The start-ups usually create a product, find suppliers and then sells it. Instead, Kasper Brandi Petersen skipped the first step and took advantage of their experience in the giant shipping company Maersk to help make something more sustainable the fashion industry, which has a growing trend to the disposable.
Labfresh, Petersen, uses molecular technology to produce informal shirts that repel stains and odors. Those who have tried them say that it can be used for a week and that they are still looking like new despite the perspiration and spilled red wine. As it does not you need to wash them as often as cotton t-shirts, it is estimated that they will last longer.
“For us happens sustainability for organic cotton but buy 10 products instead of 50,” Petersen said in a recent telephone interview from Amsterdam, where he runs Labfresh along with his Dutch girlfriend Lotte Vink.
The popularity of your clothes is part of a wave of growing criticism in Europe to the culture of the “fast fashion” that encourages excessive consumption of short shelf life clothing. In the United Kingdom, lawmakers assess a special tax to fund recycling and reduce industry greenhouse gas emissions.
As Nike Labfresh technology is not new or unique, but is not as common in Europe as in the United States, where mostly synthetic materials are used.
“We see that the market had much technology used by sports such as Nike or Patagonia brands, but showing fashion brands are reluctant to use,” he said.
Petersen joined the fashion industry with his first startup, a personal shopper online called The Cloakroom, which sold Modomoto in 2016.
The idea of his latest venture came during a romantic weekend in Paris in the summer of 2016, when the couple made a halt in their tours and wine tastings to visit some local scientists.
“They had created amazing technology and a gender and no one wanted to buy them,” said the Danish, who has 33 years.
It was there where Peter was useful experience in the shipping industry. Visit logistics centres in Nigeria, Oman or India as a member of a Maersk program graduate, Petersen realized that could create an own supply chain that would help give you a competitive advantage.
“What am most proud is the fact of having been able to convince so many links in our supply chain of adapt to new processes of production completely”, he said.
Petersen and his partner took his new venture the equivalent television Danish of the British “Dragon’s Den” and the American “Shark Tank”, where they got an investment of 600,000 crowns (60 million pesos) of the capitalist’s most famous risk of Denmark, Tommy Ahlers, in Exchange for a share of 15 percent in Labfresh. Since then, Ahlers has become Minister of the Government and no longer has an active role in the company.
Last year Labfresh had a small gain, the first in the business career of Petersen, who says that now points to “of at least 200 percent”annual growth and sales of 10 million euros (7 thousand 500 million pesos) by 2020.
The shirts are expensive – 119 euros, compared to 99 euros for a Basic equivalent Eton-, but Petersen says that economies of scale will soon allow you to lower prices by 20%.