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It all started in 2010 when Carina Bischof, Arienna Nicoletti, Luise Barsch and Jonathan Leupert started their own label “Aluc”.  They began selling their brand in other stores and at the markets and fairs in Berlin.  After which they thought it would be nice to have their own store not only to represent their label but also upcycling and the whole concept behind it.

Berlin’s first pop-up upcycling fashion store opened its doors in November 2011 on Linienstrasse.  The response they received was positive, people really liked the concept and the products, so they decided to make the store permanent.  They hosted different events in the shop, including featuring a variety of international designers during fashion week.  Since their initial success they have moved to their current location on Anklamer Str. 17. Their most recent event featured up and coming upcylcing talents.  It gave young designers an opportunity to showcase their creations.  The event was well received and got a lot of press.

The designers that the store works with include Milch, Sag und Sal, Trash Design Manufaktur and Deafmessanger to name a few.  Although the styles from each designer remain the same, each product is a little different because the materials that they work with vary.  When each new shipment arrives, it’s almost like a little surprise.

Each upcycled product is unique and has it’s own character because it shows a little bit of it’s previous life.  For example, the shirts from Steinwidder are made out of old socks, so each piece is one of a kind.  It’s almost like having your own individual fashion designer or tailor because almost no one else will have the exact same piece.

This aspect of upcycling is what people like most, which is what they can see, what they can feel from the product.  Customers are really happy with the items they purchase and enjoying wearing the pieces and keeping them for as long as possible; which slows down fast fashion.  The aim is not to produce something that’s only good for one season or to produce huge fashion collections as quickly as possible; it’s meant to be sustainable.

This uniqueness is what they try to convey with everything in the store.  The clothes racks are made from old water pipes and one comes from an old bike rim.  The tables are made from old windows and the counters are made from old boxes that were used to ship medicine.  The walls in the back of the store are from old palettes used to deliver products to stores and warehouses.  The upcycling concept is communicated not only with the merchandise, but also through the interior design and decoration.

The upcycling concept is also a way for industry to start thinking differently. Every industry has waste, but most are not aware of the potential of that waste as a resource.  The way that most industries are run now is not sustainable; for example the fields that are being used to grow fibers are going to eventually going to be needed for growing food.  It’s going to become increasing more important for us to use the resources that we already have instead of constantly looking for and producing new ones.

Additionally, the store hosts a Stammtisch every last Tuesday of the month.  The event is open for anyone who is interested in upcycling and fashion. More information can be found online on their website and facebook or via email.

HeatherS
Hello Dear True Berlin Reader! I’m Heather, a freelance photographer and writer exploring this vibrant city. There’s so much to do and see in Berlin that it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed, that’s where I come in…guiding you through the city like a good friend. Pointing out the places you would frequent as a resident - not a tourist; art openings, events, restaurants, bars, usw.

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