Armedangels CEO: Martin Höfeler

It’s all about sustainability in 2022, and there’s prone to be no lessening of focus in coming a long time.

Sustainability issues, in a means that different trendy notions and buzzwords don’t. Folks matter; the planet issues. Within the style business, manufacturers — and, maybe extra importantly, customers — are carrying our collective environmental conscience, and shouting their name for unity from the rooftops.

Enter Martin Höfeler, CEO of German style agency Armedangels, who sees no dichotomy right here. There’s no subject, he has all the time believed, that makes engaging style and environmentally pleasant style incompatible.

Höfeler’s intention from the phrase go has been to mix sustainability and design. And the “phrase go” was uttered a while in the past — earlier than such consideration was paid to the planet, its sources, or its individuals. “Ten years in the past,” he advised New Zealand’s again in 2016, “we solely existed as an thought on white paper. 5 years (earlier), we have been generally known as an internet store for sustainable T-shirts and prints. At present, we belong to the best-known truthful style labels in Germany — in wholesale, and with our personal on-line store.”

5 years could also be a very long time in style, however a decade — particularly one previous to 2016; the corporate was based in 2007 — would take us again to the darkish ages by way of consciousness of world points. Martin Höfeler was one of many pioneers, an early adopter who has benefitted from astute selections made on the proper time.

“Honest style” is his continued focus, and — as you’ll have guessed — in 2022, he’s eyeing-up the subsequent 10 years to comply with via on his concepts and beliefs. His values haven’t modified one jot.

After all, it’s one factor to run a enterprise in a sustainable means, to do every thing “proper” in all of the necessary methods. It’s one other to fulfil a fashionista’s function: to present individuals what they need — earlier than they know they need it. Höfeler has not been fazed.

So far as Höfeler is worried; his mission is ongoing, and his inventive output has not faltered. “We wish to persuade individuals to rethink their shopping for behaviour,” he famously stated.

A lot for the continued sustainability focus, all-important to his private {and professional} quest. Höfeler has juggled these human and environmental values with the upkeep and growth of an always evolving style model. “No person needs to put on an unsightly T-Shirt, irrespective of how sustainable it’s in manufacturing,” he was as soon as quoted as saying.

Local weather change is among the most distinguished threats dealing with the fashionable world, and it’s a doozy. Options, by way of resetting the clock, are — for the second, at the very least — out of attain. And the style business is a part of the issue. It’s rated as one of many dirtiest industries — and in a world of nukes, fossil fuels and microplastics, that’s saying so much.

Armedangels was based, Höfeler advised FashionUnited, not “to make style, however to make change for planet and other people”. Colors nailed to the mast, proper there.

Whereas the primary years could have been sluggish, as Höfeler and his workforce overcame common ignorance and apathy, however 2021 got here with its personal particular challenges.

Particular challenges, nevertheless, are bread and butter to the German fashionista. One of many firm’s visions “is to vary issues past its personal product by supporting NGOs (and) activists on the frontline”.

In March final yr, his Solidarity Collection was launched. The highlight was, because of occasions within the US, on black and indigenous voices. A T-shirt version was created in collaboration with US activist Tamika D Mallory, that includes her Speech of a Era, delivered after the dying of George Floyd.

Throughout the 2021 federal election, Armedangels — in co-operation with the GermanZero organisation — designed a “1.5°” T-shirt to coax extra climate-friendly measures from politicians. All earnings from that went to GermanZero. The motto: “Change politics, not local weather.”