Elegance and health amazingly interwoven
Armargentum – Elegance and health amazingly interwoven
»Armargentum has both elaborate and clear design – this is not a contradiction.«
What did your path look like before you founded Armargentum?
Before founding Armargentum with my husband, I was passionately responsible for marketing and PR for various brands in the luxury and premium segment. My personal focus has always been on the sustainable use of the earth’s resources and animal welfare has always been a major concern of mine.
I really became aware of this many years ago when I lived in China for a few years as a student. I am a sinologist and had to realise, alarmed by the rapid industrialisation there, that our planet will not be able to withstand this kind of treatment for much longer. Also, regarding the cruel and thoughtless treatment of animals.
But I am not referring to China alone, this is a global problem. It’s just that in a country like China, with its size, you really realise the extent of it in every respect.
How and why did you finally decide to start your own fashion brand?
My husband and I became aware of a very special fibre a few years ago, actually by chance. We were excited by its nourishing and regenerating properties and so we decided to further develop this medical fibre so that it became a beautiful fabric which is not only exceptional on the skin, but also looks very good. Thus the idea was born to launch Armargentum, Fashion like Skincare, in the market. It was only natural that we ensured that Armargentum was as sustainable and environmentally friendly as possible.
Armargentum does not use any zips or similar and only uses buttons made from stone nut. This is a product of the ivory palm. The palm tree loses this nut, and we pay the local people to search for stone nuts and deliver them to our partner company for us. This is a small but, in our opinion, valuable contribution to the preservation of the rainforest.
Our partnership with “Vier Pfoten” (editorial note: an animal welfare organization in Germany) is also very important to us. Animal welfare is very important to me personally and we work together with “Vier Pfoten” wherever we can.
Please tell us a little bit more about that special Fiber.
I became aware of the fibre by chance a few years ago when my dog had an eye infection. I was travelling abroad and a pharmacist gave me a piece of fabric to put on my dog’s eye. In fact, the inflammation got better immediately and I was thrilled. It took years of collaboration with our development team to turn it into a beautiful, fashionable fibre.
We are very proud of what we have achieved. The fibre is incredibly comfortable on the skin, has a UV filter of 50 and is even excellent for people with dermatological difficulties. Apart from that, it has a great feel and is easy to wash and iron. The properties of the fibre remain intact.
What do you understand by sustainable management and what claim do you have in sustainability to your business partners and suppliers?
For me, sustainable business really means thinking about every aspect of your business to make sure that you are operating in the most environmentally friendly way possible. I have a real problem these days with green-washing and companies trying to mislead the consumer without real solutions. All our products are Oeko-Tex certified and so are all our suppliers. Two of our main suppliers even go one step further and have become Bluesign certified to use significantly less water in the dyeing process of Armargentum products. Our fibre is made from organic cotton and lyocell and is therefore also fully biodegradable.
As a matter of principle, we pay attention to carpooling in our daily business in order to keep the traffic volume low, short supply chains. Our suppliers all come exclusively from Austria and Germany, only the stone nut comes from further away, of course. When shipping online, we avoid any kind of plastic and even our hangers are made of recycled papier-mâché, and they even look great (laughs).
How can you describe your design style and your design aspirations?
Armargentum has both elaborate and clear design. This is not a contradiction. We are fortunate to employ the best tailors and directors at our location in Salzburg and this allows us to conjure up breathtakingly elaborate creations every season.
Armargentum is all about craftsmanship and that is very important when you follow a clear design signature with intricate details. Our trademark has quickly become the flower of life that adorns many of our blouses and dresses.
We have developed techniques to smok the finest sweat fabric, for example, as if it were a knitted jumper. It’s all handmade. I have very high expectations of what fashion has to be able to do for me. It has to make me more beautiful, be good for my skin and not pollute the environment. If that is fulfilled, then you can have a lot of fun with fashion these days with a clear conscience.
What are your future plans for Armargentum?
We are developing very well and have been able to attract the attention of great traders in the last few months, despite Corona. I want to grow together with my team, but always with healthy growth and my focus on our environment in mind. That is my heart’s desire, to reach a real milestone towards true sustainability and health in the fashion industry with Armargentum.