How Sustainable Is ARKET?

Posted in Style
by Johanna Andersson on 19 October, 2017

ARKET is the newest addition to the fashion brands housed by the H&M Group. They launched online and in London end of August, and has so far opened up 5 stores in Europe. We've taken a closer look at their level of consciousness.

Back in August, some week before launch day, we where invited to visit the ARKET office in Stockholm to have a look at their fall 2017 collections. Let us put it like this: we liked what we saw. As you may know from browsing the site or visiting their London, Brussels, Munich or Copenhagen stores, the designs are timeless and minimalistic—just the way we like it.
At the breakfast event, we got the chance to have a little chat with their PR representative and, naturally, the first question that popped into our minds was this: How sustainable are you?
Of coarse, being part of the H&M Group obligates them to follow the sustainability standards and goals set for all H&M brands (read more about that here). This alone probably makes them more sustainable than most. What we also found out from the conversation was that since ARKET is a completely new business, they had the opportunity to make better and more sustainable choices regarding what fabrics to use and where to produce right from the start. From what we understand, this separates them from large-scale clothing chains like H&M, that’s had to adjust to more sustainable practices over time.

“ARKET’s mission is to democratize quality through widely accessible, well-made, durable products, designed to be used and loved for a long time.”

Flipping through the collections (there is women’s, men’s, kids’ and home, including external brands) we did see some first signs of consciousness. There was the Veja sneakers standing underneath the women’s rack, and the tags in the kids’ clothes that had room for several names on them, which makes them easy to let on. And from a quick glance at some material tags, we spotted Lyocell and Viscose, organic cotton, silk and different qualities of wool—including recycled cashmere. Not too shabby.
To us, ARKET do come across as a pretty transparent brand (why not all brands are at this point, we don’t know)—a visit to their online store is actually an education. With every item, they provide extensive information on what materials where used, where it was made and how to care for it, plus tons of extra information about suppliers, techniques, design history and even colors—basically all you need to make an informed decision.
ARKET might not be a sustainable brand per se, but they defiantly qualify as a better choice. Now we can’t wait for them to open up their Stockholm locale in the spring of 2018. Not just for the clothes though—we want to try that in-house café of theirs too. The food looks so delish, don’t you think?

Photos from ARKET’s AW17 lookbook.


Mia: Like Everlane, I think Arket hides behind this promise of being transparent without going further to address worker's rights, environmental issues. Simply broadcasting how transparent you are doesnt mean you are a sustainable or ethical brand. It's borderline greenwashing in my opinion. Nautrally the customer can investigate further using the links on Arket's pages, but i'm doubtful whether customers do that. I agree with Catrina, it's not enough to be 'better' that the worse culprits out there (H&M, Zara etc). ,
November 22, 2018

Johanna Andersson: Hi Catarina! Thank you so much for commenting. Of coarse, this is a complicated matter, and I definitely see your point. I think it's fair to call it "a better option" if comparing it to other high street fashion brands – meaning it's better within that context. Or what do you think? x
October 30, 2017

CATARINA: Im not quite sure i understand this. No matter what they are a part of a global money machine that has very little regards for the people who make the clothes or the environment. I personally have a hard time putting more money in that basket. Even if Arket is more sustainable. Would love to hear your thoughts. s
October 25, 2017

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