Fair Fashion Labels Köln
Sustainable shopping - no problem in Cologne. Photo: Adobe Stock

Fair fashion: six sustainable labels from Cologne

Cologne is a paradise for fashion lovers with an environmental conscience. We present six fair fashion labels - the most famous of which is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year.

Cologne is a green city. And not just because it has a lot of parks. The numerous sustainable labels and concept stores on its shopping streets are proof of its environmental credentials too. We celebrated a number of them in a vibrant fashion shoot in our K wie Köln magazine and we profile six of them here, along with the people behind them, working fervently to promote change.

Armedangels – from student start-up to trendsetter

Armedangels Martin Höfeler
Armedangels founder Martin Höfeler has turned environmentally friendly fair fashion into a successful business. Photo: Armedangels/Manuel Nieberle

When Martin Höfeler founded the Armedangels label with his fellow business administration student in 2007, they were among the trailblazers in the segment. Concepts such as “fair trade” and “eco-certified” were of far less interest to consumers back then. Thankfully, things have gradually changed and Armedangels’ success has grown as fashion fans’ environmental awareness has increased. With its stylishly simple and often timeless collections, the label now generates revenues that even amazed the people at Business Insider. Despite now being a global business, the company has kept its headquarters in Cologne – of course!

Armedangels garments are available from their online shop and in select stores such as Lanius, Merowingerstr. 7, 50677 Cologne

Lanius – A Cologne brand for green shoppers

Lanius has been around even longer than Armedangels and has four stores dotted around Cologne. It was back in 1999 that founder Claudia Lanius had the brainwave of creating fashion that combined high quality with fair working conditions and sustainable materials. Her daughter, Annabelle Hoffmann, joined her in 2013. In addition to cotton and linen, the label likes to use innovative materials such as Tencel (cellulose fibre made from wood pulp) and Seacell (which is seaweed-based).

Neusser Str. 61, 50670 Cologne / Merowingerstr. 7, 50677 Cologne / Apostelnstr. 6, 50667 Cologne / Berrenrather Str. 203, 50937 Cologne

Alma & Lovis – Two women, one mission

Alma & Lovis
Flowing fabrics made from completely natural materials: Alma & Lovis. Photo: Alma & Lovis

When Annette Hoffman and Elke Schilling met in Bonn in 2011, they’d both been in the fashion business a while. Annette had spent many years working as a designer for the sustainable label Hessnatur and Elke had already brought out her first environmentally friendly collection under the Alma & Lovis label. They’ve been a team ever since, designing clothing made from natural materials such as linen, hemp, alpaca wool and organic cotton. Strictly speaking, Alma & Lovis is a Bonn-based label but Cologne, where they have their second shop, is also a key location for the two designers.

Berrenrather Straße 274, 50937 Cologne

Oswen Footwear – Responsible fashion for feet

Paul Tudor, “an English man in Cologne”, in his own words, grew up in Manchester and has become quite a fan of Cologne over the years. He enthuses about the city’s history, culture and, yes, good beer on the website of the company he set up in September 2021: Oswen. The label’s philosophy is that sustainable outfits should include good-looking footwear. So Oswen shoes have a beautifully simple, often unisex, design for everyday wear and are produced in Europe using innovative materials such as cork, cord, crepe made from natural rubber latex and vegan leather. One of the lines, Ewaldi, is even named after the road where Paul lives in Cologne. If that ain’t true love!

Fejn Jewelry – Purist designs, recycled materials

Yes, jewellery is another thing you need to take a closer look at if you want your fashion choices to be kind on the planet. How was the material obtained? Who made the jewellery and how much were they paid? Founder Dagmar Kraemer spent many years in the fashion and jewellery industry before deciding to set up her own label in 2019. The Fejn Jewelry product range is made of recycled silver or gold, the purist pieces are designed in a studio in Cologne and a certified workshop in Thailand supports the production process. And if you want to splash out on one of their diamonds, there’s no need to feel guilty – they’re lab-grown.


Pikfine’s minimalist style is reflected in the label’s showroom in Cologne. Photo: Pikfine

A love of nature comes naturally to sisters Nora Schmitz and Clara Elsinghorst, who grew up in a small village, surrounded by woods and animals. So it was even more natural that they founded a sustainable accessories label in 2011 in an effort to do things better and promote awareness in an area where it was still lacking. Today, they’re supported by a large team and Pikfine makes more than 100 different accessories. There are bags, belts, purses and lots more, made of organic cotton, organically tanned leather from Germany and rhubarb leather. The jewellery collections are now completely made from recycled precious metals. The Pikfine online shop also stocks baby products such as shoes or dummy holders.

Showroom: Keupstr. 11, 51063 Cologne (only open Saturdays from 12 to 6pm – or you can collect by arrangement)

0 comments on “Fair fashion: six sustainable labels from Cologne

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *