We all know how polluting the fashion industry is – the carbon emissions are huge and unwanted garments clog up landfills – so when mother and daughter duo Michi and Lea Wieser decided they wanted to make clothes, they would only do so if they could find a natural, vegan and biodegradable material with low environmental impact to use. Enter linen, which the pair use to make trans-seasonal garments and homeware for their brand Arkitaip.
Arkitaip pieces blend relaxed elegance with functionality and sustainability, with everything being made in Europe (the team has total oversight of their supply chain so they can ensure fair wages and working conditions) and are cut from 100% MASTERS OF LINEN®-certified fabric. When it comes to being eco-friendly, linen as a material is right up there. It’s made from flax, which is one of the most sustainable plants in the world – it needs a lot less water and pesticides than other crops to flourish, it can grow on marginal land, and it grows naturally in Europe so it doesn’t need to be shipped as far. Co-founder Michi hand-makes the crochet pieces in the collection herself, using 80% recycled and 20% virgin linen, with an ECONYL (that’s a recycled polyamide made from recovered ocean waste) lining on the swimwear. And in an effort to keep waste to a minimum, any leftover fabric is turned into scrunchies.
The pair have made sure that the shipping process is also done as sustainably as possible too – they use home compostable shipping mailers, with the garments packed in totes made from deadstock linen and hang tags made from sugarcane waste, and they have also partnered with Offset to achieve carbon neutral shipping. Arkitaip even takes responsibility for the afterlife of their products by running a take-back scheme, with a repair and resell scheme also in the works. Living in linen is the way to go this summer.