„Even the furthest journey begins with the first step“ (Laotse)
The BRANDS story – from its foundation to the exciting present.
Trace My Shirt became TRACYCLE
Brands Fashion relaunched a complete product tracking system with extended features: full transparency with TRACYCLE.
BRANDS Fashion started works towards circularity!
BRANDS Fashion started working towards potential solutions for technical cycles, so that clothing will not remain just theoretically recyclable for value-addition.
Awarded a gold medal by EcoVadis
Brands Fashion has been awarded second time Gold-Status in the sustainability ranking for global supply chain by EcoVadi. Click on the news report.
Lead Partner of German Sustainability Award
In 2020, Brands Fashion was the lead partner of German Sustainability Award for the transforming field “supply chain”.
The first supply chain certified with Fairtrade-Textile Standard
Brands Fashion was the first company for launching Products certified with the Fairtrade-Textile Standard Logo. The novelty of the Standard is enabling step-by-step Living wages in the entire supply chain. Click here to go to the news.
First Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Collection with Gold level
Brands Fashion launched a new individually customizable basic collection in the Market, which was certified according to the future-oriented Cradle to Cradle Certified™ Product Standard at the Gold level. You can find the official product registry here.
Winner German Sustainability Award
Together with Sags Apparels, Brands Fashion wins the German Sustainability Award 2021 in the category Global Partnerships. Click here for our press release.
Mathias Diestelmann is shareholder
After three years of successful company management, Mathias Diestelmann becomes also partner of Brands Fashion GmbH on 16 December.
Opening of the first Green Factory in Tiruppur
We celebrate the opening of the first “Green Textile Factory” in Tiruppur with LEED certificate in platinum! Our long-standing partner SAGS APPARELS is not only Fairtrade and GOTS certified, but was also the first Indian company to convert an existing building into a Green Factory according to the strict specifications of the internationally renowned LEED system for sustainable buildings (Leader in Energy and Environmental Design) – and was awarded platinum certification! BRANDS is proud of the extraordinary and exemplary green commitment and the entrepreneurial performance and foresight of the brothers Sankar and Ganesh Anantharaman and their employees.
Uli Hofmann Chairman of the Advisory Board
Dr. Uli Hofmann is withdrawing from the operative business of Brands Fashion. He will continue to support the company as chairman of the advisory board.
Foundation of the new PROMOTION department
The portfolio of BRANDS is now supplemented by Social Green Promotion. In the past, BRANDS has already taken over the development and production of on-pack promotions and promotion accessories for various customers. This business segment is now to be further expanded. The range of sustainable promotional items is wide and varied, from writing utensils and soft toys to electronic accessories such as headphones or wireless chargers.
GoJungo - Interface to the marketplace connection
A new subsidiary is founded. GoJungo GmbH is a joint venture between BRANDS and the Danish Scan Thor Group. GoJungo is a full-service provider in the e-commerce business and takes over marketplace connections from brands. Managing directors are Mathias Diestelmann (Co-CEO) and Stephan Sommerlik (COO) of BRANDS as well as Frederik Thor Larsen (Co-CEO) of Scan Thor Group.
BRANDS wins Fairtrade Award
Jebsen & Jessen becomes majority shareholder
At the beginning of the year, the Jebsen & Jessen Group becomes the majority shareholder and strategic partner of BRANDS. Dr. Uli Hofmann remains CEO and shareholder. Jefferson GmbH, a 100% Jebsen & Jessen subsidiary, merges into BRANDS. This increases the range of textile merchandise for discount companies. It is decided to also sustainably expand this area „SOCIAL. GREEN“. Mathias Diestelmann, Jefferson’s previous managing director, becomes the third managing director at BRANDS. The Jebsen & Jessen Group also provides a strong procurement, quality assurance and compliance network in Asia through Triton Textiles (Hong Kong, Shanghai, Jakarta and Dhaka). The strategic partnership will be implemented immediately in the form of two major projects – expansion into the USA and logistics investment in Zachow, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania.
