Who is behind the shop and where the idea came from?
Arela was born in 2006 when textile designer and colour specialist Maija Arela got excited about modern cashmere knits in Paris. At the time, there wasn't much cashmere available in Finland except for very classic designs, and Maija immediately understood how great material cashmere would be in the Finnish climate and the potential for cashmere knits in minimalist designs and considered colours.
Nowadays Arela is run alongside Maija by her daughters Anni, who's the head designer and Viivi, who takes care of marketing and communications. Our focus has been since the beginning in minimalist, functional design, high-quality natural materials and considered colours.
How many people work for your company?
We are altogether 5 persons working with Arela today.
What have been the highlights for your company?
How do you aim to improve the welfare of the environment and human.
Our whole philosophy is about well-being and better everyday. We aspire to enhance our customers life by making products that are well-made, pleasant to use, can take the test of time and are made with respect to humans and nature.
In addition, our services make our customers life a little bit easier. We provide a care service for our knitwear that keeps them in use and makes them look and feel like new.
Has your company had to give up something to be more sustainable and responsible?
We are unable to compete with prices in the manner that is nowadays a norm in the clothing business. We only have to seasonal sales per year and we aim to price our products in a transparent manner. We do not push the prices because that would not be fair for the animals and all the labour that goes into making one garment. If we pushed the prices lower, it would mean we would have to lower our quality and we are not willing to do that. Low prices are not sustainable.
What are your visions for the future?
We aim to build Arela into a lifestyle brand that is known in addition to our high-quality clothes for our services and immaterial products.
What is your motto?
On vaikea keksiä parempaa mottoa kuin Dieter Ramsin "Less but better".
What inspires you?
We are inspired by many things that surround us: culture, art, films, books, music. But also travel experiencces, people seen on the street etc. For Anni the starting point of a collection is often a certain feeling in a certain place and time that is hard to define. It's quite abstract, actually.