Lisa Jaspers and a circle of friends turned the idea of Folkdays into a business in August 2013. Her previous work as a development aid consultant had taken her to some of the worlds most interesting and remote places. During this time she was exposed to a wealth of different cultures, stories and talented people whose skills deserved to be shared.
Tell us a bit about Folkdays, the ideology behind it and what inspired you to start Folkdays?
FOLKDAYS is a fair fashion label from Berlin. It is made for those who appreciate new ways of consumption, travel and living. Our passion is finding original sources of high quality materials and handcrafts with an authentic story behind them. In our design choices we aim to keep the traditional style of craft and combine it with modern simplicity.
During the last years FOLKDAYS has travelled to more than 15 developing countries searching out artisans that have a long tradition in their crafts, and are experts in the things they make for us. Once we find our craftspeople, we work to build equal and lasting partnerships, buying directly from them at a fair price. It’s our aim to help people keep the traditions of their work alive in a way that enables them to support themselves through increased and stable income. It’s moving the emphasis from charity to sustainable business that often starts with one artisan, but can be taught and eventually enable a whole community to thrive.
On folkdays.com you will not only find the best selection in handmade, fairtrade accessories, but also a space to introduce people, places and ideas that all contribute to our ultimate goal: a life that is inspired by style as well as sustainability.
How is the presence of Fair Trade in Berlin/Germany? Has it grown over the last few years?
Most of the fair trade labels in Berlin are still quite old school and don’t have a very young design. This is slowly changing now.
How does enterprises like Folkdays contribute to the Fair Trade and organic movement
I think companies like FOLKDAYS contribute to a movement that is more concsiuous about any kind of consumption. We try to promote the idea that less consumption is better and that good quality makes sense. We like the quote that „Only rich people can afford to buy cheap stuff“ - we are selling products that are made to last.
What are range of products at your store?
We sell clothing, fashion accessories like jewelry, scarves and bags and interior products.
How many countries are you currently importing from and which one is the largest?
16 and the largest is India
What advice would you give to someone wanting to supply to Germany from India?
It think the quality and design of the products is key. Also there is a new craft movement that is not as price sensitive as the old school fair trade consumers. We are trying to reach these people and I think that is a smart focus for exporting companies as well.
Any exciting plans for 2016-2017
To grow FOLKDAYS and also expand our network of artisans, materials and products.
Could you tell us about your experience visiting the Ethical Fashion Show
It always feels like a family meeting and it is the perfect place to meet up with people from our network. In January we found two new artisans group at the fashion week.
Thank you Lisa for sharing your experience and expertise with us!