Follow Her Friday's @fakander - En Route
@fakander follow her friday's en-route

Follow Her Friday’s @fakander

This Aussie based Swede on career highs, giving back and why a career in fashion

@fakander follow her friday's en-route

@fakander

Welcome to our Follow Her Friday’s series where we deep dive into the lives and careers behind the grid of some of fashions favourite influencers in Australia. Here we chat with Fredrika Akander, a style influencer with an MSc Emerging Economies and Development and Founder of #menstruationwithdignity.

EN - Tell us about Fredrika, who is she really?

I was born and raised in Sweden, but I left really young to study in Canada and then my postgraduate in London before coming to Australia a few years ago.

I have my family back in Europe and my fiance and dog here in Australia and some of my best friends spread out over the world, so to say the least – I’m a little scattered!

EN - How did you find yourself in Melbourne - and is this now home forever?

My partner is from Melbourne so after a few years of travelling together, we decided to give his hometown a go!

I’ve loved living here but it has never really felt like home and after a decade of living in busy large cities I am ready for a change! We are actually moving to Queensland this year and I cannot wait!

EN - How did you get involved with fashion?

Literally by chance!

I built up a social media following as a yoga teacher and then when I was doing my postgraduate degree I stopped teaching yoga and my Instagram and career developed as my life did.

EN - Tell us about your #menstruationwithdignity initiative and where do you see the movement going in the future?

My research during my postgraduate was focused on barriers to girls’ education and I found that among large

areas of the world girls are missing valuable time at school because they don’t have the means to take care of their menstruation.

In some areas, a sanitary pad is the same price as a full day’s salary so naturally, it is impossible to buy the items needed, especially in a family with several females. Menstruation should not be the cause of a child not attending school, and it definitely should not hinder a young girl’s academic or financial development.

Having discovered this widespread problem, that to me was completely unknown, I wanted to raise money to provide girls with sanitary items. I’ve partnered up with fantastic charities and was able to visit schools in South Africa and Uganda and distribute not only sanitary items but also to take part in sexual health workshops for educational purposes to help girls safely look after themselves during menstruation.

EN - How can others support?

At the moment, due to the current pandemic, #menstruationwithdignity is taking a short break until we can find new partners that can help distribute in the areas that are needed when we cannot get there ourselves.

Stay tuned as we create new relationships with amazing charities and local community groups!

EN - What’s your one takeaway from your career to date that you wish you could pass on to others?

To be open to opportunities.

I was so worried when I graduated that I wouldn’t be taken seriously in the political development world that I hid my job as a content creator and influencer and tried to work my way up the corporate way whilst juggling my Instagram job on the side. However, it became impossible and as I opened up to new opportunities I was able to connect with brands and organizations that had the same goals as me.

EN - What are some of your favourite brands also encouraging giving back to society in one way or another?

There are so many brands that give back to society but what I have found is that they are usually quite small and local.

Big brands like to make a big fuss about a ‘sustainable’ collection or small donation here and there but in the meantime, 95% of their business is neither sustainable nor ethical in their productions. The best advice I can give is to do your research.

Just because a brand claims to do something doesn’t mean that they actually do or that the whole company is following the same ethos through and through.

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