#5 Fashion Revolution Night Düsseldorf – Changing Business Models in Fashion

The fifth Fashion Revolution Night in Düsseldorf, gathered over 200 participants at the office of ORRICK, HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE to discuss how business model innovations can drive positive changes in the fashion industry.The evening started with a welcome note by the First Lady of Düsseldorf, Dr. Vera Geisel. FASHION REVOLUTION City Ambassador, Dr. Monika Hauck, introduced the movement and announced the launch of the CHANGE ROOM, which serves as a knowledge and community platform in the city for everyone interested in the topics sustainability and innovation in fashion. 

Guided by an overarching theme “Loved Clothes Last”, the evening continued with three entrepreneurial keynote speeches. Robin Balser, founder of VINOKILO,  shared his passion for vintage clothing and his mission of finding an affordable alternative to Fast Fashion. The Mainz-based entrepreneur organizes vintage pop-up events where second-hand garments are carefully curated, presented in a hip atmosphere and sold on a “price per kilo” basis. Thekla Wilkening, Head of Business Development at  STAY AWHILE, provided current insights from the clothing rental market. Stay Awhile also takes part in a newly launched research project  “WEAR2SHARE”  which is undertaken in collaboration with the Fraunhofer-Institute and aims to investigate the social and environmental outcomes of the newly emerging “sharing economy” business models in fashion. Finally, serial entrepreneur from Oslo, Kim Leskovsky, presented a crowd-based knitting platform WOOLIT  and highlighted the potential of platform business models and networks effects in driving fashion industry towards more sustainable approaches. In the log-run, Kim foresees a decline of the mega brands and thinks that the production of clothing will become more local and individualized. He preached “Let’s turn the fashion industry into the passion industry!”. 

The official part was rounded up by an interactive panel discussion “The Future of Fashion – Global or Local?”, where Düsseldorf based designer  STEPHANIE POTHEN, co-founder of upcycling label  HUMANS FOR UP Melissa Christov, sustainability expert Max Gilgenmann from  NEONYT BERLIN and Robin Balser discussed the opportunities and challenges of global supply chains, use of recycled materials as well as local manufacturing practices. But, what is fashion without music? Accompanied by the Düsseldorf newcomer band  NEUMATIC PARLO, the evening ended with networking drinks and an exhibition of the local sustainable fashion brands.  

„Let’s turn the fashion industry into the passion industry!“
Kim Leskovsky