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When 17-year-old Astrid Østergaard founded Teriyaki with a friend smack in the middle of the pandemic, she exactly didn’t have a business plan—but she *did* have an Instagram page. That turned out to be more than enough for Østergaard, who learned how to knit at age six from a bona fide expert: her 85-year-old grandmother, Lis, who now leads Østergaard’s sewing team alongside a handful of friends at her high school. “It was really spontaneous,” she says. “We launched on a Monday, and on the Friday before, we decided to make the Instagram, shoot everything that weekend, and then launch”—all within 72 hours.
The Danish brand is marked by colorful, sometimes-dizzying separates; think spiral-knit mini skirts, asymmetric long-sleeve shrugs, and double-layered halter tops. “I’ll take pictures of things I like, or I’ll see an anime character whose outfit I like, and I’ll try to turn it into something,” says Østergaard, who once knit a top that resembled the green landscape in the Japanese anime My Neighbor Totoro. “I design everything by myself and I usually try to sketch it out, but I love to go directly to having the yarn and needles in my hand to figure it out.”
Østergaard, who operates on a pre-order model to cut down on waste, now sources her yarn from a local eco-tech certified wholesaler. “It’s important to move slowly—and the customer is always happy to wait.”
And sustainability isn’t just in the materials or the design process: It’s the brand’s entire ethos: “I want anything I make to last forever, and that's the amazing thing with knits: They wear with you, they morph with you, and just like us, they get better with age.”
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