WØRKS: the story behind the brand

WØRKS: the story behind the brand

WØRKS: the story behind the brand

We're Christoffer and Suze, the Danish/Australian husband and wife team behind WØRKS. We founded WØRKS with the mission to bridge the gap between Scandinavian design and local, sustainable manufacture. 

After moving from Denmark to Australia in 2014, Christoffer noticed an absence of discrete design-led home accessories, which form the backbone of Danish interiors. Meanwhile, Suze was struggling to find organic, sustainable and plastic-free products that also delivered on sensory experience and efficacy. 

Together, we set out to make a difference.

 

Reconciling the spectrum

Our search for ethical personal care that delivered on aesthetics was challenging.

We found that products tend to exist at opposite ends of a spectrum. On one end are eco-friendly formulations that are often let down by lack aesthetic appeal and plastic packaging that undermines their eco-friendliness.

At the other are products that have great visual appeal but are often mass produced with ingredients that have a negative environmental impact and pose risks to consumer health (synthetics, SLS, animal-derived ingredients and artificial fragrances). These products, too, are more often than not packaged in plastic.

We set out to reconcile those differences and create products with end-to-end integrity.

 

Luxury without compromise

From the outset, one of our founding values was ‘without compromise’. That statement became the filter through which we ran every decision. Our refusal to compromise on the things that matter to us pushed us to constantly innovate to create a brand we truly believe in.

Our formulations had to be sustainable, organic and vegan. They had to smell beautiful and feel luxurious on the skin. And they had to work.

The process to develop our debut capsule collection took a year and resulted in five formulations; an organic hand soap and hand cream duo and a trio of organic and fair trade body scrubs. All products were produced ethically in small batches from sustainably sourced certified organic raw materials, housed in reusable glass vessels, shipped to customers via a carbon-neutral courier service, and free from parabens, sulphates (SLS, SLES, SDS, ALS), phthalates, silicones, synthetics, fillers, PEGS, mineral oils and palm oil.

 

Authentic, functional and aesthetic design

But that was only one side of the equation: the other was aesthetics. Given that one half of our founding team is Danish, design was always going to be a high priority.

We built our aesthetic on the Danish design pillars of form, function and minimalism. We considered every aspect of our vessels, from their size, shape and weight to the tone and texture of the labels.

We prioritised classic silhouette for timeless appeal, and created unique silicon mats that adheres to the underside of our vessels–the first of its kind–to prevent slipping on kitchen bench tops or bathroom vanities.

Purpose, functionality and human interaction were key. We kept our lines clean and built a palette of earth tones and neutral greys, then integrated gentle orbs of muted colour to create synchronicity across the collections.

The design process evolved over a year, during which time we collaborated closely with our Århus-based designer. All of our design work is still conceived and executed authentically in Denmark.

 

The driving force of personal values

After two years in development, we launched WØRKS in August 2019. Within four months we’d been invited to collaborate with one of Denmark’s most established design houses and named as one of Vogue Living’s favourite brands of 2019.

In 2020 we expanded significantly, from a capsule collection of five products to a full range of 38 SKUs across hand, body and home care. We retained our values across the board. Every WØRKS product is made ethically in Melbourne; formulated with certified organic ingredients that have been grown and harvested sustainably; infused with skin synergistic botanicals and extracts selected for their proven efficacy; housed in reusable glass vessels that champion clean aesthetic; is vegan, biodegradable and 100% natural; and is designed authentically in Denmark.

Now in our fourth year, WØRKS has been recognised by leading design publications Vogue, Design Anthology, Habitus and Est Living for our commitment to sustainability and design; been named as one of Australia's most sustainable brands by Time Out; and been stocked at some of Australia’s most respected interior design stores and fine dining establishments. We have also recently opened a flagship store on Collins Street in Melbourne. 

Our personal values have been key in building a brand we believe in. Keeping our mission front and centre and doing something we truly believe in is what drives us forward.

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