Freiraum’s format ‘Video Insides’ regularly introduces exciting new brands of tomorrow. This time, journalist and activist Eliza Edwards, who is specialised in environmental and ethical design, talked to Kūlson co-founder Benjamin Hoffmann. Together - in the cozy environment of the Freiraum space - they discussed sustainable fashion, the impact of gender neutrality, and of course, the mission behind the stylish Kūlson sneaker: to create perfect minimalistic shoes, that can be worn by anyone, on almost any occasion, and in combination with anything.
The white sneaker has become a classic within the world of shoes. However, it has become quite a challenge to find one that is not decorated with unnecessary details or falls apart after half a year due to a lack of quality. Benjamin and his co-founder Jakob Burger decided to put an end to the endless search for the right sneaker and created their own label: Kūlson.
The Brand - Kūlson
When Benjamin Hoffman and Jakob founded their label, they wanted to recreate the image of the everyday sneaker. With Kūlson, they set a clear vision against the amount of uncomfortable, low-quality shoes that flood the fashion industry. They created a shoe that corresponds to high-quality standards while featuring a minimalistic and fresh design that is suitable for any occasion. The brand follows the uprising slow fashion trend by producing timeless designed sneakers that can be worn by anyone at any time.
The minimalistic design is inspired by Scandinavian styles and the label logo, a sparrow, visualises the characteristics the brand embraces: Urban, elegant, stylish, classy and yet very robust. With its fair production standards, Kūlson aims to raise awareness about the problems of pollution within the fashion industry and the indispensable start of looking for alternatives.
As a Berlin based sneaker brand, Kūlson first and foremost concentrates on sustainable manufacturing and high-quality design. Therefore, evaluating and choosing the right fabrics is crucial. The Kūlson shoe consist mainly of recycled materials from the textile and fashion industry. The brand is constantly working on how to use waste efficiently to produce new shoes. The super comfortable footbed of the sneakers consists of a memory foam made from recycled textile waste, which always adapts to the foot. Due to the fact that Kūlson attaches enormous importance to good workmanship and quality, the shoes last a lifetime and are, therefore, resource-friendly. Thus, Kūlson reduces the waste of the fashion industry and supports sustainable fashion.
Made in Europe
While the leather of the Kūlson sneaker comes from Italy, the production is stationed in Portugal. To find the best fitting manufacturing craftsmen, Benjamin and Jakob, traveled through Europe. Already being familiar with the people and culture, they focused their research on Portugal by visiting many different manufactories and luckily, they found a great manufacture close to Porto that supports the founder's mission. For Benjamin and Jakob, this includes fair working conditions, short trade routes, transparent corporate structures, resource-saving work and consistent recycling. Inspired by Scandinavian culture, founded in Germany, and produced in Portugal, the Kūlson brand is thoroughly a European brand.
How to keep the footprint in this world as green and small as possible? This is a question the founders keep pursuing to answer. Every production, as well as your fashion consume, produces emissions. Kūlson takes care of balancing them out. With the “Underwater project”, the brand actively supports environmental organisations committed to clean the oceans from the enduring pollution of plastic waste. With the purchase of Kūlson sneakers, the consumer makes an active contribution in supporting these organisations.