BRANDS launches in the USA
BRANDS opens a subsidiary in the USA (Charlotte, North Carolina) with its own warehouse. The first customers are globally active companies that are already BRANDS customers in Germany. Hendrik Lohkemper, former graduate of a dual apprenticeship at BRANDS and afterwards assistant to the management, becomes Managing Director of BRANDS FASHION US Ltd.
Logistics investment in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania
A new 27,000 square metre logistics centre in Zachow, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, goes into operation. The location is conveniently located on the A24 motorway between Hamburg and Berlin and, with an area of around 70,000 square metres, offers ample space for the future expansion of BRANDS’ logistics activities as well as for other companies in the Jebsen & Jessen Group.
And the winner is … BRANDS!
BRANDS wins three tenders for another major European supermarket chain: 1) design and product development, 2) production and 3) logistics. All tenders run independently and BRANDS holds its own against different specialists in the individual areas. In the end, BRANDS develops, produces and delivers sustainable new workwear made of Fairtrade-certified organic cotton for over 1,300 stores and approx. 150,000 employees.
Office and warehouse expansion at BRANDS’ headquarters
BRANDS doubles the office space to around 2,000 square meters and builds a third warehouse with around 2,000 square meters in Buchholz. In the new warehouse, a multi-storey, semi-automatic „pick & pack“ warehouse for over 25,000 stock keeping units (SKUs) is put into operation. BRANDS is thus responding to the sharp rise in demand for personalised and individual logistics services. In B2B, employees of chain stores receive their workwear in attractive personalized packaging, while in B2C BRANDS guarantees the prompt and efficient processing of e-shop orders, including returns management.
New ERP system Navision
In addition, a new merchandise management system with integrated financial accounting (Microsoft NAVISION) was successfully introduced after a development phase of just over one year, which considerably facilitates the automation of processes at BRANDS. A strong IT team under the leadership of Stephan Sommerlik is constantly pushing ahead with digitization at BRANDS.
Sustainable workwear for a major customer
BRANDS has developed various workwear shirts and trousers in 100% organic cotton, which are very durable and meet the high requirements for workwear. BRANDS convinces a large European supermarket chain to use 100% GOTS certified organic cotton in their workwear (jeans, chinos, polo shirts, shirts and blouses) and equips over 250,000 employees across Europe with this innovative, sustainable workwear. As a result, numerous other customers can also be persuaded to do without mixed fabrics (cotton/polyester) in their workwear and the number of sustainable workwear collections developed by BRANDS is constantly increasing.
BRANDS TeamTex is founded
BRANDS TeamTex GmbH is founded as a 100% subsidiary, which focuses on small and medium-sized customers in work and promotional clothing. Henning Brandt becomes Managing Director of BRANDS TeamTex. Dr. Uli Hofmann concentrates with BRANDS on the key account business (companies with more than 1,000 employees). An internet platform for individual clothing www.brds.com goes online. Silke Rosebrock becomes second managing director at BRANDS.
Foundation Shirts For Life
The idea of Kerstin Hofmann at the foundation of the fashion label Shirts For Life was that every consumer can support an educational project in Asia with 1 € to buy the Shirts For Life parts. Through the better education it is possible for the pupils to receive a higher income later and to have a better standard of living. Most of the clothing is Fairtrade-certified and the cotton farmers receive a bonus for their work.
The label also stands for fashion that also looks really good and is fun! In fashionable styles and colours, mainly Fairtrade and GOTS certified. Sustainability is not a catchword for us, it applies from the cotton field to the label on the finished garment and beyond.
BRANDS receives GOTS certification
BRANDS has now defined various supply chains for cotton products in India and Bangladesh and all partners have been certified by the independent testing institute Control Union according to the „Global Organic Textile Standards“ (GOTS). BRANDS in Germany and BRANDS Polska in Poland are among the first European textile companies to receive GOTS certification. With the textile printing company BRANDS Polska it is thus also guaranteed that finishing in Europe also takes place under very high ecological standards.
