Did you already know “the Upcycling fashion store”? Have you ever heard about it?
If not, it’s time to introduce you to the world of conscious and upcycling fashion.
The Upcycling fashion store is a small fashion shop in Berlin Mitte ,which shows you that it’s possible to have fashion without polluting the environment, through the work of different upcycling designers and their amazing and clever creations born from wasting fabrics and old clothes. The idea from which they move is the one to turn old, apparently worthless materials into something new and precious, ready for a new life.
This is the concept that drove in 2010, four ambitious and fashion conscious young persons, Arianna, Luise, Carina and Jonathan, to Berlin to found the first upcycling store in the city and their own shirt label ALUC. All shirts are coloured and funny, made from pre-consumer waste fabrics and caracterised by detachable collars that can also be bought separately at the store.
What they want to offer is a nice and cool, but also eco and affordable fashion, raising this way customers’ awareness of sustainable fashion. Every garment they sell reflects where it is coming from, so it’s not wrong to say that every piece of clothing in this shop tells a story.
Here you can find various and international fashion labels, from Milch to Globe Hope, from ReCLOTHINGS to SAG+SAL, and last and obviously ALUC.
The shop is little but cosy and it’s really easy to move around and find what you are looking for. Arianna, Luisa, Carina and Jonathan are always welcoming and ready to answer to your curiosities about this unusual but smart way to make fashion.
I personally asked Arianna, co-founder of the store and Italian friend of mine, some questions about how everything started.
1) How did you get the idea of this shop?
The idea has emerged from the need of gathering all the different designers doing upcycling under one unique roof and concept. The aim was also to create a fix spot in town where people can go to inform themselves about upcycling and its possibilities.
We just realized that there was no such a store in Berlin (in general in Europe), so we created it.
2) Where have you met the guys that are now your partners in this adventure?
I met Luise and Carina in the Summer 2009 during my internship at „From Somewhere“ in London. „From Somewhere“ is an upcycling fashion company. There I started to get to know from closer the concept of upcycling and its amazing possibilities in terms of creativity and sustainability.
Luise, Carina and me have been getting on well with each others since the first moment we all sat in the atelier together. Our teamwork was fantastic. So after some months we decided that we wanted to keep on working together.
When we started to put ideas together to start up our own fashion label, we realized that we did not know much about finances and business plans. That´s why we asked Jonathan (a good friend of Carina) to help us and he immediately joined the team!
3) Why did you choose Berlin?
We choose Berlin because of its creativity, open-mindness and for economic reasons. We found here the fertile soil where to start spreading the world of upcycling fashion. And of course because we love this town!
4) Why have you decided to leave Italy and which was the first impression of this metropolis?
My interest for sustainability is for sure one of the main reasons why I left my country. Already during my studies I felt my preparation incomplete. I had the desire to get to know more in an open environment. That´s why I moved at first place to London.
Coming from London, Berlin doesn´t look at all like a big metropolis. London was speedy, grey and stressful. On the contrary Berlin is calm, green and smiley.
5) Can you give an advice to all the young people that are going to do this “big step” or to those ones who are scared about it?
I can just advise people to leave their own country to live somewhere else at least once in their lifetime. To live in another country means to open yourself to another culture, therefore is important to leave a bit of your own culture at home and keep yourself open to other influences.
To find a proper job in another country is nowadays quite hard and who is deciding for taking this way has to be conscious of the big effort that is needed. Learning the language is also really important, not just to find a good job, but also to understand the culture and the people around. To understand the others but also to integrate yourself in the system and let the others understand you.
So people, don’t be scared to leave your comfortable home to live somewhere else abroad, because it’s always worth it.
Visit the shop: Anklamer strasse,17 10115 Berlin
Check it on http://www.upcycling-fashion.de/
Foto credits: aluc, Chiara Bonetti, Posh Photography, David Nassim, Marc Huth