MEET KERRIIH W/ ELISA AND MICHELA
A shared passion for handmade knitwear and crochet, combined with an experimental approach and the necessity of change in the fashion system, led to the creation of Kerriih. We talked to founders Elisa and Michela about design, creativity and using the potential of discarded materials to create a more responsible fashion brand.
"Our surrounding is our inspiration and playground, from every experience we live, [...] we extract ideas and translate it by listening to our desires and imagination."
What 2 words best describe Kerriih?
When did you start Kerriih, and what inspired you to?
Kerriih started in Berlin in December 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was an organic and spontaneous turn of events. Our passion for handmade knitwear and crochet, combined with an experimental approach and the necessity of change in the fashion system, led to the creation of Kerriih.
Our surrounding is our inspiration and playground, from every experience we live, which can go from cooking to moving our body to the rhythm of music, we extract ideas and translate it by listening to our desires and imagination. We sponsor creative freedom which support the most intrinsic needs and can touch a wide range of fields, this is the reason why Kerriih’s creation are so various and diverse.
Tell us about the team behind the brand.
It’s Elisa and Michela, two bodies one soul. Elisa studied fashion design and she focuses on graphics and communication. Michela has a concept design background and takes care of the technical part of the brand. We share the creative process since Kerriih would no exist without the combination of our creative vision which moves in a symbiotic dance.
What’s playing on the office / studio stereo?
We often listen to NTS radio, we both really love Charlie Bones sets. But beside this we adapt the music we listen to our energy needs, spacing from Italian pillars like Battisti, A. Celentano and L. Dalla to more experimental techno/ electronic music like Shanti Celeste, Beatrice Dillon and Roza Terenzi. We also enjoy listening to our talented DJ friends : And.e and Atimpuri
We define good design as ‘making positive impact on people and the planet a key input in the design stage’. How do you approach this at Kerriih?
Kerriih’s aim is to use the reusable and produce zero waste, from day one we have committed to set those as the bases of our brand. It is one of our goals to propose a more responsible and conscious approach towards the fashion industry. By using regenerated yarns from old jumpers and stocks meant to be thrown away, we want to help minimise waste, show how much resourceful material is thrown away and what you can actually do with it without living one tiny thread behind.
You get your stocks from quite varied places - from a grandma's old yarns to a factory surplus - how do you find these materials in such interesting places?
It started through personal contacts and a series of lucky events. The territory we live in is known for its knitwear production, therefore it's not difficult to find knitwear labs which are willing to give us their waste. Our main 'distributors' come from collaborations or by speaking with people and explaining them our project. We often find people who are willing to help us. There is also a good dose of research in our findings which is now leading to the creation of a growing network made by truly beautiful people.
To champion transparency, we always ask designers - what would you like to do better, or are you working on improving?
We like to be consistent in all aspects of the project, from design to distribution. As a new born brand, in the past 6 months we have mainly focused on finding the most responsible balance/approach within design and manufacturing. Now, we are focusing on improving the packaging, making it both unique and degradable. We are aware that it’s tricky to find always the most sustainable way to approach something and much time is needed to build a fully sustainable brand. There is always space for improvement, therefore we do not define ourselves as a sustainable brand but rather try to be as responsible as we can on each of our choices, pushing for greener choices day after day. We are fully committed on keeping ourselves up to date and keep search for the least impacting option, and if there is nothing that satisfy us out there, we’ll just create it ourselves.
Where is Kerriih going in the future?
We’d like to include more people in our projects. We are currently defining the structure of Kerriih and simultaneously working on some interesting collaborations so to stimulate other creatives (or not) and set the base for a platform of exchange.
As we all know, the fashion industry as a whole is responsible for huge environmental and social issues. How would you like to see the industry change and progress?
We believe there is a huge need of reframing and restructuring the habits and the rhythm of the fashion industry. Starting from a more transparent and honest communication, consequently creating awareness and re-educating on the value of the items. We also push for less production and more made to order, less fast fashion and more made to last in order to structure a system in which waste is repurposed and environmental impact is minimised.
What advice would you give to people who want to be more responsible when they’re shopping?
Buy responsibly. Know what you buy and from whom. How it’s produced, assembled and how’s worker conditions?
Buy better. Higher quality means more durable, which leads us to create less waste.
Buy less. Fewer products but the good one. As van der Rohe once wisely said ‘less is more’.
Thanks Elisa and Michela!
You can find out more about Kerriih and shop their collection here.