In today’s interview, we catch up with Franziska, founder of Tripulse, to find out more about her new Swedish sustainable activewear brand.
Fraziska shares the story of the inspiration behind Tripulse, and how she approaches sustainability at her company.
Hello! Who are you, what brand do you run?
Hey there, I’m Franziska, the founder of the Swedish activewear brand Tripulse.
We’re so used to sportswear having to be made from polyester or other plastic-based fabrics to be functional and great-performing. But what most of us are not aware of is that these same clothes meant to support us while exercising and keeping our bodies healthy are the same clothes that negatively impact our environment and health.
What sort of products do you create?
My ambition with Tripulse is to change the way we think about activewear and to create high-performing, functional and great-looking sportswear that is nature-based and free from plastics and toxins, to protect our planet and health.
Our first collection is made from a unique composition of the eucalyptus fiber blend TENCEL, and we have a variety of tops and bottoms for women. We designed them to be suitable for a wide range of sports and workouts, with a timeless and stylish design that allows you to wear and love them for a long time.
Why did you start your company? What inspired you?
The idea of Tripulse came in 2019 while I was on a sabbatical in Asia. I had worked some years in the tech and consulting industry but didn’t feel that it was what I wanted to do with my life. Then, during my time off, I realized that I wanted to help tackle one of the biggest problems of our times, climate change, and combine that with my strong passions for sports, nature, health, and wellbeing to create a meaningful impact.
As a sports lover, I became very frustrated that today’s sportswear contains synthetic materials and plastics derived from crude oil, which negatively affects our environment and health. It releases microplastic into our waters that can take centuries to decompose and often contains toxins that can be absorbed by our skin and cause harmful effects.
The other big thing that frustrated me was that most clothes today are made unethically in countries far away from our home base in harsh working conditions. I wanted to change that and only work with suppliers with fair labor standards and based in Europe.
Putting all these pieces together, I created Tripulse to offer a true nature-based alternative to activewear that is not only stylish and functional but truly sustainable and ethical.
Sustainability is at your brands core. You are now climate neutral certified. Can you tell us more about this and what it takes to achieve this certification?
Tripulse has had sustainability at the core from day one. As a result, we have reduced the CO2 emissions connected to our brand and products to a very low level; however, there are still CO2 emissions that occur as part of running a business and making products.
We need to do whatever we hold in our power to help combat climate change, which is the single biggest threat to humanity and life on Earth. And that is why one of the first steps we took is to become Climate Neutral Certified.
We partnered with the NGO Climate Neutral to measure, offset, and reduce last year’s carbon emissions. Basically, this means to measure all CO2 emissions that contribute to making our products and our company operations as a whole. The next step was to offset our emissions by purchasing carbon credits that help, for instance, to protect old-growth forests and plant new trees in climate-critical areas. Finally, we created a reduction plan that helps us reduce our emissions even more in the year ahead.
I’m very happy to say that Tripulse as a whole is now Climate Neutral Certified, and we achieved net-zero carbon emissions. But we won’t stop here, and our aim will always be to reduce our emissions as much as possible and ultimately be carbon negative.
Can you tell us more about the materials you use and why you decide to use these to make your activewear?
We focus on using innovative and quality natural fibers with high performance for athletic activities. We want to avoid materials that shed harmful microplastics and can damage nature and our health.
We also want to ensure a circular life cycle so that our activewear can either biodegrade back to nature without leaving harmful residues or be recycled to new clothes or other products at the end of their lifetime.
The primary material we use in all our products is a unique composition of TENCEL™.
It’s a high-quality lyocell fiber derived from certified wood sources of mainly eucalyptus trees. The production process is free from toxins, and the water and environmentally harmless solvent to make the fibers are reused at almost 100%. It’s even compostable, meaning that the fibers can fully decompose in a relatively short amount of time.
TENCEL™ is highly breathable, naturally antibacterial, and odor resistant, so you don’t need to wash it after every use. It’s also extremely comfortable and feels soft and cooling on the skin. It’s perfect for sensitive skin as no harsh finishings need to be added to achieve these performance results. That makes it perfect for workouts and even post-workout activities.
To give our leggings the sufficient stretch and compression, and ensure they’re functional and great fitting, we use Roica® V550. Roica® V550 is a compostable and much more eco-friendly version of elastane and is cradle-to-cradle certified with the material health category “gold.” That means it doesn’t contain any harmful chemicals and decomposes in a relatively short amount of time.
