From Sustainability to Leadership: Lessons Learned from LoopLook’s Founders

Posted By:
Shalini Singh
April 3, 2023

Want to know the future of green fashion? Let’s chat with Alisa Hager and Stefanie Barz, WaveMakers alumni and the amazing founders of LoopLook. 🌟 These two inspiring women are not only making a difference in the fashion industry, but they’re also part of the women in tech movement as they leverage technology to enhance their eco-friendly business model. LoopLook is all about repairing, altering, and upcycling clothes to reduce the fast fashion industry’s impact on the environment. Let’s dive into their journey!

Alisa and Stefanie both studied fashion design at the Kunsthochschule in Berlin, where they discovered the fashion industry’s need for change. 🌍 They saw the rigid structures that hinder sustainable fashion production and consumption, and they decided not to follow the typical path of producing clothes that no one needs. Instead, they chose to repair, alter, and upcycle clothes, which can be challenging since the market for it isn’t fully developed yet. However, they believe that together, we can make a change happen! 🌟

“After the 2013 disaster in Rana Plaza, Bangladesh, I even more felt the need to start initiatives and projects towards a more sustainable future for fashion.”, says Stefanie.

Their company, LoopLook, aims to change people’s fashion consumption habits. They want repairing, altering, and upcycling to be the first thing people think of instead of buying new clothes. They want to make it as easy as buying new in the future. The fast fashion industry makes it difficult for them to achieve this goal, but they know it’s a necessary change due to urgent climate issues. With LoopLook, they want to provide people with a tool to change their consumption behavior. 🛍️

LoopLook is focused on making services approachable, bookable, and transparent, including price structures. 🌟 Their vision for LoopLook in 10 years is to provide users with tools to co-create their wardrobe, making them participants in the production process. They want to create a wardrobe that is on-demand and fits perfectly to their style. They are starting with service providers in Berlin to test the business model before spreading it to other German and European cities. They also want to reach out to regional landscapes and connect everyone to producers and makers nearby. Their focus right now is on the community aspect of a local Berlin environment. 🙌

“We didn’t plan to become founders, instead we had a vision to be part of the change for a more sustainable and circular fashion industry. Our idea didn’t exist in the market at that point, so we took it upon ourselves to create it.”, says Alisa.

As female founders, they have faced some challenges in the industry, but they have found support from their community. They both bring honesty, emotional expression, and empathy to their roles. They recognize that being a female founder comes with many expectations, especially in terms of established leadership. Still, they want to create their definition of leadership that aligns with their values and vision. 🤝

“In the textile and fashion industry, there are many female founders who support one another, and we can only drive change through collaboration and developing synergies.”, says Alisa.

💸🤔 One of the main challenges that Alisa and Stefanie faced was finding investors who supported their sustainable business model. They found that many investors expect businesses to achieve certain milestones, such as key performance indicators (KPIs), within a short period. The typical VC way is to build a business within five years, become a unicorn, and match impact with profit. LoopLook wants to grow sustainably, but they understand that investors may not accept this approach. Despite these challenges, they remain committed to building a business that they can handle and have control over. 💪🌱🙌

🤔 In response to a question about advice for other women wanting to start their own businesses, Stefanie emphasized the importance of learning from the experience of other female founders. Alisa advised, “Be persevering and don’t think you have to know everything by yourself because there are so many people that are happy to share their experiences.”

💪 Stefanie also shared her experience with accelerator programs and encouraged founders to stick to their values while considering the advice of mentors.

🌟 When asked about their experience as WaveMakers, Alisa appreciated the community and the opportunity to reflect on her leadership style. “It’s important to stop and breathe and have honest people to rely on,” says Alisa.

“I think it was quite reassuring to hear that it’s okay to not follow someone else’s leadership style but develop your own leadership style based on your personality,” tells Stefanie. She also found it reassuring to know that performance isn’t everything, and it’s okay to show yourself and bring your ideas into the world.

In addition to being women in fashion tech, Alisa and Stefanie are also inspiring change makers! By combining technology and fashion, they’re paving the way for a more sustainable future in fashion. 🌍 LoopLook’s commitment to sustainability is inspiring, and their experiences can motivate other founders to pursue their dreams while staying true to their values. 💚