Check out LOVECO

LOVECO was founded to prove that you can still be every bit as fashionable even when your priorities are being friendly to animals, the earth, and all humans. Founder Christina, in an effort to showcase vegan and fair fashion, created a hub for men and women alike to find not only clothes but also accessories and lifestyle needs like earbuds, toothbrushes, and water bottles. With a keen eye to curate a tastefully edited collection, Christina has created a place where vegans and fair fashion aficionados can find the ethical alternatives to their everyday needs. For German speakers, LOVECO also hosts an informative and lively blog, dedicated to education and spreading the news of vegan, fair fashion. We spoke with LOVECO worker Lina about their brand and founder Christina.

 What inspired your partners to start LOVECO?

Christina has been participating in a bachelor program on sustainable textile industry, and after working at NGOs, she started working as a store manager at an eco fashion store in Berlin. She saw the high demand and realised that the people need a broader range of styles. Also she had been observing that there were already a couple of stores focusing on either only fair trade clothing, only organic clothing or only vegan clothing. That’s how she saw the necessity for one that covers all three aspects.

What’s the greatest crisis facing consumers right now? If you could just pick one thing about the way people shop right now that’s keeping you up at night

The blindness, a sense of not caring at all. People lost the connection between the production of things. They don’t think about how something comes to be anymore. They only think how they will consume it. That’s madness! Behind every product, there is people working on it, resources going into it, an impact on the environment. People have started to forget that completely. They think about products in isolation. Someone put it so well (I forgot who though) saying that people tend to think the pretty clothes they ordered magically appear on their doorstep one morning. Out of thin air.

Do you have any “go-to lines” that you bust out when/if people scoff at switching to an ethical/compassionate lifestyle? How do you convince people that buying ethical matters?

That it’s not that hard anymore, and that it can look as beautiful as conventional fashion products. There is a whole world of beautiful brands that present very different styles, so that everyone could find something (streetwear, elegant looks, casual, business, etc.). We look out for those, so that the people don’t have to anymore, they can be lazy. 😉 When it comes to pricing, of course this is hard, especially for people with a low income, students, etc., but we always try to talk about wearing things longer, combining different essentials, buying second hand, swapping clothes or upcycling old items. There are option, and everyone can start with something he or she can manage budget-wise etc.

Tell us some concrete steps LOVECO takes to help the environment.

Well, apart from our clothes being certified by GOTS etc., we try to also work environmentally friendly on the inside of our company. We use second hand or upcycled furniture in our stores, we use recycled packaging, we use the climate neutral option by DHL GoGreen when sending our orders, and we receive our energy from German hydroelectric plants. Just to name some steps we’re taking.

Have you always been passionate about a conscious lifestyle or was it a gradual shift? (This can be you, or the founders, or just the team in general.)

Everyone in the team had a tendency I would say. Maybe we all started with a different approach. Christina, our founder, grew up on a farm, so she has always been in touch with nature, agriculture and animals.The amazing thing is that when you start thinking about the environment or sustainability in general, you soon realise that so many things are connected, so that you gradually implement more and more changes in your lifestyle.

How would you describe the culture at LOVECO? How do you evaluate if someone new will fit in with this culture?

We would like to be open, value equality, independence, and collegial. However, we are not very strict, and try to give people a chance.

Founders experience lots of set-backs. What has been the biggest at LOVECO and what was learned from it? 

Receiving financial backup has always been the most challenging experience at LOVECO. Applying for loans to expand and make the business more sustainable.

How do you evaluate success at LOVECO?

By now, we have developed satisfying mechanisms of evaluation through KPIs, controlling and analytics. Still a lot comes from intuition and listening to our customers’ feedback. We get their feedback in our stores, via email if they order online or through Google and Facebook reviews.

What’s your favorite product on your website right now? (You, the founders or just the team in general!)

That’s a tough one! We all have different ones, and it’s changing so quickly. As winter’s settling in Berlin at the moment, we are falling in love with our Hemp HoodLamb coats again. Simply because they’re so warm, without having to use down. Apart from that, we simply have too many amazing products! Every single one is hand-picked, so we love them all!

Do you have a vegan/ethical beauty line-up that you can’t live without?

Lovely Day Botanicals and eskay essentials.

What’s the biggest misconception about being vegan?

That the human consumption of soy is destroying nature. That you can’t live a healthy lifestyle without meat and dairy. That the animals need to get rid of their milk, eggs, etc. That this is normal. That there are no alternatives. There are so many! No matter if it comes to food or materials, there are so many great options. We really love the material lyocell for our dresses and blouses. No need for silk, lyocell feels so much better on the skin, looks as shiny, and uses eucalyptus or beech fibres.

Has your work life spilled over into your personal life or is it vice versa? Or is there a line anymore?

That’s a tough one. We already mentioned how so many aspects are connected when you start thinking about sustainability: food, travels, renewable energies, transport, everything!

What vegan/ethical product is currently missing from the scene?

 Well, maybe more vegan knit styles, more winter coats and high quality shoes.

Pictures © Nora Dal Cero, All rights reserved.

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