Free Shipping Free Shipping
Free returns within 14 days Free returns within 14 days
Made in Austria Made in Austria
Blog 1606 Armedangels 20160903 Lb Armedangels 07 Couple4 27039 Final

ARMEDANGELS came to revolutionize the sustainable fashion market – an interview with co-founder Martin Hoefele

How does one go from a background in business administrations to becoming founder of a highly commendable sustainable fashion brand?

Without any exper­i­ence in the field at all, in 2007 co-founder Mar­tin Hoe­fel­er took this chal­lenge by the horns and cre­ated the Cologne based eco friendly brand ARME­DAN­GELS. We talk in depth details of the what’s actu­ally behind becom­ing a sus­tain­able brand, chal­lenges every­one faces, com­pet­i­tion and how true does one stay to their beliefs. The Ger­man design­er has a lot to share when it comes to stay­ing on trend, fas­cin­at­ing thoughts on chan­ging careers and advice to fel­low entrepreneurs.

Blog 1606 Armedangels Martinhoefeler Hoch Kl

Where does the name ARME­DAN­GELS come from?
The name ARME­DAN­GELS pretty much sums up what we stand for. The name sym­bol­izes a sort of Robin Hood“ for the tex­tile industry. An armed angel fight­ing against the injustices and con­di­tions of an industry that needs revolu­tion­ary change…

Tell us a bit about your his­tory with­in the field of fash­ion design?
There is not much to tell. Before I foun­ded ARME­DAN­GELS, fash­ion nev­er played a big role in my life. Dur­ing my stud­ies (busi­ness admin­is­tra­tions) I met my Co-founder at an entre­pren­eur work­shop. We were both look­ing for a busi­ness concept based on social prin­cipals. When we heard about the con­di­tions in the tex­tile industry — we were shocked. This was the moment we decided to change the game and make a dif­fer­ence – even without any spe­cial­ized know­ledge in fash­ion. In 2007 ARME­DAN­GELS was born.

Blog 1606 Armedangels 20160803 Lb Armedangels 01 Adrian 23198 Final

Has the plan always been to cre­ate sus­tain­able wear?
We don’t accept com­prom­ises when it comes to the product. We have and we always will work only with sus­tain­able mater­i­als. Sus­tain­ab­il­ity is not just a trend for us – it’s our belief. That’s why we only use mater­i­als such as organ­ic cot­ton, organ­ic wool, TENCEL®, Mod­al or recycled poly­es­ter. And of course we partnered with organ­iz­a­tions like Fairtrade, GOTS (Glob­al Organ­ic Tex­tile Stand­ard) and the Fair Wear Found­a­tion to help us imple­ment our high stand­ards and to hold us account­able. Not only mater­i­al wise but social wise too.

What are the chal­lenges you’ve come up against in your jour­ney to cre­ate a sus­tain­able cloth­ing brand?
One chal­lenge is def­in­itely to meet com­mer­cial retail prices — des­pite a sus­tain­able pro­duc­tion. Regard­ing our price range, we can’t com­pete with Fast-Fash­ion“ labels – and that’s not what we want either- not regard­ing the price, nor regard­ing the qual­ity. But we are able to com­pete with brands offer­ing a sim­il­ar kind of qual­ity and products. Anoth­er chal­lenge is to extend our product range. We have to find new, sus­tain­able mater­i­als and com­ply to GOTS in every pro­duc­tion step. Also, of course, they have to match our high design stand­ards. All these steps are very time con­sum­ing and cost a lot of money. And of course it’s tricky some­times – espe­cially for our design­ers and buy­ers. But it‘s a chal­lenge and it’s our job to find cre­at­ive solu­tions to face these chal­lenges. Nev­er­the­less, we con­tinu­ously work on extend­ing our col­lec­tions. And a lot has happened since we star­ted. Today we launch four col­lec­tions every year. Men and Women.

Blog 1606 Armedangels 20160803 Lb Armedangels 03 Luana 23779 Final

How have you man­aged to meet those chal­lenges?
With a great and pas­sion­ate team. People who are cre­at­ive, love what they do and stand behind our philo­sophy – 100%. We are not per­fect and we will make mis­takes but that’s how we grow. That’s how we change the game.

How do you deal with com­pet­i­tion with­in the sus­tain­able field?
We love com­pet­i­tion. We can’t revo­lu­tion­ize the tex­tile industry ourselves. The more people care about Fair-Fash­ion and join our mis­sion — the bet­ter. Doesn’t mat­ter if they are cus­tom­ers, retail­ers or competitors.

Does the fact that you make eco- friendly cloth­ing make it harder to stay on trend?
We can‘t chase every trend — and we don‘t want to either. We rather focus on mod­ern, con­tem­por­ary col­lec­tions. Moreover, we don‘t think there needs to be a con­tra­dic­tion between fair, organ­ic and beau­ti­ful cloth­ing. Our mis­sion is to com­bine fair work­ing con­di­tions and sus­tain­able, high qual­ity mater­i­als with beau­ti­ful design.

Blog 1606 Armedangels 20160903 Lb Armedangels 09 Maila 27459 Final

What advice would you give to aspir­ing eco-entre­pren­eurs, espe­cially those with an interest in sus­tain­able appar­el?
Don’t respect the status quo – change it and let no one tell you it’s impossible. It’s not! It will be tough but it’s worth it.

How have you seen the sus­tain­able fash­ion industry change/​develop since launch­ing ARME­DAN­GELS?
The Fair Fash­ion Mar­ket is def­in­itely grow­ing. Our sales fig­ures and retail requests prove it. When we star­ted ARME­DAN­GELS in 2007 we had a team of 3 in a shared office space in Cologne, only selling our products via our online shop. Today we are almost 60 people, selling online and off­line in more than 800 Point-of Sales in 16 coun­tries. People start being more con­scious about what they wear and where it is pro­duced. That’s great. But even though people think about sus­tain­ab­il­ity more and more, in the end, they buy what they like. Design and price still come first for the major­ity of people. Fair enough. Nobody wants to wear an ugly shirt – no mat­ter how fair and organ­ic it is. This is the bal­an­cing act we have to man­age. Cloth­ing, which is fair, organ­ic and beau­ti­ful at the same time. It’s still a long way to go but that’s what you have to deal with if you want to become the fairest fash­ion label in the world.

22 Jun 2016 · neubau eyewear
Subscribe for our Newsletter and get 10% OFF!