JULIA & GUYA & JENNIFER
Julia Zirpel had her first fashion moments at an early age. As a child, she grew up in India and Nepal and saw how important clothing could be. "I remember the expression of women who could finally put on a hard-won sari. A new piece of clothing gave them dignity - it meant something."
After 20 years as a fashion editor and most recently ten years as fashion director at Condé Nast Publishing House's Myself magazine, the Munich-based fashion editor noticed more and more often how clothes were bought casually, carelessly placed in wardrobes (and dumped) - a fact that increasingly irritated the studied designer. "I think it would be great if people would deal more with fashion, with what really suits you, but also with the origin of an item (and its actual price). "This feels much better in the end than blind consumption." In 2017 she decided to finally go one step further and founded the wearness with like-minded partners. An online platform for sustainable, fair, and high-quality fashion and beauty.
"Not all that glitters is gold." In 2007, Guya Merkle could not have imagined that this wisdom would become her motto. After the sudden death of her father, the German with Italian-Belgian roots became the managing director and creative director of Vieri, a high-end jewelry company founded by her grandfather in 1939. For Guya Merkle it was clear that she would work in the social sector, but her destiny had other plans in store for her. She studied at the Gemological Institute of America to learn everything about manufacturing and the jewelry business. But until the end, she was concerned with the decisive question under which conditions gold is actually mined. A trip to Peru brought clarity: In so-called small-scale mines, miners and children worked under catastrophic conditions. They mined the gold by hand, inhaled toxic mercury and were permanently in acutely collapsing mines. For Guya Merkle it was clear that she would not continue working like this with Vieri. She stopped supplying other companies and decided to use only fairly mined, ethical gold for her collections. To make "happy mining" a standard, the entrepreneur also founded the Earthbeat Foundation - a foundation that works for better working conditions and decent wages for gold miners. Guya Merkle firmly believes in the wearness principle that luxury and sustainability must go hand in hand. She lives and works in Berlin.
Sometimes a conversation between colleagues changes the view of things - and in the end perhaps even the world. After 14 years with the fashion magazine InStyle, where she worked as fashion director for the last nine years, she felt the need to change direction for the first time. She left the magazine to work as Editorial Director for the luxury platform STYLEBOP.com. Even if the job was great fun and challenged her, she realized that it was still only about bringing great fashion to the women. Without any thoughts about: Isn't it too much? Like many other people in the industry, the fashion journalist admits that she did not think about sustainability for a long time. It was very abstract for her at the time. It wasn't until Julia Zirpel told her about her idea for the wearness at a dinner that she began to fundamentally question the production methods of fashion. "The more I looked into the subject, the more I became fascinated by it. I didn't realize how many cool and fantastic labels out there were doing it right." Jennifer Dixon is now convinced that a responsible approach to fashion would be a viable approach for producers and customers if only everyone were to participate. And most importantly: "We must finally show how noble but also sophisticated luxurious fair fashion can be." Their goal: to change the high fashion industry without diminishing their standards of aesthetics, elegance, and style. Jennifer Dixon lives and works alternately in Munich and Denmark.