Clean, creative and slick designs, ethically designed and produced from concept to carrier bag. These are the principles behind Munich’s eco fashion label.
Founded in December 2007, ThokkThokk have been creating GOTS and Fairtrade certified clothing for women and men that combine bold design with classic street style, pronounced quality and environmental awareness. Setting itself the goal of creating a real alternative to fast fashion - through a fair pricing policy, accessible to everyone.
We spoke with CEO Verena Benz about this journey in the fashion industry, Munich and what’s next in store for ThokkThokk.
What inspired you to start ThokkThokk?
Our founder Vince was driven by the idea that sophisticated urban design should be combined with nothing less than ethical fashion. What first started as a label only selling T-Shirts is now an established slow fashion brand for both genders. Since 2007 we’ve been growing our product range step by step. Always striving to learn and find better technologies and even more sustainable ways of manufacturing whilst still keeping our products reasonably priced.
“It’s our values that motivate us. We believe our customers feel the same when it comes to standards, values and attitude.”
What motivated your brand towards sustainable fashion? And why is sustainability important for you?
Everything – fashion shouldn’t be at the expense of the environment, human beings or animals, just because something looks good or because it is legal or cheap (which it sadly is). It’s our values that motivate us. We believe our customers feel the same when it comes to standards, values and attitude.
How do you make sure that your processes are sustainable and ethical?
On the one hand we trust in certifications: our organic cotton is fair trade-certified to make sure that cotton farmers earn a fair salary, the cotton price remains stable and no child labour is involved. All of our textiles are GOTS certified – which stands for Global Organic Textile Standard, which has a clearly defined and transparent set of criteria. As does the Global Recycled Standard - whenever synthetic fibres are required, we extract them from recycled sources such as fishing nets from the ocean. We are also in close contact with our manufacturers in India - our team visits the local factories to assure the conditions there are as we expect them to be.
Who is the ThokkThokk customer and how do you connect with them?
Our customers are mostly in their twenties and thirties and are interested in topics such as sustainability, veganism, minimalism/zero waste or social issues. They are the generation worrying about their future and the future of their kids. They don’t wait for climate crisis to be stopped by politicians interfering (or just not being stopped ever). They understand change starts through their everyday life – their food, their closet, their own consumption.
They like our casual and colourful style which is perfect for their capsule wardrobe but they also want to feel certain that their clothes are in-line with their ethical ideals.
How has being based in Munich shaped your work?
It is a beautiful city that offers a lot of possibilities for people living alternative lifestyles. It’s also a place where people appreciate fashion, are experimenting more and educating themselves about ethical fashion, where they may have not known about it before.
Any tips for good eateries while in Munich?
Where do you go when you need a shot of inspiration?
We basically just have to sit down in front of ‘Chi Tu’ (if the weather allows) and watch people flock to the Isar river. Here you always see great street style and get a sense of what’s ‘in vogue’. Munich also has some great museums and exhibitions such as the ‘Pinakotheken’, ‘Lenbachhaus’ or the ‘Kunsthalle’. And we could never forget about second hand shops! You can get some great vintage treasures there that can give your outfit a whole new look.
Finally, what impact has ThokkThokk already had – and where do you hope to go next?
We think that a lot of our impact is of an invisible nature (no contamination through chemicals, workers rights not to be violated…). However, we can also see our team constantly growing and evolving. The next step is to start producing climate-neutrally.