Former architect Ulrika Bernhardtz spent years designing H&M stores before she was appointed by the apparel giant to help launch a new brand concept, Arket--meaning "sheet of paper" in Swedish, signaling the brand's commitment to minimalism--which launched in 2018. Going against the grain of fast fashion, Arket is all about producing high-quality basics designed to last season after season. To make the best products, Bernhardtz's team has scoured the globe for the most expert factories. By leveraging H&M's economies of scale, the brand is able to charge reasonable prices for these garments. To offer the consumer transparency into its supply chain, Arket offers a glimpse into the factories where individual products are made.
Over the next few years, the brand hopes to scale the Arket concept and apply learnings to the parent company.