Wearwell's co-founder Emily Kenney chats with Harry Fricker, Co-founder + Creative Director of Arvin Goods, based in British Columbia, Canada in a small town on the west coast of Vancouver Island called Ucluelet. They discuss all about his passion for the environment, what sets Arvin Goods apart from other brands, and their favorite comfy socks.
Emily Kenney: What motivated you to start Arvin Goods?
Harry Fricker: Before building Arvin Goods I had been working as a Designer and Creative Lead on a really wide range of projects, from brand building to developing hotel concepts and interior design direction. I’ve always had a passion for the products I wear and buy, where they are from, who made them, and the story behind the brands, so it felt inevitable that I would build my own. Then, I met Dustin Winegardner back in 2016 and he had the idea to start a basics brand making clean products using the waste produced by the fashion industry. The questions we were focused on were: where do the material scraps go when they hit the cutting room floor? What about all the post-consumer clothing that doesn't make the cut at Salvation Army or Goodwill? That was our starting point and we had the in.
Emily: How did your interest in sustainability begin?
Harry: Growing up on the coast in the UK, I spent so much time in the ocean and outside hiking, cycling, and enjoying the outdoors. I developed a natural passion for the environment and the importance of caring for the places we live in. Fresh out of university, I worked for the UK brand Finisterre and learned a ton about production, good materials, and the nuts and bolts of running a brand. Their mission is to build functional and sustainable products for people that love the ocean. This work experience gave me great insight into the world of fashion and the right moves we need to take to do good.
Emily: What’s one piece of advice you would give someone who is wanting to shop more sustainably?
Harry: Start small. Don't just jump in thinking you have to change everything, as that's pretty daunting and expensive!
Emily: What sets Arvin Goods apart from other brands?
Harry: The products we make all have stories. From the materials they are made with, to the people and factories we work with. We haven’t decided to ‘become “sustainable”’ because the consumer wants it. It was a foundational part of why we started Arvin in the first place. Conscious product and business practices have been here from our inception.
Emily: Yes! That’s absolutely why we love carrying Arvin products. In 3 words, how do you describe your brand’s aesthetic?
Harry: Clean Classic Designs.
Emily: And what are your favorite Arvin sock styles?
Emily: Love those. I personally am a huge fan of the Casual Sock. They’re so soft and I love the colors! What’s next for Arvin - any exciting sustainability initiatives that you’re looking forward to?
Harry: We are currently building a Material Reclaim Program, where you’ll be able to send us your old clothing in exchange for credit at the Arvin Goods store. We’re going circular!
Emily: That is so exciting, congrats! It’s been great chatting with you, anything else you want to share with wearwell’s community?Harry: Arvin Goods is a small brand. Our team is all in the Pacific Northwest, with the HQ being in Seattle. We’re a tight team of 11 and I couldn’t be prouder of what we have accomplished so far!