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October 12, 2018
This is me, Berit. I am a 32 year old girl from Berlin, Germany, now living in sunny Australia with my lovely Aussie husband.
When I started studying fashion design many years ago I always had in my head that I wanted to go and work for a big surfwear brand. The beach and the surf lifestyle had always been a big passion of mine and I thought it would be my dream job to work in this industry. I did achieve that dream not long after I finished studying and worked for Billabong and Quiksilver in France and later for Rusty Surfboards in Australia for a few years. While I learned a lot by working for big brands, the biggest learning curve was that this was no longer my dream.
The more I travelled with work, the more I realised how terrible the industry was for the planet and for the people at the other end of the supply chain. I have always been a huge lover of nature and in my own little world an Eco warrior. I have also always believed in social justice and believe that no matter where and how you grow up, everyone should have the same chances in life. Seeing firsthand the impact the industry has on the environment and on the makers and the little (if any) care most companies show, it frustrated me a lot. I started to research a lot about these topics, read books and saw every documentary I could to know more about what was going on. The more I learned about the impact of the fashion industry on the people and the planet the less I liked working for those big companies that didn’t care much.
Last year I finally had enough. I set out to start working on my long-time dream: my own small fashion label, ethically produced and with sustainability in mind to bring positive change. Slow fashion. Kind to people and planet.
From a young age I have been fortunate enough to travel around Europe in a campervan with my parents every school holidays which made me into a huge lover of travel and cultures and handicrafts. The markets in southern Europe have always been a huge fascination for me as a kid. I moved around a lot for my job and got to experience living in amazing places like Turkey with a rich culture in handicrafts. From my love of travel and traditional cultures and handicrafts the idea was born to combine the two and create a slow fashion label that collaborates with artisans to help preserve these beautiful ancient techniques, and that is also ethically produced and helps fight exploitation in developing countries. I am very passionate about making a difference in the world, both for people and the planet.
Once I decided to start on my own ethical journey it was clear that I would take the search of an ethical manufacturer and artisans to collaborate with a step further and use it as an excuse to travel around South East Asia for a few months. I had done a tone of research before starting on my journey and had a list of people I wanted to visit and see if I could potentially work with them. On my list were artisan collectives, ethical manufacturers and also designers that work in this space already and could help me out. I started in Vietnam, went from north to south, over to Cambodia, then up to Laos and over to northern Thailand. It was an epic adventure full of learning and connecting. I learned about cultures, ancient traditions and also a lot about myself. I made connections with beautiful Hmong women in Northern Vietnam, many fascinating Fair Trade organisations in Cambodia that all help each other out and I definitely connected with my plastic hating inner eco warrior :).
And so my big adventure began…
October 15, 2018
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