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#wildfeetures: erlich textil and Kerbholz on the jury

Since the beginning of July, the fox's den has been filling up with unique designs for a new Wildling model, and #wildfeetures – the Wildling design competition is now on the home straight.

The community, Wildling staff and an extraordinary jury will choose the model that’s the most attractive, most original, and most likely to encourage wildness.

We’ve already introduced jury member Benny, from Viva con Agua, and today we’d like to present not just one, but two more jury members: Miriam Trebels (top right in picture) from erlich textil, and Franziska Pohl (top left in picture) from Kerbholz!

While fast fashion continues to boom, one sale gives way to the next and working conditions for those sewing in the factories in Bangladesh, India or Sri Lanka have failed to improve, some fashion labels are deliberately taking a different approach. They focus on fair production conditions, long-lasting, high quality materials and timeless design. Among them are Cologne companies Kerbholz and erlich textil. 

Against short life cycles in the fashion industry - Miriam from erlich textil

Right after her studies, Miriam joined erlich textil as marketing manager. Miriam: "At the beginning it was very exciting to take on lots of responsibility, become familiar with new task areas, and especially to see erlich growing."

Miriam, erlich textil was only founded in 2015 and is already a known player in the area of fairly produced textiles. So we're very curious to know what erlich textil does differently compared to other companies! And - what’s special about your products?

Miriam: "With erlich we want to take a clear stand against the short product life cycles in the fashion industry, which means creating products with timeless designs and of the highest quality. And for us it goes without saying that we're committed to handling resources responsibly in all areas, whether when selecting fibres from natural resources for our fabrics or using environmentally friendly packing material.

Just as important to us are fairness and transparency. Because behind every piece of clothing sewn, you’ll find people investing lots of time and effort to create high-quality erlich textil products. We want to reward that work appropriately, so we ensure that the workers in our production locations receive a fair wage and are guaranteed certain social standards. That’s why we decided to produce solely within Europe. On the one hand it means we can see the production plants for ourselves and guarantee that high social standards are adhered to. On the other, it allows us to keep transport distances relatively short, therefore keeping our CO2 emissions as low as possible.

Sustainable wooden sunglasses

Franzi is a product designer at Kerbholz. We’re glad to have her as an absolute design expert on our jury, because she’ll look at the submitted designs from a completely new perspective. Her colleagues describe her as conscientious, direct but with a sense of humour - she sees herself as ambitious. Franzi wants to develop KERBHOLZ products further and rediscover them. Watches, jewellery or sunglasses - it’s high-quality wood that gives the products a timeless touch.

Franzi: "Step by step we’re trying to make every detail of our products more sustainable. That affects the design as well as production and marketing. We also encourage an especially kind and caring tone within the team."

As a product designer it's important to think artistically, yet also with an eye to finding solutions.

Franzi: "Creativity in product design is transferring a function, a material or a look to a completely different set of circumstances. That’s how really new things are born, which enrich your life. Design should make the user's life easier, and at the same time more beautiful.

"Design should make life easier and more beautiful"

For Franzi, a product should be functional, and at the same time so surprising that it’s a joy to use. For Miriam, too, these are important criteria:

Miriam: "For me a product has added value when it meets my aesthetic requirements and gives me joy every time I use it, while also meeting my expectations with regard to functionality. Products that achieve a perfect balance between those factors really make me happy!"

Miriam, what motivates you to get up in the morning and work with fresh energy?

Miriam: "The thought of working with a fantastic team every day, towards a great common goal. The atmosphere at erlich is simply incredibly infectious: Everyone wants to make things happen, and we all pull together. So getting up early isn’t really that hard.

And Franzi, how about you?

Franzi: "My kids - and coffee with my colleagues!"

Have you entered #wildfeetures? We can't wait to see what our professionals Franzi and Miriam think about your design, and we’re crossing all our paws!

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