But we also looked at the tiny details. We chose natural and organic materials and dyes, so even the drawstrings in the leggings waistband are made from natural rubber and organic cotton. We use eco-friendly water-based inks and all our materials Oekotex-certfied.
What do you think is the biggest challange around sustainability in the fashion sector today?
One big challenge I see is that almost all fashion brands nowadays call themselves sustainable. Still, when you try to find out the specifics and understand how far they are sustainable, there is little concrete information.
Consumers are often faced with many fancy marketing slogans, green-colored product hang tags, and sustainability buzzwords, all suggesting that a brand is sustainable. However, when you dig deeper and scratch the surface, you quickly realize very little sustainability and instead a lot of “greenwashing.”
What worries me is that this “greenwashing” can lead consumers to be confused and misinformed about sustainability and what it means. Or worse, it can mislead consumers into believing that what they purchase positively impacts the environment, whereas, in reality, it might just be the opposite. And that’s very dangerous.
How do you approach these problems on a day-to-day basis?
My ambition with Tripulse is to be very specific in sharing information on what we do that makes us a sustainable brand, such as explaining why the materials we use are sustainable, or what certifications our production factory in Europe has and what that means.
Meaning that even brands who claim to be sustainable from the core will sell their clothes very cheaply and with fast-changing collections and trends. This will incentivize people to buy very often and buy quantity over quality. Ironically, this very model prevents a brand from being truly sustainable. Using recycled materials while adopting a “fast fashion” model is not enough to be truly sustainable and help solve the serious environmental issues we face.
We aim to create functional, quality, timeless, and stylish activewear that people will want to wear for a long time and that doesn’t go out of fashion quickly, where people feel great in and is sustainable as possible from creation to disposal.
We want to create activewear with a “slow fashion” approach and advocate for responsible consumption instead of promoting a throw-away culture.
I think it is essential for brands to be transparent on sustainability and communicate this very clearly and simply to the consumers. It’s not easy and can be a big undertaking, especially for bigger brands, but I think that’s necessary so that consumers can make the right choices.
What was your thought process and what was important to you, when choosing the factories you work with?
It was important from the beginning that we needed to have a local supply chain and fair and ethical working conditions for everyone involved in making our clothes. So we ensured factories we partnered with conformed to the International Labor Organization (ILO) standards and beyond. We also ensure that the factories have responsible environmental and health policies in place.
Since we are a Swedish brand with a European customer base, producing in Europe was non-negotiable. Of course, that usually means that prices are also higher, but that’s what it takes to create a brand with genuinely sustainable and ethically produced products.
All our factories are in Europe, and our production partner in Portugal is GOTS-certified and Oekotex certified, which means they must adhere to high social and ecological standards.
How do you ensure your company stays true to your mission as you grow?
I created Tripulse not to create just another activewear brand; I think there are more than enough out there.
I created Tripulse to offer truly sustainable activewear better for our planet, people, and health without compromising performance, function, and style. And ultimately, to make fitness a driver for positive change for our world and people.
To continuously stay true to this mission as we grow will always be my main priority.
We just launched a few months ago, so this is very early days, but what I think is and will be important is to remind ourselves of our mission constantly, why we exist in the first place. Derailing from that mission and purpose is not an option and will threaten the whole existence of our brand.
Have you tried a product from another sustainable brand that you can reccommend?
I actually rarely buy new clothes and try to detox and “slim” my own wardrobe. Jeans, for example, are clothes that have a significant negative impact on our environment and health as it takes huge amounts of water and toxic dyes to make them.
That’s why I like the Swedish brand Nudie Jeans – they make jeans from sustainable materials such as fair trade and organic cotton and also offer a repair service and sell their jeans as second hand. I recently bought second hand jeans in their store and absolutely love them. They are high quality and it feels good to support a brand that really wants to make things better and more sustainable.
What does the future look like for Tripulse?
I’m excited to grow our product range as we get many requests and ideas from our community for products they’d love to have. While we already have a good first collection, we’d love to serve our customers even more by creating more essential sportswear products with the same ambition and dedication to sustainability and function.
We’ll also keep pushing the boundaries on what is humanly possible regarding sustainability and activewear and freeing clothing from plastic. So many innovations are happening in this area, and we’re excited to be part of it and keep innovating and improving.
We hope you enjoyed this week’s interview with Tripulse founder Fransizka. We loved hearing all about her brand, and how Tripulse is committed to producing great quality and sustainable activewear.
If you want to find out more about the activewear brand, you can check them out here.
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!