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Ode to Annouk

annouk.jpgIt’s a bit strange to see each other after such a long time. Strange and simple at once. Because we’re still partners. Connecting souls you could call us.

Five years ago we found each other in a dream. A dream to show young and trendy people that eco clothes were no jute bags anymore. On the contrary, they could be very fashionable combining good quality with great design. We lived our dream and initiated one project after the other. Fashion shows, workshops, video projects, photo shoots and more. All with the same message: spread the word on eco fashion! We worked with TV, with magazines, non-profit organizations, schools  and festivals. We co-developed a booklet for fashion students and most of all: we brought the first hiphonest eco labels to Holland. I know I sound like an old fool when I say we were proud to find and promote Howies, Loomstate, American Apparel and Beyond Skin at that time. Our network of creative young people grew day by day, because everyone adored what we did and we loved what we co-created with them.

Then the big guys came in along with some serious $. And before we knew it we were caught in a YOI ride. With a board of so-called ‘important’ people, a lot of press and even more pressure. We travelled the world, found more labels and sold them in the first eco concept store in Amsterdam. We became guest speakers, lecturers and talk show guests. Everything went too fast and way too furious. And after one of the big guys stealing a big amount of money from our baby, issues became problems became dramas resulting in The Ultimate Clash between us.

YOI was not so much joy anymore. We were 25 and exhausted.

And now we’re sitting in our old hang out Café Katoen (which actually means Café Cotton, what a coincidence!) and talk and hug and cry.

It’s sad to loose a business, but amazing to reunite with one of my best friends.

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