27 Jun Brand in the spotlight: An interview with the founders of Unrobe
Fair Friday interviewed Daan Ubachs and Koen Warnerdam, founders of Unrobe. Unrobe is an Amsterdam based fair fashion brand for men and women with a minimal and sophisticated style. We really love their style and story, so we were curious to find out more.
First, can you tell us how Unrobe was founded?
Daan tells: ‘Koen and I are friends since childhood and we both worked in the fashion industry for years. During visits to factories in Asia I saw many things in the industry go wrong, like pollution and poor working conditions. However we also found out about a sustainable way of making clothes. I lived in Jakarta and worked for a major production company. One of our factories and laundry did everything in a different way. They used sustainable, circulair production processes to make fashion beautiful from the inside out. This new perspective inspired us to start our own sustainable fashion brand. After a while we took the leap and in august 2017 Unrobe was born.’
What does Unrobe stand for?
Unrobe means ‘undress’. We want to dress people by undressing the industry. Sustainability and transparency are our key values. We use sustainable materials, like organic cotton and make sure you buy high quality clothing for a fair price. All clothing is ethically made by craftsmen in one of our premium factories in Portugal and Italy. We show you full transparency. Every product contains a QR code which shows exactly by who and where the product is made. Next to that we sell directly to the consumer. This reflects in a 50% lower selling price comparing to traditional brands. We also undress the price by showing the costs of the products and our mark-up.
This transparency is really refreshing in an industry that’s not transparent at all. Can you tell us something more about who makes the clothes?
We work together with factories in Barcelos and Vila do Conde in Portugal and Prato in Italy. T-shirts and sweaters are made by talented crafts(wo)men in Portugal and knits are manufactured in Italy. The factory in Vila do Conde has many years of experience in producing sustainable clothing. They are certified with GOTS (Organic Cotton) and SMETA (Ethical Trade). And they try to reduce the ecological footprint by using led light and solar panels. We are really proud to work together with these factories.
What is your mission?
It’s our mission to liberate the fashion industry from its bad habits. We want to create awareness about the problems in the industry. But most of all create fashionable designs, for an affordable price using the finest sustainable qualities, produced in an ethical way. We hope that this awareness will grow into a bigger change.
What are your dreams for the future?
Well, we also want to be transparant about our ecological footprint. That’s why we’re going to make up a sustainability report to get insight in how we can reduce our environmental impact even more. An extra function on our website will add a sort of competition element for customers to lower our ecological footprint together. We also have big dreams for our direct-to-consumer model. We’ve cut out the middlemen and do not sell in traditional stores, to save on the price. But we still believe that many people love to experience shopping. That’s why we’re going to open our first permanent store at Haarlemmerdijk 41 in Amsterdam in september.
Want to take a look yourself? Check out the website and online shop: www.unrobe.com. From september you can visit Unrobe in Amsterdam at Haarlemmerdijk 41.