AMSTERDAM – Part of the H&M group, Arket arrives in the Netherlands with the opening of its sixth store at Koningsplein 20. Touting itself as a ‘modern-day market’ offering essentials for men, women, children and the home, Arket is a fast-growing brand, with its first store having opened only last August in London’s Regent Street.
While its name alludes to ‘archive’ and ‘market’, keystones of the brand, Arket in fact means ‘sheet of paper’ in Swedish – a nod to the team’s Nordic heritage. Arket’s archival approach to retail is another unusually transparent concept similar to that of Everlane, which breaks down its retail price tags to disclose the production costs, transportation costs and mark-up of each item of clothing. ‘We believe in transparency as a necessary companion to sustainability,’ says Arket managing director Lars Axelsson. Not only does Arket assign unique ID codes to each product that indicate its department, category and material, the brand also places strong emphasis on manufacturing and production history.
We want to share as much information on the design and production process as we can
Customers can refer to the Arket ID codes provided on all products in the store to look up this information on its website, which serves as a digital archive. A women’s blazer is no longer simply a piece of clothing, but comes with a product story accessible through its ID number: how it was made in Bucharest, Romania, by Artiflex, an apparel manufacturer founded from the merging of a Swiss couture brand with a Romanian factory. ‘We are proud of the suppliers we work with,’ says Axelsson. ‘We want to share as much information on the design and production process as we can.’