Kasper Petersen and Lotte Vink are the founders of Labfresh, a sustainable fashion brand based in Amsterdam. With a mission of raising awareness of the vast amounts of consumption within the fast fashion industry, they’ve been doing their utmost to change standards ever since. Like unu, Labfresh is working to improve life in the city and wants to create a more sustainable future. That’s why we collaborated with them and organised an event at Amsterdam’s bi-weekly Sunday Market. Ever since, Lotte and Kasper have been using their unu scooter to get around Amsterdam – be it for work or to sample the city’s best pizza.
In an interview with us, they explain how they reach their goals step by step and discuss what it takes to bring good-looking clothing to a higher and more functional level.
What exactly is Labfresh?
We are an atypical fashion brand, we make clothing that looks good and at the same time performs like you can expect from sportswear. Innovation is all around us, but our everyday wear is still made in the same old school way. We want to change the standard that we have from our clothing.
We make menswear and have dress shirts, casual shirts, t-shirts and socks in our collection. We use proven technologies, combine them in a unique way and add the technology to 100% cotton products. Our clothing is stain and odour repellent. You can wear your shirt for many days in a row and still feel fresh and an accident with red wine is no longer a problem while wearing your white shirt.
unu was created to connect people in their cities. How did the idea of Labfresh come about?
We created LABFRESH because we wanted to make clothes that are functional, sustainable and look great at the same time – a combination we felt the industry was lacking.
What role does sustainability play at Labfresh?
Our mission is to make life easier, fight over-consumption and reduce waste. The biggest problem within the fashion industry is overproduction. Clothing is becoming a disposable product. By creating products that will last longer, we want to fight that fast fashion mindset. We should buy less. Wear more. Keep forever.
You launched your company via Kickstarter. What are the pros and cons of that?
When you launch your company you need validation, the only real way of getting that is to get paying customers as soon as possible. On Kickstarter, there are mostly men and they are the early adopters, if they wouldn’t like our product it would be a signal for us that the market is not ready. Besides that, it’s also great that you can finance the first production via Kickstarter. It can otherwise be really expensive and risky to get stuck with a lot of stock. There are no cons.
What is both of your background? And how did your backgrounds help you launch Labfresh?
Kasper has a background in supply chain management and had a startup before called The Cloakroom. I studied Business and Psychology and was one of the early employees at The Cloakroom. Together, we have quite a wide range of skills which are very complementary. The biggest skill needed in a startup however is having a getting sh*t done mentality and that you learn by doing.
You’ve just launched your second product, a T-shirt. What’s next?
We are working on several new products, but it takes a long time to test the technologies on natural fabrics. In the future, we would love to have a full collection of beautiful and advanced basics. So if you have an accident with red wine, not only your shirts stay clean :)
Your brand is based in Amsterdam, what do you love most about the city?
I really love Amsterdam, the city is beautiful and the people are amazing. Just from biking around I experience a lot of happy moments, because of the beauty of the city. With the people in Amsterdam, what you see is what you get and I love that.
Where does your unu scooter take you and how do you spend your weekends?
We are still in a phase, where we work a lot on the weekends, but if we take time for ourselves, we love to go for walks with our dog in Vondelpark or next to the Amstel, And there are some secluded places we can reach best with our unu scooters. Furthermore, there are a lot of beautiful places we see for the first time when we drive with our unus. We also don’t mind having a glass of wine on one of the many terraces in the city.
Can you recommend some under-the-radar places in Amsterdam you can reach on your unu scooter?
I really think the Eastern part of Amsterdam, it’s a great area to explore with so many nice bars and restaurants. You can also get the best pizza in the whole of Amsterdam there, at a pizzeria called Loulou next to the Amstel river.