Devon has a number of the finest browsing seashores within the UK — a reality which can have performed a component in persuading a younger Lutz Schwenke to check on the College of Plymouth.

Founder & CEO TWOTHIRDS: Lutz Schwenke. Picture: Picket Movie

However it was additionally the data that the establishment is ranked primary on this planet for its marine ecosystem analysis which drew the German-born founder (and future CEO) of Spanish vogue model TWOTHIRDS to England.

Whereas the Devon coast provides its personal chilly challenges, Schwenke’s ardour for waves started in hotter waters. On the age of 12, he was despatched to Hawaii’s Maui Ocean Academy, the place he acquired a love of browsing — and a long-lasting appreciation of marine ecology. As a teenager, he was enormously influenced by the movies of French marine conservationist Jacque Cousteau, and through the years grew to become more and more involved in regards to the ecological risk to the world’s oceans.

He based TWOTHIRDS 12 years in the past to create a clothes model which mixed surf tradition and environmentalism, underneath the motto: “Shield what you like.” (The corporate identify is a reference to the truth that oceans cowl two-thirds of the planet’s floor.)

Additional inspiration got here to him on browsing journeys to San Sebastian on Spain’s Catalonia coast. “I favored the concept of making a model that confirmed ardour for the ocean, and taking good care of it,” he says. “I’ve a particular bond with the water. It’s a vital a part of my life.”

The 39-year-old entrepreneur is married, with three daughters, and stays as enthusiastic as ever about browsing. He writes a weblog about his favorite seashores, and through lockdown missed the game a lot he posted a tongue-in-cheek video to Fb. It confirmed Schwenke and his canine, Lala, balancing shakily on a surfboard in entrance of a home-cinema massive display of breaking waves — and garnered loads of views.

“Founding a model is a journey again to your self,” he says. “It forces you to outline who you might be, and what you actually stand for. Then there’s this unbelievable second when every thing aligns, and the model turns into a pure expression of your values.”

TWOTHIRDS employs 35 individuals, creating clothes from sustainable sources which have zero influence on the planet. All of the merchandise are climate-neutral, and comprised of pure supplies together with cotton, hemp, fibre from bushes — and even algae. The corporate’s Barcelona HQ is solely powered by photo voltaic panels, and its transport fleet is electrical. The agency makes use of trusted suppliers in Portugal, France, Italy and Spain, the place honest labour is an overriding precept — and donates 10 p.c of gross income to ocean conservation.

Schwenke’s biggest criticism of the standard clothes trade is the waste it produces, notably the quantity of “deadstock” — objects manufactured however by no means offered due to altering vogues. “Trend is fickle,” he says. “We aren’t.” He was clear from the beginning that his clothes ought to be sturdy, but in addition free from the same old constraints of vogue. TWOTHIRDS designs rise above the volatility of developments, he says.

When he started the corporate, Schwenke assumed his goal market can be the male browsing set, the place strong and trendy clothes was important. However it quickly grew to become obvious that the model’s ecological message was attracting a broader clientele. The goal buyer in 2022 is a lady in her 30s who takes care of her well being and health, and eats natural meals…

Lutz Schwenke gained a BA honours diploma from Plymouth earlier than finishing an MA in Economics on the College of Hamburg. He later labored for the United Nations, researching sustainability initiatives, earlier than beginning TWOTHIRDS in 2010.