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a conversation on

THE LONG-TERM IMPACT OF RESPONSIBLE DESIGN

with Elisabet Holmström
Head of design, ARKET Children

Design Creating something new and making claims on our shared resources comes with the responsibility to leave a positive contribution to the community, says our Head of Design for Childrenswear, Elisabet Holmström.

‘Working in the fashion and design industry comes with a great responsibility. The decisions we make will have an impact on the world which means we also have the opportunity to influence things in a positive direction. Active and deliberate choices in the design process can make a change. These choices are as much about not doing certain things, not going down certain paths. I think this is especially true when designing for children. I had been working in commercial fashion for a long time, so when I became a mother myself, I really felt I wanted to make kids’ clothes that are free of stereotypes.

‘Our decisions have an impact on the world. Deliberate choices in the design process can make a change.’

design Elisabet Holmström

A large part of our collection is unisex. It’s definitely a perspective we consider in the design – to make neutral products with colour schemes that work equally well for girls and boys and with durability and function as the primary focus. Gender-neutral garments are also easier to hand down to siblings or cousins or friends once your own child has grown out of them. It’s really important to design for longevity even though we know each child will only wear the garments for a brief period. In order for the products to actually last over time, both the quality and the design have to be sustainable. The garments need to be modern and relevant from an aesthetic point of view, but we try to stay away from short-lived trends.

ARKET Design

We design every piece to fill a specific function in the wardrobe. There are different needs over the year, especially here in the Nordics, and the wardrobe has to adapt. But it doesn’t have to be completely replaced with every seasonal change. The core of our collection is what we call ‘sustainable everyday basics’ – products that you can wear through the seasons and during most parts of the year. On top of that, we make seasonal additions and garments for certain occasions. The products can be beautiful and decorative – they should be – but first and foremost they need to be practical and endure the wear and tear that result from children’s daily activities. We design specifically for the lifestyle of our customers.

We always work with sustainable materials, whenever that’s possible. About 97 percent of our collection is sustainably sourced. Better cotton, organic or recycled fibres, chemical-free treatments. To me, that’s an obligation I have as a designer; making sure that what we produce is made in a responsible way and help contribute to a better future.’

Read more about our approach to long-lasting design

explore ARKET

Materials
Suppliers
Design
Food
People
Balance
Knowledge
Community
Environment

The grid is an essential element of our visual identity. It represents the notion of the archive and is used to organise and display information ranging from the names of plants to fabric weights and different types of materials used in our collections. These nine squares symbolise the separate parts that together form our world, and they are also the areas where we strive to make a difference.

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