By Bryony Coles, Features Writer & Photographer
In our pursuit to showcase sports businesses who care about their environmental footprint, we meet the team behind WeekendBee, the online sportswear store selling only sustainable, ethical and eco-friendly brands. Read on to find out more about their mission to help folks make better choices…
Founded in 2018, WeekendBee is an online store that sources various sportswear brands whose focus is the wellbeing of our planet. The company is run by its two founders, Jukka Saarikorpi and Aissa Paronen who were originally based in Finland but have recently made the move to Mallorca.
“Our fundament is that we work with brands that have sustainability as their core value. This means that the brand lives and breathes the mission to make its products, manufacturing, and operations as sustainable as possible.”
WeekendBee currently offers over 20 sustainable brands on their website to choose from including the likes of Patagonia and People Tree. They also have their own brand collection, “Bee Friendly” in which they donate 5€ from each purchase to the Melliferopolis project. We spoke to Co-Founder Aissa about WeekendBee…
What made you decide to create WeekendBee?
It all started when we (my husband and I) wanted to find sustainably produced sportswear for our own use. Soon we noticed that it’s difficult to find them and it took time to compare different options and find the info about the sustainability behind the brands. We had just quit working in our previous jobs and were looking for new opportunities, so we thought that there might be an opportunity to start building something new which people would find valuable. So we founded Weekendbee to make sustainable sportswear shopping easy.
Our mission is to inspire & equip people for a more sustainable, active lifestyle. We call people in our community “weekend bees” since it describes the lifestyle; busy working during the week but on the weekends we head outdoors to enjoy the world and be active.
Do you think there needs to be a greater improvement when it comes to being sustainable within the sportswear industry?
We are happy to see that many brands are moving towards sustainable production. It’s great that many materials are already recycled and recyclable. However, there is still a lot to do. We hope to see more focus also on the working conditions of the people, especially at the grassroots level. Also promoting long-lasting, multi use items in sportswear collections, instead of launching new products all the time would help. A big issue with sportswear is also the recycling after the garment cannot be used anymore. Could brands in the future collect the old garment for recycling? Currently, most of the clothing is going to landfills or they are burned to produce energy.
What is the long term plan for WeekendBee? What impact would you like to make on the world?
Our mission is to inspire & equip people for a more sustainable, active lifestyle. We call people in our community “weekend bees” since it describes the lifestyle; busy working during the week but on the weekends we head outdoors to enjoy the world and be active. Our goal is to make a sustainable active lifestyle more accessible and interesting for an increasing number of people by making it fun and easy.
What has WeekendBee been up to during quarantine/lockdown?
Right from the beginning, we built our company 100% remote working, so we have been working from home as usual. We have noticed a lot of new interest in sustainable produced sportswear during this pandemic which is great that there are also positive outcomes from this unfortunate time. People are spending more time exercising and outdoor social distancing. Weekendbee has been very active in social media helping our community to find ways to stay healthy (physically and mentally).
If you would like to read more about sustainability within the sportswear industry, WeekendBee also has a great blog, click HERE
SHOP HERE: https://www.weekendbee.com/
All photo credits: WeekendBee