Annegret Affolderbach

Designer & Founder of CHOOLIPS, Annegret Affolderbach is a fashion entrepreneur with wide-reaching vision. Annegret moved from East Germany to London in 1994. After completing her degree in Fine Arts at Middlesex University, Annegret worked in all areas of the fashion world, from pop styling and theatre costume design to cutting patterns for top high street brands, developing holographic textiles and dream experiences for Coca Cola. Annegret has travelled extensively in Africa, India, the US and Europe building broad networks across fashion & the creative industries. She writes her own column {sustain} @ as ‘fashion-E-ditor’ for Sustainable Fashion. {sustain} looks at the journey of Eco/Sustainable Fashion, the exciting & innovative businesses it unfolds and the potent future it presents for our global Fashion Industry.

Inspired by people, their lives and entrepreneurial small businesses in developing economies, Annegret’s passion for textiles brought to mind the idea to revamp traditional techniques such as batik & appliqué with the aim to revive these and to sustain the artisans and entrepreneurs behind them. These were to be produced, using the Fair Trade model, in the home country of those techniques in collaboration with a local skilled workforce.

?!X: What’s the Future You Choose?

AA: In my minds eye and my hearts scope I choose a future that provides balance and harmony for people and our planet. I wish for people to receive more than survival but rather the luxuries of having their conscience stirred, the peace to contemplate the futures they would like to shape, the space to discover their talents and the resources to employ these to make it happen.

?!X: What’s a ‘think’ to create this future?

AA: The knowledge that a world can change when we unite. I grew up in East Germany within the confinements of the wall. I spent my childhood standing on tiptoes trying to peak over the edges and searching for the cracks that would let in the light. I was there when the wall came down. It was a powerful time. My people made it topple. They united, took their courage to the streets, made their voices heard. There were a few weeks after the event when nothing was set in stone – politics, education, supermarket shelves – all was in suspense. It equipped me with feelings of what I can only describe as freedom, hope and fearlessness for my future. In essence it provided the consciousness that I could make it happen my way.

?!X: What’s an ‘act’ to create the future you choose?

AA:  Take a minute. Stand on the edge of a cliff and catch the gaze of the horizon. Take a breath and listen. Come back and tell me what you discovered.

?!X: What’s a ‘vote’ to create the future you choose?

AA: My ‘vote’ is to do my bit to challenge the status quo gracefully & fearlessly.

My ‘vote’ is to inspire balance, harmony & the beauty of simplicity by employing my talents as a designer & writer.

My ‘vote’ is to speak my truths without dressing them up.

My ‘vote’ is to inspire fairness & kindness by making the processes in my work sustainable from word go; fair and kind to people and our planet.

My ‘vote’ is to put a transparent price tag on the products I create. Making the processes and the stories behind my products transparent and accessible to both consumers & producers will help them unite in discovery and knowledge. This notion of transparent trade will provide true & honest choices for each person engaged with the product. It provides a direct lifeline between consumers & producers putting value back into each skill employed & each purchase made.

?!X: Future Soundtrack – What song would you take with you into the future? 

AA: My Way by Frank Sinatra

?!X: What are your five all time favourite weblinks?


Follow Annegret on Twitter @Choolips

How can we Create the Future you Choose? Take part here.