The Swedish men’s wear brand working to “restore value to the apparel industry” is stepping into the women’s category with a tight collection of wardrobe essentials.
Starting with six garments, Asket announced it is launching its first permanent women’s wear collection in August, ranging from organic cotton tops to jeans available in 50 sizes. The women’s collection follows the same seasonless platform as its six-year-old men’s range, focusing on garments made to stand the test of time in terms of quality and design, and is manufactured under transparent and responsible guidelines. The first three garments—a T-shirt, a button-down shirt and jeans—will be available for purchase from mid-August. Knitwear made from post-consumer recycled wool will follow in October.
Each style will be launched as part of a beta release of some 300 pieces. Asket plans to scale up production in early 2022 after a final round of customer feedback enables the company to refine the garments. This model “not only minimizes waste and creates better garments but also engages customers in the complexities of creating clothing,” the company stated.
The women’s collection has been two years in the making. The design team set out to source the best farms and suppliers for fiber quality and production practices, and tested over 27 different fabrics. It also produced up to 10 rounds of prototypes to accommodate more than 30 different fit models, compared to the industry standard to test on just one.
Similar to Asket’s men’s collection, the women’s range will offer an extended sizing system. Tops are offered in XXS-XXL and jeans cover 11 waist sizes (23-34), three lengths (30-34) and two builds (straight and curvy). “One of the core tenets of Asket is fit,” said co-founder August Bard-Bringéus, adding that for too long the fashion industry has “squeezed” billions of consumers into just five sizes, XS-XL.
“Unlike men, whose main frustration tends to be around length, our research found that women’s fit frustrations are rooted in body shape,” he said. “So our product team has conducted countless hours of research and worked with fitting models across body types to better understand these frustrations. With it, we hope to develop silhouettes and a sizing system to make sure more women can find better fitting clothing.”
The women’s jean, called the Standard, is a tapered silhouette that Bard-Bringéus points out doesn’t fit into the traditional labels like skinny, boyfriend or flare. The blue jean is made with 13-ounce Italian denim, composed of 98 percent organic cotton and 2 percent biodegradable elastane. The company trialed six different denim fabrics before landing on this one. “It’s a heavier denim than most women’s wear jeans but with just the right amount of stretch. It gives structure in all the right places, whilst maintaining some flexibility,” he said.
Asket plans to eventually introduce different washes and styles.
“Since our inception in 2015, we’ve been on a course that has continuously expanded our understanding and notion of responsibility as an apparel brand, supported by a wholly different business model,” Bard-Bringéus said. “Our sole purpose is to help us better value our clothing, having us not just make do, but be happier with less.”
The company considers the environmental impact of its products from fiber to end of life. By showing people exactly what goes into making their garments, Asket believes it can encourage more considered purchasing decisions and an appreciation for clothing while increasing garment longevity.
The brand introduced The Impact Receipt last year, a consumer-facing calculation that breaks down and shares the true eco impact of their garments. Through the printed receipt, Asket shares data about how much water and energy is consumed in the production of the garment as well as how much carbon dioxide is emitted. It has also overhauled its packaging by opting for glassine bags made from Forest Stewardship Council-certified paper and reducing the thickness of the cardboard it uses. Doing all that helped Asket cut its emissions by 47 percent, it said.
The women’s collection will retail for $50-$150. “As with men’s wear, we’ll have transparent pricing so our customers can see the landed cost as well as our mark-up on every piece,” Bard-Bringéus said. “It’s our way of showing the inherent value of a garment, whilst at the same time giving the consumer an honest price.”