moved to Iceland, where she pursued her dream of a career in the fashion world. After much difficulty finding a fashion job, she decided to take matters into her own hands. In 2020, she purchased a sewing machine and went into business for herself with the hopes of designing beautiful garments that give a voice to the women who wear them.
Fashion, she says, is one of the world’s most polluting industries, in fact it is the second largest polluting Industry in the world and is responsible for creating 10% of the world‘s carbon emissions and producing 20% of the world‘s water waste. When a fashion business is done well, it can be transformative for the people behind the product and for their environment. Therefore, at Gracelandic, we believe that fashion is not just about what you wear; it’s about the impact you create. The brand stands for more than just beautiful clothing. It symbolizes empowerment, sustainability, and a vision to create positive change. ‘’We take great pride in sourcing materials that are sustainable and eco-friendly. We are committed to reducing the environmental impact of the fashion industry. It is our mission to create beautiful, high-quality clothing that is ethically sourced and produced.
From Iceland to global horizons.
Grace’s personal mission to empower women through what they wear appears to be gaining traction on the global political stage. When Iceland’s then Minister for Foreign Affairs Thordis Kolbrun Reykfjörd Gylfadóttir met with U.S. President Joe Biden during the U.N. General Assembly in New York in September 2022, she wore none other than a Gracelandic design. As as well as while attending a seminar for foreign ministers in Slovenia.
Other Icelandic public figures adorning the brand include The First Lady of Iceland, Eliza Reid who wore Gracelandic while hosting the Monarchy of Denmark, King Frederik X back in 2022 at the presidential residency in Iceland. The support from Icelandic women has been overwhelming and has garnered publicity for this New Brand.
Our designs have also been featured on British Vogue three times in 2022 and other international magazines. Access America, the database of the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs in California – Department of State, United States of America are just some of the platforms where Gracelandic has been featured.As seen on Vogue
How is our business sustainable
As a “slow fashion” brand, Gracelandic drastically contrasts with large-scale “fast fashion” producers whose main objective is mass, high-speed production. The slow fashion movement promotes greater sustainability by producing higher-quality, eco-friendly clothing that will last longer. “The styles are timeless, versatile, and easy to style.” – Sustainability is about owning less by buying right. As such, Gracelandic employs a more holistic, socially conscious production model that prioritizes a triple bottom line: people, profit, and planet.
As a company we only use natural fabrics that receive no or very low levels of chemicals to grow, use less water and leave less waste during production. We also use natural dyes from vegetables and non chemical dyes on our products.
We have established a partnership with an ethical producer to supply all of Gracelandic’s fabric. By intentionally manufacturing ethically-produced garments, her company limits overstock and recycles all of its fabric scraps to be remade into accessories for their No-waste policy.
Sustainable Fashion Blogs / Devastating effects of the fashion industry in developing countries.
People do not realize how fast fashion has a devastating impact on climate change and water waste – something she is passionate about because she saw it firsthand as a child. She explains how the fast-fashion industry disproportionately affects developing countries like Kenya, where she grew up.
“The products and materials we dispose of in the West are sent to Africa,” she explains. “This kills independent businesses, and ninety percent of these clothes end up in African landfills.” We are so far removed from the production and manufacturing of things we buy that we’ve all kind of forgotten that someone somewhere had to make them. It’s also confronting to know that someone was paid a criminally low wage in order to do so.
93% of brands surveyed through Clean Clothes Campaign’s Fashion Checker are not paying their garment workers living wages.
According to Fashion Revolution, only an estimated 2% of fashion workers around the world are paid liveable wages. Women make up 80% of workers in the garment industry, as well as the majority consumers of the fashion industry. Despite this fact, the fashion Industry serves as grounds upon which gender discrimination has festered since its inception. Together we can channel the power of our vocalized objections to make a positive difference for the people who make our clothes and goods.
My hope is to bring attention to the less glamorous side of fashion and how we can all channel our combined voices to make positive changes to our environment, the people who make our clothes and protect developing countries from exploitation. It is more important than ever to know where our hard-earned money is going, and to support a more conscious & ethical way of consuming.
I encourage buyers to do research on Fast Fashion and watch The true cost documentary on YouTube.
Grace says that Gracelandic is a tangible representative of her personal journey since arriving in the Icelandic society, a journey of immense learning, growth, self discovery, realizing one’s full potential, coupled with a deep commitment to giving back, combining her love for fashion and making a difference in the fashion industry by investing in sustainable fashion blogs that shed a light on the the less glamorous side of fashion and its effects thereof. Her passions extend to ensuring children grow up in a nurturing, safe environment and empowering women. These passions catalyzed her pursuit of the Gracelandic dream, connecting the dots between looking good, feeling good, and making a positive impact on the world.