ARKET is a Swedish clothes, accessories and homeware brand with sustainability at its core – the company’s stated mission is ‘to influence positive change in fashion’. But don’t let that make you think it is boring. It is fast getting a reputation as one of the most stylish brands online and on the high street.
Any brand wanting to combine style and sustainability is bound to feature leather quite heavily, and ARKET does not disappoint. In-house designs include a range of vegetable-tanned boots, shoes and clothes and they also stock Veja trainers, the go-to shoe for the ethical sneaker seeker.
Leather clothes include padded jackets, shirts, dresses, culottes and trousers and the footwear ranges from chunky cyber punk style boots through classic Chelsea boots to elegant, spike-heeled knee-highs. All the leather goods are either vegetable tanned or non-chrome tanned and ARKET will not use leather from Brazil or Bangladesh.
ARKET’s clothes are designed for the long haul. The company has actively turned its back on fast fashion, stating an aim to ‘democratise quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable products, designed to be used and loved for a long time’.
Everything ARKET sells comes with details of how and where it was produced which helps the company keep an eye on its aims. Last year, 69 per cent of the products it sold was made from sustainably sourced material and the aim is to increase this to 85 per cent by 2022.
All the information the company publishes is not just to assert its credentials, though. Part of the brand’s philosophy is that by educating consumers about the craft and resources that go into making a product they give them more of an emotional connection to them. This encourages people to look after their things better and to keep them for longer.
They say: “The stronger relationships we build to our belongings, the more we will cherish, take care and hold on to them instead of replacing them with new things. Elevating the value of our everyday goods can help conserve resources and prevent materials from becoming waste.”
But that is not where the ARKET aims end. The company has committed to using 100 per cent sustainably sourced materials by 2030 and becoming fully climate-positive by 2040.
To be climate-positive means the whole production chain will help create an environmental benefit – by reducing and removing more greenhouse gas emissions from the atmosphere than are emitted.
ARKET also offers a recycling service, all people have to do is take their old clothes in to their nearest store. Discarded textiles usually end up in landfill, but ARKET offer a service where they repair or remake old garments or even totally recycle them to make new products.
Karl-Johan Bogefors, the brand director at ARKET, sums up the store’s aims best: “We are democratising quality, giving the possibility to more people to buy clothes that are made with consciousness, consideration and care, and so that have a longer life”.