VinoKilo: A Sustainable Business That’s Changing the Way We Shop

On April 28th, VinoKilo brought its carefully-curated selection of vintage fashion to Berlin’s Agora Rollberg. And, it was the perfect venue for this type of event: vast concrete walls were flanked by rows of racks and tables displaying an exciting array of colour, pattern, and texture. VinoKilo’s offering is a sight that’s hard to resist, and one’s steps inevitably quicken as they hope to be the first to get at that one or two—or ten—special pieces.

We have Robin Basler to thank for this sustainable initiative, which sells vintage clothing by the kilo at pop-up events all around Europe.

“I like to do things. Not only talking, but doing. VinoKilo was founded as a test to see if people even like vintage clothes. The queues are still not getting shorter—we’re working at high speed and growing.”

A few years ago, Robin found a jacket he really liked and happened to meet the person who used to own it. He wanted others to be able to experience this kind of moment, the happiness and sense of connection intrinsic to it, so he founded Darpdecade—a platform where users can swap and share clothes locally.

In 2016, he expanded this core concept and founded VinoKilo as a large-scale vintage market where people could enjoy wine, live music, and unlimited re-filing of racks.

“The fashion industry was always a topic that concerned me and I’ve been working since day one on how to make a change within it… With VinoKilo, I hope to build a community and shift the way we consume clothes.”

Of course, running a business does pose some challenges. In the beginning, Robin says, there were lots of logistical obstacles. Another challenge is to implement structures while growing very fast. However, keeping a good attitude—thinking big, being open minded, and remaining flexible—enables Robin and his staff to handle anything that comes their way.

For Robin, there are many benefits to running his own business:

“You can be extremely creative with what you do. You just test and try and fail—like this you figure out what can work as a business and what might be just another crazy idea.”

Robin’s advice to new entrepreneurs is also in line with this spirit of experimentation: “Don’t hesitate to try new things and do things differently.”

Robin has many plans for VinoKilo. On the short-term, he’d like to test online sales more as well as increase efforts around hosting pop-up stores in Germany. At the same time, VinoKilo is set to grow more in northern Germany this year. VinoKilo will also host a crowdfunding campaign, which will start at the end of the summer.

As for long-term goals, Robin and his team are working on how to position VinoKilo into the larger picture of how we consume, and more broadly, how we structure our economy.

SumUp is proud to work with sustainable businesses like VinoKilo, and we’re delighted to say they began using SumUp quite early on and are still happy with us.

“It is a very easy and flexible way to pay, which fits very well to our business concept… For us, there are a million things to think about when we organize an event, so it’s great that card payment is a part we do not have to worry about.”

Robin also says many of his customers are relieved to pay by card, especially when they shopped more than they planned to!

Stay tuned for VinoKilo’s next events:

May 27 at JunkYard (Schlägelstraße 57) in Dortmund, Germany

June 2, 3, 4 at Extrema Outdoor Belgium (Binnenvaartstraat z/n) in Houthalen, Belgium

June 10 at Kesselhaus (Lilienthalallee 29) in Munich, Germany

July 7, 8, 9 at Extrema Outdoor Netherlands (Zoetendaal 10) in Wanroij, Netherlands

July 14, 15, 16 at Melt! Festival (Ferropolisstraße 1) in Gräfenhainchen, Germany

August 18, 19, 20 at MS Dockville (Reihersteig Hauptdeich / Alte Schleuse) in Hamburg, Germany

Blog author

Christine Lariviere