The success story of wunderwerk
The two founders and directors of wunderwerk, Heiko Wunder and Tim Brückmann are both experts in theirs areas. Heiko Wunder, the designer had already worked for several years in leading positions of the fashion sector and gathered outstanding experiences as product specialist for renowned labels such as Esprit, Tom Tailor, O’Neil, Vanilla and Dress Master.
Tim Brückmann has started his career as a management consultant, before he came into the fashion industry to work as a sales expert for Replay Deutschland GmbH in 2000. Two years later Tim established his own fashion agency ‘c’mon Distribution’, with which he became the German representative and distributer for prestigious brands like WoodWood, HOPE and Stine Goya
In the course of time, both -Tim and Heiko - got strongly convinced that the textile industry has to halt and stop the illegal exploitation of natural and human resources. Independently of each other, they had been started considering about producing sustainable fashion and to create a new fashion brand.
Tim and Heiko already knew each other through their common interest in windsurfing for several years, before they have met each other randomly again. Due to their common vision of making sustainable, but stylish fashion an industry norm in future, they represented the perfect match to realize this mission.
In March 2013, they have realized their dream of a sustainable fashion brand and founded the Rheinstoff GmbH & Co. This is how wunderwerk was born.
The wunderwerk success story equals a textbook example of specular market entry. Its design and right grasp of market trends supported wunderwerk to capture the contemporary zeitgeist. Since then the wunderwerk collection is more demanded by conventional textile retailers than ever before and counts more than 70% of the brand’s turnover. Today Wunderwerk supplies 230 customers in Germany and is also represented in other European countries as Spain, UK and Swiss. The company opened its first Flagshipstore in Düsseldorf and its commerce store went online in the end of 2014. From the very beginning the brand’s revenues outperformed its own plans.
Wunderwerk surprises with four annual collections, each with its own distinctive, evocative style. Right from the start wunderwerk launched a whole collection of women- and menswear. Each collection comprises a whole range of metropolitan-casual styles including 140 pieces for women and 70 pieces for men. Wunderwerk fashion impresses with its simplicity and combines metropolitan chic with Scandinavian influences.
Wunderwerk distinguishes itself by its elaborated quality management, which ensures the high quality and processing of materials and a perfectly tailored fit with fair prices. The brand’s slogan is „wunderwerk – more than organic“. Accordingly, Heiko and Tim are setting the very highest standards to themselves and want to compete with fashionable brands as Drykorn and Closed. Therefore, the wunderwerk collections are exhibited at both - regular as well as at fair-trade and sustainable fashion fairs. Heiko and Tim are convinced that their green strategy will become a norm in the textile industry in future, this is why they want to impress their customers with their design in order to show that sustainable fashion must not exclude an extraordinary portion of design.
Sustainability is part of the whole production process, which starts with the degradation of resources. As member of the International Association Natural Textile Industry, Wunderwerk tries to use IVN best standards and exclusively certified materials (i.e. kbA, kbT, GOTS). Therefore, organic cotton, that is certified with the GOTS Standard plays a major role. Instead of using oil-based produced fabrics, wunderwerk mostly processes innovative and low-carbon footprint fibers like beech wood and eucalyptus.
Wunderwerk combines sustainability with a loving attention to detail. This is also reflected by the smallest accessories like the buttons made out of horn or corozo (ivory nut). Above that, the usage of plastic in zippers, tags and packaging is entirely avoided.
More than 90% of production and finishing takes place in Italy and Portugal or other European manufacturing facilities, which meet the highest social and environmental standards. Wunderwerk not only uses ecological materials, but also takes an active role in developing best practices in their manufacturing process. This is how wunderwerk realizes fashion trends in way that is completely harmless to people and the environment.
Thanks to innovative and environmentally friendly denim-washings, wunderwerk could reduce the average water consumption from 90 to 160 liter per jeans down to 3 to 9 liter of water, which is used for a wunderwerk jeans. The brand totally restricts the usage of polluting chemicals like chlorine and potassium permanganate, which are harmful to the environment or human health.
Innovative dyeing techniques like ‚mal tinto‘ are one in the brand’s specialties. Different to conventional dyeing processes, the cold-bath method dyes the whole garment. Welcher Vorteil? The bleaching and dyeing of the clothes are done by using an airbrush technology with oxygen, stone- wash and mechanical manual work. Sometimes, wunderwerk just changes the conventional order of denim bleaching techniques. In order to realize the irregular color effect, the ecofriendly brand is dyeing the jeans in its unprocessed condition.
The renowned Bundespreis Ecodesign Award in the category product demonstrates wunderwerk’s outstanding performance in terms of sustainable fashion in 2014. The brand’s fashionable design was awareded in 2015, when Wunderwerk received the PETA Vegan Fashion Award in the category ‚Best Business Women’ for its animal-friendly and sustainable fashion.
The brand wants to operate sustainable at all levels. This includes many small activities, but also bigger operations. According to its brands values, Wunderwerk uses exclusively ecological office supplies as well as green power in its headquarter based in Düsseldorf. Lasting sustainable thinking also means the re-usage and recycling of old packages and other materials as well as the fair treatment of internal and external stakeholders.
For wunderwerk values like social responsibility, protection of the natural environment and economic performance are closely affiliated with each other. The brand’s big future ambition is to establish the combination of trendy and sustainable fashion as an inseparable standard in the clothing industry.
In future, the eco-friendly production of fashion is going to become a standard in the clothing sector. Wunderwerk aims to turn into one of the top three market leaders for eco fashion in the German- speaking area. Wunderwerk defines itself as a ‘lovemark’ that wins popularity through the mouth to mouth propaganda of its customers, who broadcasts the importance of sustainability to the broader society.
Wunderwerk at one glance
2012 The trade mark was entered in the register and publishing the trade mark 2013 The company Firma Rheinstoff GmbH & CO. KG was founded
2013 The brand wunderwerk designed and distributed its first collection
2013 first trade show presence at the PREMIUM in Berlin
2013 first wunderwerk collection is delivere
2014 Wunderwerk Flagship-Store Opening in Düsseldorf
2014 Wunderwerk goes online: Rheinstoff E-Commerce GmbH Webshop opens 2014 Winner of the Bundespreise ECODESIGN Award
2015 Delivery of the first Wunderwerk Selvedge Denim
2015 Winner of the PETA Vegan Fashion Awards category ‘Best Business Women’