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FashionUnited Interview - Retraced Cofounders

Cofounders Philipp and Lukas took part in an interview by FashionUnited, an independent platform which collects, creates and communicates content relevant to the fashion industry.

They discussed retraced's origins, where we are now, and how we plan to continue working with brands to promote more honest and responsible supply chains. Find the entire interview here, and see a snippet below:

Question: Could you tell us a little bit about how Retraced got started?

Lukas Pünder: The story of Retraced actually starts with Cano - the brand with which we wanted to bring Mexican huaraches (comfortable, handcrafted loafers) to Germany. Philipp has lived in Mexico for a while and started the production there, which of course had to be done under fair conditions. Furthermore, the leather is vegetable-dyed and vegetable-tanned. It was not so easy to establish ourselves in the fashion market at the beginning, and even with the sustainable advantages, we thought about 'how can we communicate this?’ from the beginning. Thus, we decided to move into the sustainability niche and are tapping into what is in demand right now.

Philipp Mayer: As a brand that is not a manufacturer as well, we wanted to focus more on the people who produce our products. A transparency solution was important to us, such as being able to scan the shoe and then see who worked on it, the history of how the shoe was made, as there are about ten people working on each pair of shoes, and also to be able to see where the materials come from.

Lukas Pünder: This laid the foundation for Retraced, as we couldn't find anything adequate on the market and thus pursued our own approach. Then we found that this is a super cool solution that would also be interesting for other brands. So we teamed up with Oracle early on to benefit from their technical expertise.

It helped that there was already a basic understanding of transparency since we had just spent six months discussing transparency for Cano. Oracle supported us a lot in the conceptualization so that we were able to start with a pilot project at the beginning of last year and after five to six months of testing on our own and another brand, we were able to expand.

We are currently working on automation, and in the end, it will not matter whether a company produces 100 or 100,000 products. We've made very rapid progress and expect to add six or seven more brands in the first quarter of 2020.

Read the full interview here

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