We asked Lilly Kungs, a 22-year-old fashion student who founded the brand Archive Attire, how she did it. Get ready to find lots of inspiration from this amazing story that starts with a passion for vintage and second-hand shopping.
By Daniela Valle and Cecilia Vareman. Cover image: Courtesy of Archive Attire.
How is the fashion industry adapting to the environment and sustainability? Is it an achievable dream for a young woman to create a sustainable fashion brand?
The now 22 years old fashion student Lilly Kungs started her company Archive Attire at the age of 20. Being very interested in vintage clothing, her aspiration when starting the company was to include her love for great finds in second-hand stores and give the brand a clear sustainable focus.
By bringing new life to previously worn pieces, the Swedish Archive Attire brand sells handpicked vintage clothing, always focusing on trends and quality.
The brand has a non-waste policy as its core value and hopes to inspire people to buy more ‘slow fashion’ garments.
This interview with the brand’s founder will provide views on sustainability, continuing a series of interviews with female-owned up-and-coming fashion brands headed by creative women and focused on sustainability. Dreamers who do.
What do femininity and sustainability mean to you, and how do you incorporate them into your brand?
When it comes to femininity, I believe fashion can be a powerful tool for self-expression and confidence-building. That’s why I take a lot of care to curate a selection of preloved clothing that feels unique and stylish. Incorporating my own creativity into the brand through the photos and visuals is a source of inspiration.
At the same time, sustainability is a core value for my fashion brand. By selling preloved clothing, it helps to reduce the amount of waste and pollution that’s generated by the fashion industry. I believe that sustainability is also about creating a mindset of mindful consumption, where we cherish the things we have and make the most of them
Overall, my goal with Archive Attire is to create a brand that’s both sustainable and feminine, where women can find beautiful, unique clothing that makes them feel confident and empowered without sacrificing their values or contributing to harming the planet.
How do you see sustainable fashion evolving in the future?
I see sustainable fashion and second-hand as an evolving movement. When I was younger, I was almost ashamed to shop second-hand, but over time it has become a point of pride for me and many people. I feel like it reflects our changing attitudes towards more responsible buying. What began as a trend has now become a lifestyle choice for many, which I find both inspiring and encouraging. I love that second-hand is a conscious yet creative, fun, and unique way of expressing one’s style. However, as we are progressing toward a more sustainable fashion industry, there is still much work to be done. Unfortunately, fast fashion giants continue to grow, parallel to the increasing demand for sustainable fashion. I believe that more people must recognize that this isn’t the direction fashion should be heading and that we must focus on a more sustainable and ethical future.
What’s the story behind your brand? What motivated you to start it?
It all started with my passion for second-hand shopping. I’ve always loved searching for hidden gems in thrift stores, but I noticed that many people find it daunting and uninspiring. So, I set out to create a different kind of second-hand shopping experience – one that’s just as stylish and high-quality as buying from your favorite high-end store, but without contributing to the production of new clothes.
I experienced a gap in the market for a second-hand store that would prioritize inspiration and shopping experience. My goal is to create a space where people can find beautiful, unique pieces they would love wearing and where shopping itself would be a pleasure.
What other female designers inspire you at the moment?
I would say Madeleine Frandsen, founder of Havre Studio, a label founded in 2019 between Copenhagen and Mexico City focusing on sustainability and ethical production. I love their remake products and find their work truly inspirational. Recently, I also found out about Irma Skjöth (byirma), who makes lovely remake bags from Swedish vintage fabrics.
Cecilia Vareman is an undergraduate student in Arts Curating at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.
Daniela Valle is an undergraduate student in Fashion Business and Digital Marketing at Istituto Marangoni Firenze.