‘Not everything needs to happen in a heartbeat, some great things take time. Nobody is expecting you to have a company, own an apartment and get a book deal by the age of 22, chill.’ Viola Bergström started out in the fashion industry early on and today she makes a living of what she loves. We got the chance to talk to Viola about her view on sustainable fashion and who inspires her style other than Mick Jagger. Can you tell us a little bit about your story and what you’re doing?I’m still writing my story, that’s for sure. Up to this point I’ve been working in fashion for about 9 years, starting with an internship when I was 15. I’ve worked my way up within styling and PR, and just started freelancing with project management and PR solutions. I do everything and nothing!What is it about fashion that you love?The constant expression and statement. Fashion is very political and has a huge impact on everyday life. I love how a certain style or fit can make me feel and act.You have a broad knowledge of the fashion industry: working with PR at J. Lindeberg, interviewing fashion business women in your and fellow fashionista Fanny Ekstrands podcast Add to bag, launching your own design AVAVAV Firenze and now going freelance. What are some steps you think could be taken to change it for the better?I think for starters we need help from the government to set new laws for how brands can produce in sustainable ways. Individually everyone needs to consume less, without having to compensate for the fashion and style of course. Repairing and remaking, buying second hand and switching clothes with friends and supporting smaller sustainable business are ways to go. Do you have an early fashion memory that made an impact on you? I remember a period of time, at one of my internships at a PR agency, where I had just moved from home and was working unpaid 5 days a week and then in a clothing store the rest of the week. I literally had no money at all and was tired all the time. But I had a hell of a mindset and goal to get somewhere, even when I was at my lowest point and I made it through and got the job of my dreams (at that time). I am so proud of where I am today and all the things I’ve learned. What is your experience when it comes to the state of sustainability development in the fashion industry?The consumers have become more demanding, and suddenly cares about the industry and how the garments are made. They want to invest in something with their heart. I believe brands that have no sustainability development in mind will not survive in the future. These have increased rapidly only in the last couple of years, but I think there are brands today that already do it so well – for example Stella McCartney, AVAVAV Firenze and Residus of course. Listen and learn from them! What are you proudest of in your life so far?That I actually make a living of what I love, and that I have so many good people around me in my life. I have worked so god damn hard these last couple of years, and truth be told: hard work pays off.Do you have any career advice to give? What motivates you and what is something you wish someone would have told you when you started out? RELAX. Not everything needs to happen in a heartbeat, some great things take time. Nobody is expecting you to have a company, own an apartment and get a book deal by the age of 22, chill. Always have a good attitude, wear a smile and be nice. You never know who your future boss is or how fast rumor spreads. I get motivated by working with talented and kind people and what we amount together. What is your own philosophy when it comes to consuming fashion in a sustainable way?I’ve completely stopped buying clothes from fast-fashion brands. I both sell and buy second hand a lot, and I try to work with sustainable brands to communicate their philosophies further. I am curious and ask about production, materials and buy a lot less overall then what I did a couple of years ago. I know you have Alexa Chung and Mick Jagger as style inspirations, but is there anyone else who inspires you right now?Indeed, they are and always will be. I’m always inspired by Emma Watson, mainly because I’m a huge Harry Potter fan but definitely by her view on sustainability and feminism. I would love to meet her someday.Is your podcast with Fanny Ekstrand, Add to bag, returning for a new season?Unfortunately, both me and Fanny are busy bees right now, so we have no plans to record episodes at the moment.What are your goals for the future?Make sure my own business floats and expands and find my Zen. Delete stress and bad energy, and to move abroad and work in another country. I think that would be a very good experience for me.