Take 5 with... Vera Gunther from Mimycri!
Immigration, fashion, social responsibility - they really do go together! We had a chance to ask a couple of questions to someone who is a true ambassador of those three topics and a truly inspiring and empathetic entrepreneur. This week we bring to you incredible Vera Gunther, the co-founder of Mimycri, whose energy we first witnessed in Neonyt Berlin and it has stayed with us ever since!
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, your background, and how you ended up where you are right now.
I am Vera, a dreamer and maker, passionate about creating a better world in which your future does not depend on where you were born. I think fashion is a great tool and lense to work towards my vision. Before creating mimycri, I have been negotiating the Sustainable Development Goals on behalf of the German government and worked on the implementation at the UN Environment International Resource Panel. Creating mimycri developed out of a very intense volunteer experience between those two jobs at the Greek island Chios. After some months of working at the shores and in the camps, I wanted to take some of the experiences I made on Chios back and make it available for more people. I have been volunteering in Chios with one of my best friends with whom I then founded mimycri. This has been in 2017 and the journey until this day has been amazing and truly enriching and enlightening.
2. What are your personal values and how did they influence your professional choices?
I believe in beauty, courage and freedom. Throughout my whole professional life I have been guided by my values. I am eager to learn and understand this complex world a little bit better. One of my missions is to bring together what is not thought to belong together. To somehow shed some light on these interdependencies, which are actually beautiful because they show that we all somehow belong together.
So I am working on bringing together fashion, migration, environmental protection and political engagement. I always want to be courageous and try out things, to make myself as independent of material objects as possible and to create beauty.
3. What are the biggest hinderances, and also biggest satisfactions, in leading a socially relevant enterprise like yours?
It's challenging that we are still the exception and not the norm. This means that a lot of people expect certain prices and those are not the prices we can and want to offer. We believe there is still a lot of work done in order to de-anonymize the products people are buying and creating awareness for that you are what you wear. But we are not the only ones fighting for this and it feels great to be part of this movement, which gets stronger and stronger. The biggest satisfactions are the feedback we get from our customers, the impact that we have with what we do and the beauty we already created - with our products, with our story and with the discussions and encounters we enabled.
4. If you were to have a single one clear message to those who follow you - what would it be?
These days I would love to quote Greta Thunberg: "Activism works. So act"
There are so many possibilities to contribute in making this world a little more fair, inclusive and regenerative. Chose the one that gives you energy. And then, go for it!
Also: "we raise by lifting others"
Let's support each other, form coalitions, encourage, applaud and smile. It will make difference.
5. Any personal heroes or inspirations that you could share?
Inspirations: Some of the best inspirations in my life I got from being alone in nature. It's a little weird at first to lie on the forest floor all by yourself, but not only does it get addictive, it grounds you and connects you to your inner inspiration source.
For more, take a look at Vera’s TED Talk below!