MEET THE TEAM
Julia Zirpel had her first fashion moments at an early age. She grew up in India and Nepal and saw first hand as a child how precious clothing can be. "I remember the expressions of women who could finally wear a sari that they had saved so hard for. A new garment gave them dignity - it meant something."
As a fashion editor and fashion director at various magazines, she noticed more and more that fashion has become a disposable item: Purchased in passing, hung carelessly into the wardrobe, and quickly disposed of again - A fact that the studied designer no longer wanted to accept. For Julia, however, this was no reason to turn her back on fashion. On the contrary, she decided to devote herself even more intensively to the subject. In 2017 she finally decided to offer fashion-conscious customers with environmental awareness a transparent shopping alternative and founded the wearness - an online marketplace for sustainable, fair, and high-quality fashion and beauty. Her opinion: "When you talk about luxury, you have to talk about sustainability."
For Julia, fast fashion is also an aesthetic problem. Because with clothes this cheap, nobody asks themselves anymore: What really suits me? "I think it would be great if people would care more about fashion, about what suits them, but also about the origin of a garment and its actual price. That feels much better in the end than blind consumption."
"Not all that glitters is gold." In 2007, Guya Merkle could not have imagined that this wisdom would become her motto. After the sudden death of her father, the German with Italian-Belgian roots became the managing director and creative director of Vieri, a high-end jewelry company founded by her grandfather in 1939. She studied at the Gemological Institute of America to learn everything about manufacturing and the jewelry business. But until the end, she was concerned with the decisive question under which conditions gold is actually mined. A trip to Peru brought clarity: In so-called small-scale mines, miners and children worked under catastrophic conditions. They mined the gold by hand, inhaled toxic mercury and were permanently in acutely collapsing mines.
For Guya Merkle it was clear that she would not continue working like this with Vieri. She decided to use only fairly mined, ethical gold. To make "happy mining" a standard, the entrepreneur also founded the Earthbeat Foundation - a foundation that works for better working conditions and decent wages for gold miners. Guya Merkle firmly believes in the wearness principle that luxury and sustainability must go hand in hand.
Sometimes a conversation between colleagues changes the view of things - and in the end, maybe even the world. That's what happened to Jennifer Dixon in 2017. After 14 years with a fashion magazine, and then as editorial director at a luxury platform, she realized: "It was always about bringing great fashion to women. Without taking a deep breath and thinking about it: Isn't it too much? The topic of sustainability hadn't crossed her mind at all for a long time, like many others in the industry - the studied fashion journalist likes to admit this today. "I didn't realize how many cool and fantastic labels out there were doing everything right."
It was only at a dinner with Julia Zirpel, that she began to fundamentally question the production methods of fashion and the idea for the wearness emerged. "The more I delved into the subject, the more I was fascinated. I didn't realize how many cool and fantastic labels out there were doing everything right." Jennifer Dixon is now convinced that a responsible approach to fashion would be possible if everyone were involved. Because there are so many alternatives now that simply have to be discovered.
Jennifer is convinced that every path leading away from mass production is the right one. It is particularly important to show how noble, but also how luxurious fair fashion can be: "For us as fashion editors, sustainability used to have a dusty image. Now we can offer what we like to wear ourselves."
If you close a door, a new one opens. After 18 years as a fashion editor at Madame magazine, Karolin Helou decided to quit - and give her passion for fashion a new, deeper meaning: "The world and especially the fashion world has simply changed a lot: Everything has become more superficial, creativity and passion fall by the wayside."
As the daughter of a Syrian and a German, who grew up in Venezuela and Peru, she already collected handicrafts and textiles from the most different cultures of the world in her childhood. The trained fashion designer has been playing with the idea of supporting traditional craftsmanship and developing something new in this direction for quite some time.
Karolin prefers to spend her free time at and in the sea. As a passionate kite surfer, she regularly travels to the most beautiful surf spots in the world with her husband and two children. So the pollution of the oceans and the garbage problem, have become a real affair of the heart for her.
Karolin was immediately convinced when Julia Zirpel and Jennifer Dixon introduced her to the idea of the wearness: This concept exactly reflects her ideals. As part of the wearness, she wants to contribute to changing the current perception of fair and sustainable luxury fashion - without sacrificing style and quality. "We want to make a difference in people's minds. We also want to awaken their sensitivity to the question of where things come from, what raw materials are used, and how production works," explains Karolin.