After a promising start last year, ethical clothing company Achik is coming on leaps and bounds. Rachel Abreu speaks to Emily Cook from Achik to find out what the next year has in store.
Although – amidst all the chaos of the past 8 weeks – it seems as if the Freshers Fayre is something to be categorized as light years in the past, there was a stall there that made an impression on me that has lasted well into the wintry months, one draped in intricate Guatemalan textiles. Achik – which means ‘dream’ in K’iche – is not a new organization in St Andrews; however, while last year the organization was still finding its footing, this year seems to be one of significant goals.
According to Achik’s writer, model and blogger Emily Cook, Achik represents an effort to bridge ethical practice with beautiful fashion. “We’re striving to make something that’s unique and sustainable: we believe the artisans in Guatemala deserve a fairer and wider market than they’re currently receiving.” The goal of the organization is to provide the market for these products and to use the profits towards furthering the businesses of the locals, offering them the opportunity to provide for their children’s education. Perhaps the most unique concept of the organization is not in the products they have to offer, but instead in their viewpoint on providing high-quality items on par with high-fashion: “we want beautiful things that last long and aren’t merely disposable. In short, Achik is about providing unique high-fashion items to a wider market, and it’s about giving people a product that’s easy on the eye, the environment, and the ethics.”
The question now is, what’s in store for Achik this year? Aside from an increase in members who, according to Emily, “will help add to the great simmering pot of ideas and motivations”, the organization is looking to expand its mark online – adding a blog and an Etsy site, as well as developing an official website. The biggest goal for Achik this year is to develop the enterprise beyond St Andrews, making it available to a greater audience. “[We want] to make it into a business that can hopefully last just as long as the clothing we sell!” Emily says. People should also keep an eye out for several yet-to-be-revealed Achik events this year, as it seems the team has some big plans in raising awareness about the organization: “we plan to hold one big Achik event this semester, as well as joining several other events [such as enterprise week],” Emily notes, “next semester, we hope to do even more.”
The only thing left on Achik’s to-do list is to get more members of the St Andrews community involved in the actual wearing of the products, and for those brave enough to incorporate the eccentric Guatemalan patterns and colours into their standard black/grey/burgundy winter wardrobe, Emily offered some advice on where to start. There’s something for everyone: “More practically, the bracelets are super easy to throw on to add some pizazz to any outfit,” she says, “there are so many colours to choose from that if you have a few you can’t really go wrong.” For those looking to stand out amongst the throng of Superdry backpacks, the statement bags offer an effortless cool to everyday lecture wear, while still being able to transition into classy, standout pieces for evening wear. As for the homemakers out there, Emily offered another quirky piece of advice: “the shawls are amazing,” she gushes, “you can use them as bed runners, table runners,chunky scarves, or, of course, just as shawls.”
This is the organization to watch. Now’s the time to take a cue from Achik – the enterprise that dreams big and leaves a lasting impression – and use their unconventional Guatemalan products to make an impression of your own.
Picture Credit: Gillian Gamble, Illustration and Photography, ACHIK Facebook Page