MEET THE PEOPLE BEHIND THE BRAND

Instagram is a great source to get to know new and upcoming fair brands but it’s harder to know the story behind them. That’s why Fair Fashion Magazine decided to start an interview series with the people behind the brand. First one up: Life Tree, a small eco-fashion label from Augsburg Germany, founded by 2 friends – Martin and Manuel. They use fair and organic textiles for their shirts, sweaters, caps, and even backpacks and refine them with drawings from their in-house artist Martin Benedek. Life Tree combines sustainability with an artistic lifestyle: a perfect match!

What was the inspiration for Life Tree?

The inspiration were first of all the paintings and graphics of co-founder Martin.The label is based on his paintings and the feeling they represent.

Why did you start Life Tree?

First it was just for fun. But at some point, when we started selling at festivals and using better and better materials Life Tree became a bigger part of our life. We noticed that it could work out and that people liked the things we do. We feel good about we do and we love seeing our work developing.

Why did you choose for Tencel, Modal & Hemp?

Modal, Tencel and also viscoses from bamboo are really cool and functional fabrics. We tried those a few years ago and they are still our best selling products because people love the feeling and quality.

Hemp is a bit of a different story. We got lucky with that to be honest, because one of our friends and dealers, Ursula from “Hanfliebe” started producing some of the best and most innovative hemp fabric on the market. We are really blessed to be able to use her great shirts for our label.

Who makes your clothes?

We buy from 3 large companies that have leader-status within the Fair-Wear-Foundation, and who are also GOTS-certified. And of course we use shirts of already mentioned Hanfliebe. We do the finishing like prints together with regional firms or on our own.

What does the future hold for Life Tree? What would you like to accomplish?

First of all we would like to establish the brand at least to a point where we can make a living of it – at the moment we both work part-time in other jobs. This should go along with having a bigger work space in the future where Martin’s paintings and artwork can develop and be created in an environment that represents the feeling of Life-Tree. We´d also like to one day produce our own fabrics. We also just recently opened our first store in our hometown Augsburg. That has been a huge and important step for us because now we can showcase our stuff permanently, and Martin also has a small atelier in there.

Your ultimate tip for living a more sustainable life:

There is no simple way and not one way for all. You have to make choices based on knowledge and experience, not on political or ideological trends. Get information, see what fits for you and seems reasonable. With textiles, there is not the “one” super-fabric, everything has its pros and cons. It´s about the way it´s done and what makes you feel good. In general though we’d say that less is more.

Who do you look up to?

Our parents, they were and are very supportive and helpful and somehow managed to provide a base for all of we do.

Favourite artist?

Aren’t we all artists?

What brand would you like to see next in one of our interviews?

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