Sustainability, zero waste and fair fashion are terms that there’s no getting around in 2019. And rightly so. After all, it’s not only important, but absolutely crucial that we rethink our whole approach to fashion. We have also become increasingly passionate about these topics: on our blog we started the “six months of fair fashion & second-hand” project this year and after almost two months we’re already impressed at the huge variety of fair fashion labels out there. One of them is IND-Berlin. Nina Walter, the designer behind the label, has regularly been selling her fashion at pop-up boxes at Bikini Berlin since 2015. The special thing about IND-Berlin is that its fashions aren’t only sustainable but can always be worn in at least two different ways. We visited Nina in her current box, tried on a few pieces from her collection and asked her a few questions.
Hi there, Nina. Can you tell us a bit about your professional career? Have you always had a passion for fashion?
Definitely. I created my first designs when I was 12. After my school-leaving exams I had planned to do a traineeship at a leatherwear company, but it didn’t end up happening because the company had to be sold at short notice. Then I began a traineeship in a shoe company, which I didn’t really like, which is why I decided to quit and start a degree in fashion design. I really enjoyed that. And then I perfected my digital skills as a graphic and product designer and then gained even more knowledge as a product manager at a leather bags company.
How did you come up with the concept for IND?
At my first job I really wanted to prove to my boss what I was capable of. I was lying in bed one night when I suddenly came up with the idea for the Twock – a skirt that can also be worn as a waistcoat and bag. Everyone in the office was beside themselves with excitement and I had discovered my passion – flexible fashion.
Becoming self-employed was always my goal and once I had found my idea, I launched IND in 2014 in a friend’s old bar in Munich. I started out with the Twock, the Doubleshirt and the Flexishirt. But for some reason the concept didn’t really take off in Munich.
In 2015 I fell in love during Berlin Fashion Week – twice. Once in a man and once in Bikini Berlin. So I immediately upped sticks and rented a box here. And it’s gone really well ever since day one. Today, four years later, the love has remained. For the man and for Bikini Berlin! The collection has grown so much, and I now have several employees.
Do you have a favourite piece?
Personally, I love wearing skirts, which is why I like the different skirts from IND-Berlin the most.
And which items are your bestsellers?
For men the Flexishirt and for ladies the Doublepullover.
Does sustainability also play a role in your life outside of IND-Berlin?
Certainly. I try to be a little more economical with everything, to produce less rubbish, to drive less and to eat healthily. But sustainability is also important to me when it comes to personal relationships. I prefer to maintain longstanding friendships than constantly making new, superficial contacts. I don’t think that we humans can jump from 0 to 100 when it comes to sustainability, but we do need to start somewhere.