Lifestyle

Combatting fast fashion: Fighting for social togetherness

Robin Balser is declaring war on fast fashion. The entrepreneur wants to turn the European clothing sector upside down with his start-up company Vinokilo.

What once began in a student’s flat soon developed into a huge pop-up event for vintage and second-hand clothing in Europe. In 2016 the student Robin Balser founded Vinokilo at home in his flat in Mainz. His idea was to sell second-hand clothing by the kilo. To begin with he personally selected the items by hand from a second-hand clothes recycler. “In 2016 we launched our mission to create an alternative to fast fashion based on second-hand textiles,” says Mr Balser. The concept simply went through the roof.

Meanwhile, Vinokilo has started organizing shopping events throughout Europe. Its secret to success: Cool vintage gear at a price per kilo, plus a DJ, artists, exciting food and of course wine. “Our events offer guests individual garments dating from the 60s to the 90s,” the entrepreneur explains. At the start of the Covid outbreak the company also launched an online shop where customers can buy second-hand goods 365 days a year. Robin Balser has already managed to save 420 tonnes of clothing

She is a model, an entrepreneur and a green influencer: Domitila Barros from Brazil wants to make the world fairer and more sustainable.

Domitila Barros first stood on a very big stage when she was 15 years old. As a schoolgirl she became involved in the CAMM project for street children which her parents had founded in 1984. She was 13 when she started working with CAMM and even invented a playful learning method for reading and writing that was based on acting and dance. “At some point or other UNESCO became aware of me,” says 36-year-old Ms Barros. In 2000 the organization chose the young Brazilian woman for the Millennium Dreamers programme. As one of 1,999 young people from around the world, Domitila Barros told representatives at the United Nations about her life. “I began to realize that I can actually make things move,” she says. Ms Barros decided to publicize her experiences and put them to use for a greater purpose. “In this way I’m able to give the children in my old quarter some better perspectives,” she says.

Meanwhile the Berliner-by-choice works as an advisor, social entrepreneur, model and actress. “I travel throughout Germany and talk about social justice, education and my own story which began in a Brazilian favela,” says Ms Barros. In 2017 she also founded the fair fashion label She is from the Jungle – a fashion and jewellery brand that avoids using gold, because toxic chemicals are generally used in gold mining. “In my company I employ women from my quarter who would have no perspectives without our cooperation together,” Ms Barros explains. And she says that the enterprise offers the women fair working conditions, recognition, independence and quite often protection against domestic violence.

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