Aeance – the fusion of sportswear and high fashion
Aeance – the fusion of sportswear and high fashion
»It was unthinkable for us to start our own business without wanting to make a difference.«
Hello Nadine, hello Arendt, please introduce yourselves and Aeance.
Nadine: Arendt and I founded Aeance in 2015. The initial idea came from a need that we had ourselves. We always loved clothing with a reduced design and the highest possible quality. However, the ‘function’ of everyday clothing was simply not enough for us, and it just wasn’t versatile enough for travel and sport. We wanted a combination of both worlds, serious technical function with elegant, reduced design.
Clothing that isn’t limited to one purpose, but can be used for sport, travel and everyday life in the same way. We are ambitious endurance athletes and outdoor enthusiasts, therefore we know very well how much potential lies in the right equipment – in sports and also in everyday life. This is how the idea for Aeance came to life. And of course, the focus on the highest possible ecological sustainability was and is a fundamental and important personal mission for us.
Our beautiful planet Earth – and our future – is threatened by greed and carelessness on a large scale, and the fashion & textile industry unfortunately plays a major role in this. It was unthinkable for us to start our own business without wanting to make a difference.
Aeance stands for the fusion of sportswear and high fashion. Especially in terms of materials, you stand out from other brands. What aspects are important to you in this context?
Arendt: Materials are our great passion – we are real ‘material geeks’. Everything starts with functionality and quality. This is what makes comfort, weather resistance, climate management, ease of care and durability possible, all essential aspects that our items offer. With the right choice of our garments, you can travel light for a pretty long time.
Derived from this, we always try to use the most environmentally friendly material for the corresponding product and its requirements. We have built up a close network with wonderful, and highly innovative suppliers. We like to use natural materials or bio-based materials with good technical properties such as merino wool or micro modal, and also synthetic materials where the function requires it, always in accordance with the strictest ecological and ethical standards such as bluesign®, OEKO-TEX® or GRS (Global Recycle Standard). In our most recently launched items in collaboration with industrial designer Konstantin Grcic, 96% of the textiles are recycled, pure natural materials, biodegradable or bio-based.
It is also very important to us to avoid PFCs – these are harmful ‘everlasting chemicals’ that remain in the environment forever, but unfortunately are still used in many products on the market – especially in weatherproof clothing. By now, PFCs can be detected in the blood of every human being. The Hollywood film ‘Dark Waters’ from 2019 deals with this topic very impressively.
Currently a lot is changing in the fashion industry in terms of sustainability. What are your biggest concerns?
Nadine: The topic is enormously complex. There is no ultimate solution yet, except to massively limit consumption and focus on quality. Even materials that currently have a predominantly sustainable reputation still have disadvantages: Organic cotton, for example, often requires an immense amount of resources. When it comes to wool, there is only limited raw material for the entire population, apart from the fact that the animal welfare also has to be taken into account. Recycled or current bio-based synthetics can also only be an intermediate step towards even more sustainable synthetic materials.
Nevertheless, it is very important to take these steps, to live change and to push it further. In any case, we see the meta-themes in the field of sustainability in innovative, even more sustainable materials and the responsible use of resources – and in circularity. A lot will happen in research and a whole new generation of materials will emerge. Another extremely important issue are secure and well-paid jobs. We cannot accept to let others pay the price for our clothes.
The aim is to develop materials and products that are not less bad, but good. The entire textile processing industry has to change, and actually these changes should have been made yesterday. A lot has happened in the last 5 years but the biggest issue is probably that we are running out of time. When we founded Aeance, sustainability was a niche topic and people sometimes even laughed about it. Today, at least in terms of communication, it is almost impossible to avoid it. This makes it even more important to distinguish between ‘greenwashing’ and real substance, which requires credible and transparent certificates.
Without legislative requirements, it will hardly be possible to further promote a rapid and, above all, broad-based change in industry and society. Also, the idea of recycling, for example, is taken ad absurdum if it is used as a justification for fast fashion and fast-moving, superfluous consumption.
We want to inspire everyone to consume fewer but better things – and only when there is a real need for them – ‘Less but better’ is our core idea. Our planet is in a terrible state, the facts about climate change and species extinction are fatal for humanity as a result. Nevertheless, we firmly believe that a deep connection and passion for nature can still enable us to have a positive future, and we want to inspire this. Our mantra is ‘Nature for Future’.
Your collection is season-less. Can you tell us what the idea is?
Nadine: We have always questioned the necessity of seasons in fashion. Of course we have different climates due to the seasons. And of course something ‘new’ is always exciting.
On the other hand, seasons are used in the industries to sell as many products as possible in a short time, which then quickly become ‘old’. This is fundamentally against our philosophy. That’s why we prefer ‘layering’, everything can be combined flexibly and as needed. In the sense of a modular system.
The industrial designer Konstantin Grcic designed the third collection for Aeance. How did the collaboration happen? What makes the symbiosis of product and fashion design so special?
Arendt: We have known Konstantin for a while; we are fans of his designs. It is not without reason that he is one of the most renowned industrial designers. When Aeance launched, he already tested some of our items and wore them regularly. The idea for a joint collection came to us quite spontaneously. He immediately loved the idea, and responded that as an industrial designer he had never designed a clothing collection before.
That was exactly our reason for asking him, because we wanted to have a different perspective on clothing. Overall, we also don’t want to overuse ‘fashion’ as a term in our concept. Fashion and artistic expression is an important source of inspiration for us. At the same time, our focus is simply to develop good and aesthetically designed products with Aeance, and we see ourselves more as a brand for functional clothing than as a fashion label. From our point of view, this fits perfectly to industrial design.
How would you describe a perfect outfit?
Arendt: Ideally, the outfit must fit in any situation – or at least in as many as possible. We have this idea of ‘Future Apparel’ in mind – a new generation of clothing that makes changing clothes superfluous.
We believe that in the future everyone will demand some kind of technical apparel that you can wear all day – from the city to the mountaintop and into bed… well, or let’s say into the sleeping bag on the mountaintop. It is comfortable, it doesn’t smell, it is elegant and reduced, you don’t immediately see its function. It simplifies our lives and increases our well-being.