What do you value most: an overflowing wardrobe or a minimalist approach? Current fads or timeless designs? A one-size-fits-all attitude, or something geared toward a person’s unique lifestyle? In 2014, Bachelor of Business and fashion-newcomer Frederik ‘Fritz’ Sturm founded his brand ARYS (from arise /əˈrɑɪz/ verb 1. If a situation or problem arises, it begins to exist, or people start to become aware of it) as an answer to the global wasteful fashion industry.
Whether it is the design, material, or production – sustainable fashion has so many facets and factors, that it is hard to comprehend it as one singular process. The Berlin-based brand ARYS takes an advanced approach to combine these factors. In 2014, the brand started its business with multi-functional tracksuits. Since then, founder Fritz Sturm and his design team has developed several high-end collections that combine a timeless and minimalistic design, highly functional materials, and sophisticated features to increase the functionality for its consumers.
Founder Fritz Sturm is an idealist who cares deeply about the future and the environment. From the selection of fabrics to the selection of the factories, at ARYS everything is fully certified according to the latest sustainability standards. The brand’s aim is to grow together with their suppliers, producers, dealers, and logisticians and constantly develop new solutions in order to gradually reduce the ecological footprint. Thus, the fashion label attaches great importance to fair remuneration and above-average working conditions. Their producers from Portugal, Lithuania and China work according to the highest industrial standards. ARYS sources its fabrics from the EU and China; their suppliers are located in Sweden, Austria, Switzerland Portugal, Italy and China (mostly for the Japanese market where the brand has celebrated a great success).
Founder Fritz Sturm says: “We at ARYS see sustainability as a self-evident fact and not as a major selling point. Most of the world's brands are evolving into sustainable brands because the market is demanding it more and more. But in the end, the brands that will survive are those that convince customers with arguments other than sustainability, such as design or origin. At ARYS, we have always focused first and foremost on utility and design of the product.” The brand uses materials such as seaqual, lyocell, comfortemp or ecorepel, always looking for sustainable solutions and alternative fabrics. Besides recycled materials from plastic in the oceans, they also use recycled plastic such as PET bottles from Germany for the padding of their vests and coats. An innovative alternative to feathers or downs that consists of coherent fiber balls that create a pore structure that enables a high level of insulation and constant heat output. In comparison to downs or other padding, the form and function of the jacket are permanently retained, as the padding does not slip or clump. The padding is very light, which has a positive effect on the overall weight of the coat; it is also highly breathable and washable. Further Sturm says: “In my opinion, recycled synthetic materials play the most important role in functional fashion. Synthetic materials are usually much more robust and therefore last many seasons in the wardrobe. You can definitely say that materials like polyester can be used sustainably.”
ARYS’ holistic approach to implement sustainable technologies into their products also shows in their contemporary designs. Clean, simple, and casual design as well as sophisticated features such as multiple inside pockets, hidden elastic bands or asymmetric zippers create modern, futuristic pieces that fuse function and fashion. The designers thrive to meet the customers’ daily demands by creating contemporary clothing with no compromises for a sustainable but highly functional fashion. “Function and sustainability have long stood in contrast to each other. Today, you can find great sustainable solutions for functional features such as ‘water-repellent’. There is still room for improvement but we are on a good way to perfect the mix of sustainability and functionality together with our partners.”, says founder Fritz Sturm.
“Our secret? We are inspired by our environment and team members. We also have some professional career changers in our team, including me, which often gives us a different view on fashion.”, says Sturm. Fast-moving trends are not what drives the brands’ founder. In product development, Fritz Sturm values timeless design and robust tailoring. The products should be part of the wardrobe for a long time and provide lasting pleasure. The result are small collections that pay full attention to every product and ensure a more sustainable value chain: fairly produced clothing for everyone looking for high-quality and comfortable all-in-one solutions for an active and varied everyday life. “It's a process and a big challenge to get to ultimate sustainability. The journey is the destination. We communicate a lot with other brands and support each other, because a common sustainable fashion world is the goal of all of us.”, says Fritz Sturm.
– by Marie Klimczak