You don’t have to browse ARQ’s feed for very long to pick up on their vibe. At first blush, the organic base layers brand gives off an air of playfulness and lightheartedness, but at the core of the brand’s mission is a clear sense of sustainability, inclusivity and diversity among women and their little ones. After chatting with ARQ creator Abigail Quist, it became clear that her commitment to making an intimates line that feels well, intimate, was hugely important. ARQ is there during your quiet moments—cozying up with a cup of tea, nursing a little one, exalting in a morning stretch—they exist to make you feel comfortable, supported, and beautiful.
ARQ has tapped into a very real need for simple base layers that are more than just pretty undergarments. The organic and American-made collection offers adorable sets for women, children, and babies. Abigail said it best, “The particular shape and fit of our high-rise undies surprised people with just how great underwear could look and feel and how it could function as a first layer in a significant and comforting way, rather than as something that is meant to disappear.”
So much intention is woven throughout the collection, from the mommy and baby sets to the adorable little matching scrunchies. But it goes beyond just the look and feel of the garments; behind the beautiful aesthetic is a company fiercely committed to quality, sustainability, and ethical labor standards. ARQ’s fabrics, manufactured in the US, and their dyeing process have both received the GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certification.
In addition to ARQ’s ethical production standards, the brand is premised on the idea that undergarments should be built to last, as they are unlikely to be thrifted and should be well-used by the end of their lifespan.
With a background in art and dance, Abigail is a maker at heart with an eye for detail. She’s always made clothes for herself and since having children, has begun making pieces for them too. After a little encouragement from her sister-in-law and now business partner, Abigail turned her craft into a business. What began as kids and baby collection soon blossomed into a brand much bigger than Abigail first envisioned. While most brands begin with an adults’ collection and extend into a children’s range, ARQ went in the opposite direction. Parents were inspired by ARQ’s cool kiddos collection and began putting in requests for adult versions.
Today, the collection includes closely fitting base layers for adults, children, and babies.
Although two distinct lines, ARQ’s collection embodies an undeniable bond between mother and child. Abigail suggests that perhaps this is a culmination of her craft as an artist as well as her role as a mother. As we delved into this aspect of the brand, Abigail gave us insight into some of her thoughts on motherhood,
“I’m not someone who thinks you have to become a parent to achieve some sort of next-level in life, but being a mother has stretched me and focused me like nothing else.
I owe so much to the challenges of becoming a parent and I’ve never worked harder at anything in my life—including trying to chill the f**k out!”.
For Abigail, the success of her business is deeply connected with her own wellbeing. As a mom, she is a big believer in a parent’s need for community and the importance of maintaining these communities. As a woman, self-care means being in the flow with something, whether it’s cooking, creating, painting, drawing, or reading. Abigail also believes in plants and food as medicine and (to no surprise to us), she loves the fullest signature Saffron Latte, which is powerful in flavor and medicinal in its properties to elevate mood and alleviate depression. According to the fullest founder, Nikki Bostwick, “Saffron helps lift your mood and prevent new mamas from going into a deep sadness by keeping spirits lifted.” Abigail added that the ritual of preparing a special drink for yourself is an expression of self-care. This practice, along with other rituals, helped guide her through her postpartum challenges.
In light of their successes as a small, indie brand, Abigail and her team are just getting started. An ARQ piece is living proof that a beautiful garment does not need to come at the expense of comfort or integrity. This coupled with the team’s commitment to stylish undergarments that don’t undervalue the earth, the brand is sure to grow in popularity.
Danielle Feria is a law student at Loyola Law School and a proud graduate of Loyola Marymount University. When she’s not wearing her law student hat, you can find her at yoga, pilates, or tinkering around her kitchen making plant-based treats. She loves poetry, podcasts, and strongly prefers tiktok over all other social media platforms… Follow @danielle.fairy for a good time.