Michael Ashley and Alan Sommerville ran the Akeef store in Kreuzberg, before relaunching with a strong sustainable fashion concept in what was Davide Grazioli’s Atelier in the heart of the German city. The duo worked with furniture designer Rainer Spehl to design a warm, rich, yet refined interior, created almost entirely from recycled or sustainable materials. Each element was carefully considered, from the dusky grey clay render affording great thermal efficiency to the walls, to the wooden screens sourced from an old Japanese temple.
Sage green and red salvaged wood wall coverings tie in with the Akeef branding. Natural rope and reclaimed wooden shelving set off the array of clothes and accessories made of everything from cotton and wool to denim and cork. Shopping here is easy on the conscience because everything selected to appear in store contributes something positive to the world.
The high level of attention to detail and provenance by Ashley, the store’s buyer, makes it easy to discover new brands. Atelier Akeef’s clever labeling system means you can easily inform yourself about every product in stock. A simple checklist tells you that those Kings of Indigo jeans you have your eye on are recycled and organic. Even its classic woolen jumpers are sourced from heritage brand Johnsons of Elgin, which not only promotes ethical production but also donates its profits to local charities.
The mixture of classic cuts and styles from both traditional but forward-looking labels and modern brands are united by transparency, the essential value behind eco-fashion. Accessories brand Elvis and Kresse exemplify this by creating fantastic things with upcycled fire hoses from the London Fire Brigade. The firm’s wallets, bags and belts feel just like beautifully worn-in leather, infused with slight physical traces of their former lives protecting Londoners.
The relaxed energy in store is perfect for anyone seeking to change the direction of their consumption towards the positive.