Where did the idea for Arkitaip originally come from and how did you build the brand?
Everything started with my mother’s incredible handcrafting skills. Watching her knit and crochet with enormous precision and passion has opened my eyes to what truly goes into making things. When I saw crochet tops sold for next to nothing on the high street, I realised that something simply didn’t add up. As a journalist at heart, I started researching. Learning about the detrimental effects the fashion industry has on the environment and the people making them, sparked the idea to create conscious pieces that are made to last. And arkitaip was born! Together with my mum, who hand-crochets our bikinis and accessories, I launched the brand in 2018 and it’s been such an exciting journey ever since.
At the core of our philosophy is our commitment to the environment - which is why we’re using linen for our creations. Linen is one of the oldest textiles in the world, appreciated for thousands of years for its durability, breathability, and luxurious feel. And it’s super sustainable. Not only is flax, the plant linen is made of, rainwater-sufficient but it’s also naturally pest-resistant and produces no waste as all parts of the plant are used. This has a regenerative effect on the soil it’s grown on and, in turn on the environment, allowing for the natural capture and storage of 400k tons of CO2 from the atmosphere each year. The linen we work with is also free from harmful chemicals and MASTERS OF LINEN®-certified, guaranteeing that its supply chain is 100% traceable. So, for us it was a no-brainer to exclusively work with linen for our creations.
Where do you find inspiration for your designs?
It’s hard to pin it down to one specific thing. Sometimes it’s an old picture of my grandmother or a person walking down the street wearing something fabulous that inspires me to create a new piece and at other times it’s a great movie, a beautiful place or simply being in nature that sparks an idea. To me, the most important is that each silhouette we create is sustainably-minded, meaning that it’s made of high-quality materials and that its shape is wearable and timeless while having that little something that makes it unique. And I simply love working with linen as to me, it embodies that feeling of ease and being carefree on top of its amazing eco-credentials.
We love your sustainability stand and would love to know more about your journey.
Growing up close to nature, I was always fascinated by it which in turn, has led me to believe that we’re part of the natural world around us. And thanks to that, we have individual responsibility for taking care of it too! So, before I even launched the brand it was clear to me that it had to be as sustainable as possible in order to make sense. Four years into it, I’m proud to say that our supply chain is as ethical and as sustainable as how I had imagined it, and with the help of our pieces, we will continue to push toward a more conscious future.
In the midst of the current climate crisis, it can be overwhelming to see the light at the end of the tunnel, however, I think that the little things count a lot too. So, in my personal life, I try to minimise my environmental impact wherever I can, from switching to a plant-based diet (I fully cut out meat and try to minimise my dairy intake as much as possible) and eating seasonal and locally-produced food to carefully watching my consumption patterns and always opting for quality over quantity. Having said that, nobody is perfect so I think the most important thing is to make informed and conscious choices and to remind ourselves to consume less and better.
Favourite arkitaip piece, past or present?
I personally love the Clara Trousers - they’re so versatile and comfortable which is why we created them in a range of colours. My current favourites are the willow green ones and I love wearing mine with an oversized shirt for work, with a crochet crop top and heeled sandals when going out, or with a cosy jumper when lounging at home.
Advice for a younger you...
Enjoy the small wins.
Favourite piece of Daisy to style with arkitaip?
I’d layer the Estee Lalonde Interlock Chain Necklace with the chunky Curb Chain Necklace to style up our Gerda Ruffled Slip Dress for an event - love the softness of the linen contrasting with the chunky gold chains. I’d also add the Bold Dome Huggie Earrings and a little anklet - obsessed with the Isla Twist - for that extra bit of wow.
What’s next for arkitaip?
After two rock-and-roll years, I’m grateful that we’re still around doing what we love most! So, I’m super excited for what’s to come in the next few months… which means focusing on our mission to create staple pieces that are made to last and to further push towards a more conscious world :) In the near future, we want to look into the ‘afterlife’ of our pieces and would love to help our customers repair, resell, and recycle their clothing. Ultimately, we want to move to a circular business model to help protect biodiversity and ecosystems.