Swedish slow fashion brand Asket is opening its first physical store in Stockholm on Saturday, 22nd May 2021. Launched in 2015 as an online-only D2C brand, Asket has used its online presence to spearhead transparency and accountability and now wants to bring this same approach to physical retail.
“To slow down consumption, we need people to start understanding and appreciating what they buy. So we see the store as an opportunity to offer an immersive and transparent experience, beyond what we’ve been able to offer online,” explains Asket co-founder August Bard-Bringéus in a press release.
And indeed, with transparent pricing and labels, factory insights, supply chain transparency and the impact receipt, Asket has worked hard and continues to do so to communicate the inherent value and cost of each of their garments. So far, this has been done all online but the brand also believes that “nothing quite conveys the value of a garment better than getting tactile with it”.
So that is why in its first physical retail space at Norrmalmstorg 1 in central Stockholm, the brand does not only displays clothes for sale like any regular store but invites visitors to join the journey of their garments, from raw material to manufacturing, use and repair, sharing the garment’s manufacturing process, fibre and material quality.
“The space is designed to encourage people to get hands-on not only with the finished garments, but with their components: greasy wool, recycled PET insulation or raw Corozo nuts used for buttons. With a lounge area and fitting rooms that encourages dwell time, Asket is encouraging considered purchasing decisions - or not purchasing at all. And there won’t be any obvious sales registers, a subtle reminder that the Asket store isn’t a place for overconsumption,” says the slow fashion brand.
This translates to a 116 square meter space, designed by Specific Generic, that is organised around the permanent collection of garments and presents it with purpose-built, locally produced ash wood shelving that contrasts with a rough concrete floor and exposed ceiling. The lounge and fitting room area has been tucked away behind stainless steel panels to “create a feeling of intimacy and conversation that lends itself well for customers to receive personal fittings”.
While many brands and retailers are currently cutting back on their physical presence, Asket believes fast is a thing of the past and slow is here to last. “There’s still a great opportunity in brick-and-mortar if done right. We want to remind customers that they should be more intentional about their purchasing decisions,” adds Bard-Bringeus.