Co-Working Space LORETTO 9, Lorettostraße 9 40219 Düsseldorf



Fast fashion was yesterday, slow fashion and thus repairs are the future!

Düsseldorf, August 25, 2022, Change Room’s startup venture Repair Rebels opened its doors for fashion enthusiasts and fashion rethinkers of the modern age. The Düsseldorf-based startup aims to make textile and shoe repairs as fashionable and easy as buying new items. After an intensive market research and IT development phase, the Repair Rebels online repair booking system went live – a milestone which needed to be celebrated!

By digitizing the local craft industry, Repair Rebels aims to revolutionize the fashion industry and offer an alternative to the “throwaway” culture. At the launch event at the co-working space Loretto 9 in Düsseldorf fashion community gathered to discuss the future of sustainable fashion, timeless design, and local craftsmanship, all under the Repair Rebels’ motto “Repaired Clothes are Loved Stronger”.

The welcome speech, opened by Repair Rebels founder Dr. Monika Hauck, addressed the current situation of craftsmanship within Germany. Monika emphasized that awareness of sustainability is increasing in the fashion industry, but many people find fashion repairs to be too costly or unfashionable. At the same time, due to low prices of fast fashion and the globalization of fashion supply chains, the number of local artisans and craftsman has been steadily declining. Repair Rebels want to revert this trend and show that repairs can also be a fashion statement and a statement of solidarity.

Special guests astonish the audience

Supporters and partners of the startup, Prof. Dr. Stefan Spinler from WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management, Tobias Werthwein from the Düsseldorf Chamber of Crafts and João Matias from YKK Europe came to wish the team a good start and highlighted the increasing importance of digitalization in crafts and the need for cross-industry collaboration.

At the second panel talk, on the topic “Globalization and Local Craftsmanship”, Heiko Wunder from Wunderwerk Fashion, master shoemaker Rolf Rainer from Runder Tisch Reparatur, and Lukas Punder from CANO Shoes & Retraced shared practical insights from their many years of experience. The guests learned to appreciate the added value of quality craftsmanship and saw the problems, that lack of transparency within the global fashion industry has caused. In the final panel “Future Fashion: Resell, Rent & Repair”, Design & Brand Communication Expert Sandra Lai-Chun Cheung and The Mintage Vintage Store founder Janice Saya, shared insights from the second-hand fashion sector, as well as easy-to-implement tips on how to shop more sustainably. The motto was, wear what you already have in your closet as long as possible, otherwise buy second-hand or rent, so that you buy new, even if sustainably produced clothing, as the last option.

In addition to the sustainability aspect, Janice Saya explained the importance of authenticity for the younger generation of shoppers who visit her vintage store. Sandra Lai-Chun Cheung emphasized that price is still a major barrier to sustainable consumption, but she was also very optimistic that we are witnessing a new era in fashion. Consumers today are beginning to see fashion as a long-term investment! With the saying, “Good design has no expiration date and clothes that contain memories of beautiful moments never go out of fashion,” Monika Hauck concluded the roundtable.

"This place can become the meeting point of a strong repair and craft community, the atmosphere today was extraordinary and you can tell that people here want to make a difference."

A place made for change

In between the talks and networking, guests enjoyed live DJ music and vegetarian food. “This place can become the meeting point of a strong repair and craft community, the atmosphere today was extraordinary, and you can feel that people here want to make a difference and move things forward,” Rolf Rainer told the team.

Many sustainable fashion startups, designers, and fashion experts attended the evening to congratulate the Repair Rebels team on their launch. Although Repair Rebels is an online service, on that evening guests were able to bring their clothing repairs to the Repair Station in person and meet the entire team. After a long break due to the pandemic, everyone was happy to meet in person again. The next Repair Rebels event is already scheduled for October 15, in celebration of the International Repair Day. Stay tuned and follow the Repair Rebels’ journey on their website or on social media!