LIKE ALL GOOD STORIES, ARKDEFO WAS BORN IN A SMALL FLAT ABOVE A RESTAURANT
HOW WE STARTED
In 2018, Elizaveta had just moved to Edinburgh from Berlin and began designing outfits for her photo projects: blending fashion design and location. One question bothered her - why has the clothes making skill been forgotten by the majority? In 2019 everything clicked: she created online courses to teach women how to make clothes from scratch. Down to earth techniques to make fashion design simple, affordable and fun. At this time, Andrew was still an Architect, but he left the profession in 2020 to join Elizaveta full-time in this new and exciting journey.
The name "Arkdefo" comes from our combined backgrounds: Architecture, Design & Photography. It also alludes to Art Deco, a style that inspires both of us creatively.
"I DESIGNED THIS" - POWER STATEMENT
We see the re-introduction of clothes making skills as a great way to slow down the machine that is fast fashion. We believe that understanding the process brings more mindfulness, builds problem solving skills and boosts mental health.
We care greatly about the destiny of textile waste, so we decided to do something about it. In 2020 we started collecting unwanted denim from the public. This was a great project to showcase patchwork and upcycling. Drawing on the Dada Movement of the 1920s and Chance Collage, Elizaveta experimented with patchwork techniques, breaking down garments and reconstructing into new designer apparel. Finding skilled makers to execute the detail proved difficult.
At this time we were approached by a Scottish manufacturer of waxed cotton asking if we’d be interested in collecting their deadstock fabric. It was an instant “yes”. We had no shop. No storage. We had a flat and this is where our fabric store began. One tonne of fabric, followed by a second and a third but we were determined to make a difference. We took on storage, then in early 2023 we finally moved into premises.
ARKDEFO IS A BUSINESS WITH SOUL
We save one tonne of deadstock fabric every month because we want you to have access to high quality materials without breaking the bank. But it is with our courses where we believe we can make the most positive impact. We teach pattern drafting courses because we want you to have the access to the life changing skills, no matter where in the world you are. We want clothes making skills to be normalised. We want you to express yourself in any way you want.