Anekdot is a brand of sustainable underwear and swimwear that I discovered on Instagram; the first thing that struck me, along obviously with the garments themselves, were the images: unmade beds, old stonewashed walls, bright windows, living plants and dried flowers, water, the sea, wild nature. And then models in natural poses, stretching, doing yoga, walking on the beach, looking out from a window, rarely looking at the lens and if they do they laugh or smile almost always, relaxed, comfortable in the setting as if it were their own home. Moreover, even the aura of suffused eroticism that certain images emanate is not bad either.
Anekdot, I thought, is a happy brand, so I want to know more. I discover then that it has been around since 2015, that is conceived and produced in Berlin by Sofie Andersson, a Swedish designer, educated in Italy (as she wishes to make it clear in her bio and we like it) then trained in London by pioneers of sustainable fashion like Christopher Raeburn and From Somewhere (the latter is the brand founded by Orsola de Castro, one of the creators of the Fashion Revolution movement) from whom she learned the upcycling techniques, philosophy that is at the base of Anekdot’s creations.
But what exactly is upcycling? I have mentioned it several times talking about the various techniques related to sustainable fashion but I do not think I have ever defined it; in fact I myself have often made confusion between ‘recycling’ and ‘upcycling’ but the main difference is that in the first case rejects are subjected to a transformation or a process for which the final result is almost always of lower quality than the original, not to mention that the energy expenditure for the transformation is often enormous. In the case of upcycling, however, the old products are processed obtaining a value greater than the initial one; energy expenditure, nothing or almost and maximum prevention of waste production!
I opened this parenthesis so that the technique Sofie applies to underwear and swimwear she realizes can be clear; she herself points out, with a certain irony, that ‘upcycling’ does not mean wearing the underwear of others, of course not!, but recover something, in this case materials from factories, markets, other brands, to turn it into something else of greater value and beauty. Whether they are leftovers, end of lines, off-cuts, deadstock, vintage trimmings, the Anekdot artisan team works them by hand, obtaining unique pieces that, precisely for the reasons mentioned above, are also limited because they are difficult to reproduce.
In this sense, the philosophy underlying Anekdot is interesting, that is, to create and work on what is available; what could be seen as a limit is instead a challenge to look forward, a work of fantasy, a paradoxically unlimited creative stimulus. So stories are developed around each created garment (and here comes the creative power of the fabric and reuse techniques of which Cristiano Toraldo of France also speaks in his ‘Rivestire’) and the details, the anecdotes, acquire more importance, precisely because they represent the creative effort and imagination of their creator.
Stories that are like travels like ‘Looking for nothing’, described on the website of the brand as “an aromatic collection of uncompromising essentials that invites you to pause, reflect and acknowledge all the good that flourish around you”. These are delicious co-ordinates of lace in vivid red, sage green, pale pink and sheer black made with factory surplus in Sri Lanka, France, the United Kingdom and Italy (and we always get there!).
Or there is ‘Winter Garden’, sweet in the title but full of verve “to take each day by storm”; an all black collection “for courageous rebel hearts who live every moment,
and live it totally”.
‘Secret Bay (b)’ and ‘On the Rocks’ are swimwear collections that tell us about a trip to Sri Lanka, untouched nature, crystal clear sea and rocks where you can still feel the warmth of the setting sun. The swimsuits are made with a surplus of fabric from a factory and with regenerated nylon produced from recycled fishnets, as well as other discarded nylon. Also here black and clean lines with some small ‘frills’.
The team of Anekdot has made many others trips; I invite you to visit the site to find out what other stories and ‘voyages’ tells this beautiful original and sustainable brand, plus with always fascinating photo shoots. Question of anecdotes.