Atelier Akeef: Menswear in Mitte
In August we wrote about the launch of Cock & Bull, London’s first menswear store dedicated to ethical fashion. Now a pioneering duo in Berlin is following suit by opening the first high-end ethical menswear boutique in the German capital’s Mitte district. Alan Sommerville and Michael Ashley have co-founded Atelier Akeef which “stocks only the most exceptional garments and accessories, where the materials have been sourced sustainably and the craftsmen compensated fairly.”
Sommerville and Ashley, aware of the growing consumer interest in where and by whom our clothes are made, created a customized label for each garment and accessory to describe the eco credentials of that item. The responsible ,style-led brands on offer include some well-know favourites of ours: Elvis & Kresse who upcycle decommissioned fire-hose to create beautiful, durable accessories, and Veja who consider Fairtrade principals and the reduction of environmental impact to be of upmost importance when producing their cool shoes and accessories.
Other designers less well-known to us include German brand Ekn Footwear who utilise vegetable and chrome free tanned leathers and organic cotton to produce their footwear and accessories. Their running shoes are made with recycled faux suede, a recycled rubber sole and organic canvas, whilst their leather styles are stitched where possible to minimise the use of glue and are made to me mended (the soles are designed to be easily replaced). Ekn’s footwear is made by a small family business in Portugal, their accessories are all hand-made in Germany and all their packaging is made from recycled materials.
We love that the ethos of sustainable design has been carried through into the store itself as the co-founders explain:
“Created using upcycled wood, sustainable clay and non-toxic colorants, [the shop] perfectly combines the two calling cards of Atelier Akeef: eco-friendly principles and no-fuss style. Accessories are presented upon reclaimed industrial trolleys and locally sourced slate, whereas the clothes hang in front of an original floor-to-ceiling, deep blue and Ochsenblut backdrop. Even the changing rooms are high-spec, featuring wooden Japanese sliding doors.”
Berlin residents and visitors are lucky to have such a well thought out shop in their midst - the fact that Atelier Akeef have an online shop and happily ship worldwide is very the good news for those not within easy reach of Mitte.