Without a doubt, Triarchy is one of the most popular sustainable denim brands out there. Besides their gorgeous designs and one of a kind Atelier pieces, the three siblings behind the brand also have a very inspiring story of being an ethical brand and tackling water waste issues in the fashion industry. To learn more about their values and how Triarchy turned into a successful sustainable brand, we’ve chatted with Adam, the Creative Director.
First and foremost, congratulations on winning this year’s Fashion Impact Award and the H&M Sustainability Award! Can you tell us more about your journey of turning into a sustainable, slow fashion brand, and what these awards mean to you?
My brother, sister and I started Triarchy in 2011 out of our love of denim. We fell in love with this material because of its versatility and lack of any socio economic placement. Denim is for everyone.
However, it became apparent to us how horribly wasteful traditional denim manufacturing is. We decided that the world didn’t need another denim brand so we were either going to stop the business or turn it into a vehicle for change.
That was no small feat, but two years in, being honored with these awards has been a huge milestone for all of us, both personally and professionally. The recognition from the industry has been overwhelmingly positive and it gives us the fuel we need to keep going.
Where does your brand name come from? Who/what influenced you to start Triarchy?
The word Triarchy means the coming together of three things to make one. My brother, sister and I are those three things that came together to make this brand. The starting of the brand came down to a shared passion for denim and good timing.
Your methods of denim production are not only conservationist, but also highly disruptive to the market as well. What do you think is driving the sudden shift to towards conscious purchasing especially within the denim industry?
I think word is finally starting to get out about how horrible denim production is and how irresponsible big brands are. It’s one of those truths that you can’t unlearn and so it hopefully inspires you to make better decisions.
Like when you pick up a piece of clothing look at your hands, and then imagine the hands of the person who made that garment. If you get the feeling they aren’t treated well then you shouldn’t buy what’s in your hands.
From the unique materials to your production process, everything is 100% transparent and ethical. Why do you think it’s important for customers to support ethical fashion businesses today?
By supporting ethical fashion businesses you are voting with your wallet. Voting with your wallet is a very real thing that can create change on a large scale. Shopping fast fashion is voting to oppress people and poison the world. The True Cost and River Blue are two documentaries that illustrate this alarmingly well.
Who is the Triarchy customer?
We’ve found since the shift to sustainability all walks of life seek us out. I had a 70 year old woman place a custom order the other day and we fulfilled 3 online orders the same day to
people in their 20’s so it’s literally anyone and everyone.
Tell us more about your Atelier collection and the inspiration behind it.
It was during one of many trips to the vintage suppliers in Los Angeles that it dawned on me that we were always trying to achieve vintage colors and shades by matching them to vintage denim. So instead of using water to do that I thought why not use the actual vintage materials, and so the Atelier was born. We make new pieces of sustainable luxury denim from vintage materials. No waste and hardly any water. What could be better than that?!
Do you have a moment in your brand’s history and achievements so far that you are the most proud of?
Winning the Fashion Impact Award and The H&M Sustainability Award last week at CAFA was a huge milestone for us, both personally and professionally.
If you could work together with one artist or designer, who would it be and why?
Gianni Versace. He is a huge inspiration to me in life and design. His boldness was exemplary of being true to oneself. For Artists, CJ Hendry. I am obsessed with her work. The realism blows my mind. I stood in front of one of her pieces once believing it to be a photograph until I was told it was a pencil drawing. I wonder if there would be a way to draw directly onto a denim jacket? I would never take that jacket off.
You’re working with your siblings, Ania and Mark. How does being siblings influence Triarchy? Do you have the same ideals in denim creation, or are there sometimes squabbles when working together?
We each handle a very different part of the company. I do design and Creative Direction. My sister Ania does Brand Management and our brother Mark is the Business Director, so there is hardly any stepping on toes. I run design by my sister all the time and vice versa. Family is family so we have to just deal with problems and move on! When we argue, it’s to the point, quick, and usually constructive.
If you could give one fashion advice to the Modafirma customers?
Buying quality is an investment that saves you money in the long run and it creates a very real sense of personal style. When you buy well you respect your purchases more, and that, in a way, is character building and gives you a sense of confidence when you walk out the door. It sets you up for success and gives you peace of mind: knowing you are supporting something worth while and taking it along on your journey.
What are your favourite items from Modafirma?
The Alien Bags are amazing!