The shirt label upcycling luxury hotel bed linen

The shirt label upcycling luxury hotel bed linen

Berlin-based Archivist Studio – founded by Eugenie Haitsma and Johannes Offerhaus – creates simple white shirts using upcycled fabric from luxury hotel bed linen

Upcycling used to have associations with wonky old furniture, Pinterest boards and discarded tyres, but now the word itself is enjoying something of a rebrand thanks to labels such as Archivist Studio. The brand makes timeless, upcycled white shirts from the old bed linen of luxury hotels.

The story began, quite simply, with Eugenie Haitsma wondering what happens to hotel sheets after they are discarded. She called a friend who worked at a luxury hotel in London’s Mayfair, to find out what happens to used sheets and discovered that they are regularly thrown away, often for ‘the smallest of holes or stains’. 

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Photography: Arturo Bamboo

Her friend agreed to send her some. ‘I was completely in awe,’ says Haitsma, ‘because they were such amazing quality; really nice Egyptian cotton, soft and still in good shape.’

The fabric, she says, was perfectly suited to shirts – a view confirmed by the brand’s co-founder Johannes Offerhaus, a designer known for his sculptural couture designs and regular shirt – wearer. The pair – both Dutch, both Berlin-based – met on a bus in Budapest last summer, striking up a three and a half hour conversation en route to a party. Offerhaus was ‘looking for something purposeful’ to create and was struck by Haitsma’s bright idea.

The large surface area of sheets lends itself to upcycling as does its ready availability. Archivist Studio already has enough fabric to last for the next three years, and scaling – dependant on donations from other luxury hotels – is relatively easy. All production is currently done in a family-run factory in Romania but Haitsma and Offerhaus hope to bring production closer to home. 

For now it is all about shirts, but ‘we are definitely 100% open,’ says Offerhaus – ‘to blouses, shirt dresses. We wanted to start with this super basic shirt to make it easy to see that it’s created from beautiul, simple, upcycled fabric.’ §

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