Changing The Game: Our Exclusive Interview With Sneaker Store We Love Alma
The independent sneaker store taking a sustainable stance.
Founded by friends Anke and Saskia, We Love Alma is an independent sneaker store based in Cologne, Germany. After years of working in the creative industries, Anke and Saskia changed paths to channel their love for quality sneakers. Stocking a range of sneaker styles in women’s and children’s sizes, We Love Alma is out to cater to the female sneakerhead’s every need, offering both big brands and ethical, vegan options. We caught up with the inspiring women to find out more about the store.
Hey! So first things first, what made you guys decide to open up your own sneaker store?
It was literally just the constant disappointment (laughs). The shoes we wanted were always only available in men’s sizes. It was all about changing that.
As “sneaker junkies,” tell us what makes a really great sneaker to you.
The right pair are the icing on the cake! They complete your outfit and make you smile every time you look down.
And can you tell us about your sustainable range?
To be honest, sustainability wasn’t really a big focus of ours when we first started our Alma Store project. But we really listened to our customers. They asked us to find cool, vegan, ethical shoes, so that’s what we did. We instantly fell in love with the Veja silhouettes. A little retro with bright colors and unusual fabrics, such as raw silk. Another very important brand in our portfolio is Pinqponq, a cologne-based brand selling backpacks and bags made from recycled PET bottles. They took off very quickly and now, everybody is talking about them.
As a small, independent sneaker store, what inspired you to stock a sustainable line in a world that’s, arguably, not yet completely hooked on sustainable fashion?
Well, it was important to us from the beginning to give more than other stores. We have to be different and unique, otherwise we wouldn’t have a chance against all the big players. Not only is our portfolio different, but we are different too. This is a big adventure for us, a challenge, even! We are on an expedition, finding out what the world has to offer. There is so much more out there than just the well known, established brands. And, so far, our customers are happy about what we’re able to deliver.
Do you guys think the sustainable fashion world needs to get a boost in the mainstream market?
I think we’re in a good position as consumers right now. We need to be demanding, and only buy the pieces we really love. It’s all about quality not quantity and being able to spend the money that we do have on the right products. Why wear anything short of great quality?
What’s next on your journey with sustainable and vegan wearables?
Oh, we’re always looking for new inspiration. We ask everybody to bring new ideas from their travels. Tell us what you like and what you’ve experienced. It’s all about taking this, and moving forward with it.
And finally, the all-important question: If Fizzy Mag were a sustainable sneaker, what would we be?
No question about it, you guys are the Veja x Flaneurz collab! You’ve got hot wheels, baby!
For more info on sustainable fashion, check out our interview with Areta Szpura here.
All images via Instagram @veja