Sebastian, 6th generation footwear professional since 1856, is the Founder x Designer of high-end sneaker brand nat-2™. Sustainability is key since more than 165 years in the family tradition. He is also the owner of established home brand thies ®. With his various own projects and work for third parties he follows the goal to establish a, what he calls “Common Sense Design” – Philosophy combining form, function, purpose, sustainability and aesthetics to products with the right to exist.

Why do you support circular/sustainable fashion?

Because it is the only way to have a right for existence in the future. As a brand, company and product. Creating useless products for a short visioned immediate profit will end in an lucky exit for the founder/owner or sudden death as a company sooner or later.

nat-2 Bubble Wrap sneaker (8)
What is your main challenge implementing sustainability/circular fashion in your vocation?

Creating products as we do, but keeping them as affordable as possible. Therefore we need to accomplish a large follower base in order to increase volumes and therefore being able to reduce costs and retail prices at the end in order to gain larger ground in the market and reduce the amount of useless products in the market.

Describe the experience

Among the interested community we are globally known for our projects and have great success. There are no real negative learnings but challenges. For example to convince the international retail and luxury market to try new things and support innovative brands and products with solutions instead simply following the money and number of social media followers at date.

What are your learnings and what advice can you share with others?

If you really create something new, do not expect to be able to live from it or run a whole company in a very short time. Keep a second base within the same or another field, which will give your (monetary) freedom to be as innovative and disruptive as you wish. Otherwise the creativity will be quickly limited and turns into pure pressure followed by the end of freedom creating the project as visioned.

If you have a proof of concept and visionary idea, stick with it. The real long living success stories were always ahead of time when started. In every industry. We started in 2007 our nat-2™ project and even or especially industry insiders didn’t take our approach seriously. We haven’t heard anyone laughing for a very long time 😉

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