ALKEME ATELIER, WASTE BECOMES PRECIOUS
Take what the world discards and turn it into a design accessory: this is ALKEME ATELIER’s “green” philosophy.
Alchemy, that is, the science that aimed at turning lead into gold, negative into positive. Centuries later, Alkeme Atelier draws full inspiration from alchemical philosophy in order to convey its core mission: to convert scraps and waste into a high-quality, added-value product. This is what lies behind the bags made with plant-based fibers that the NYC brand, awarded as the “Best Scenario Newcomer” in September 2019, showcased once again in Mipel last February. To create a virtuous cycle whose final products are first-rate bags, featuring a finely crafted design and manufactured with eco-friendly, innovative materials. Shelly Varma, the brand’s founder and head designer, explained that this is not a crusade against traditional leather. “We have nothing against leather. Quite simply, our bags want to be a second option, an alternative. Renowned companies and fashion houses as well have been taking a steady interest in vegetable fibers, it is always a good thing to provide customers with an ample selection of solutions.”
Fire, water, air and earth: these four elements inspire the names of the bags designed by Alkeme Atelier. Four is also the number of the recycled fibers used: pineapple leaf fiber, cactus fiber from Mexico, a fabric derived from the waste of Italy’s winemaking industry (grape skins, seeds, stalks) as well as vegan fiber produced in-house. As far as the latter is concerned, recycled material accounts for 75% of its structure and, just like the other ones, it is manufactured in Global Recycle Standard certified facilities (certification of the quality of the recycled material used). The corporate philosophy encompasses all the facets of the production cycle: “Whenever we can recycle or reuse, we go for it,” stated Varma, who then explained that linings and dust bags are made with a fabric developed out of plastic bottles thrown into the Ocean and with bamboo fiber respectively. What about the market’s feedback to this eco-friendly solution that does not go against traditional leather, but, if anything, imitates it? “The reception has been positive.
What about the market’s feedback to this eco-friendly solution that does not go against traditional leather, but, if anything, imitates it? “The reception has been positive. We have managed to sell our products in some prominent department stores in Canada, we have gained a foothold in Denmark and Germany, and we have been taking the first steps in Japan. It is a slow process, but we are growing steadily. You have to buy one of our products to experience first-hand its quality. That’s why, this year, we have launched a collection of wallets: with a small investment, you can see this with your own eyes.” www.shopalkemeatelier.com