Sea Shepherd becomes Full Service Merchandising Customer
The environmental organization Sea Shepherd becomes a full service merchandising customer, and many employees of BRANDS become enthusiastic supporters of Sea Shepherd. The customer is convinced of BRANDS’ green strategy and helps driving the development of sustainable products and processes at BRANDS.
BRANDS becomes shareholder of Clothing Network
BRANDS becomes shareholder of Clothing Network GmbH, Grabenstätt (Chiemsee). The founder of Clothing Network, Rupert Gimpl, remains on board as shareholder and CEO and continues to shape the strategic direction of the company. Clothing Network is a specialist for high-quality outdoor and merchandising clothing and complements BRANDS’ network and know-how.
BRANDS becomes "SOCIAL. GREEN. FASHION."
The sustainability department headed by Kerstin Hofmann is founded. Today, four employees work in this department.
BRANDS wins European pitch for Shell
BRANDS wins Shell’s Europe-wide tender to supply several thousand filling stations in Europe. BRANDS develops an online ordering tool with payment options in many Eastern and Western European countries. In addition, a large Europe-wide Shell promotion with more than two million articles is carried out.
Strategic partnership with Indian supplier starts
In southern India, Henning Brandt and Dr. Uli Hofmann meet the textile entrepreneur Ganesh Anantharaman and decide to jointly establish a „green supply chain“ for the production of T-shirts, polo shirts and sweatshirts. In India, numerous suppliers (cotton ginners, spinning mills, dyeing plants with modern purification technology and knitting mills) are visited and selected, and agreements are concluded with various cotton cooperatives focusing on the cultivation of organic cotton. The supply chains are now transparent and can be traced on request using the „TraceMyShirt“ tool developed by BRANDS.
BRANDS becomes „SOCIAL. FASHION.“
BRANDs joins the European Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI, now amfori-BSCI) at an early stage. The BSCI offers companies a code of conduct that supports them in their efforts to build an ethical supply chain. Frank Eckert, who is experienced in the fashion industry, joins BRANDS as Head of Design and Product Development and strengthens the claim that workwear should also be modern and stylish!
ISO 9001 certification
BRANDS is also increasingly expanding as a service and logistics company. The ISO 9001 certification is carried out and BRANDS thus proves a high quality standard with regard to its products and processes.
Sports jersey production starts at BRANDS Polska
BRANDS Polska has successfully expanded its competence in textile printing and offers sublimation printing on polyester and functional shirts. Bicycle and running jerseys can be designed completely („allover print“) individually and can be produced in small quantities of ten for events. Today, more than 80,000 jerseys are produced annually. BRANDS Polska’s biggest customer in this area is the Danish sportswear company Hummel.
Innovative project for the catering trade
BRANDS carries out a co-branding project for its customer Jägermeister for the catering trade. A „Jägermeister Gastro Collection” (aprons, shirts, blouses, etc.) is produced in large quantities in the Far East at low cost and subsequently embroidered at BRANDS Polska in small quantities with the logo/branding of Jägermeister’s catering partner. The campaign is very successful and leads to an even higher brand awareness and popularity of Jägermeister in gastronomy.
Airbus becomes Full Service Merchandising Customer
BRANDS wins the contract to build the worldwide merchandising activities of Airbus in a multi-stage tendering procedure.
After five successful years BRANDS experiences its first dent in growth. The reason for this is not the global financial crisis, but errors in quality assurance at BRANDS: A large order for 1.2 million backpacks for a globally operating petrol station chain is produced under high time pressure in three factories in China, the products are tested in random samples in all factories and all results are positive. After delivery, however, some backpacks have a strange odour, caused by exceeded limits of a chemical. The problematic production batch cannot be located and 1.2 million backpacks have to be recalled from all over Europe and then destroyed. The customer suffers a high image damage and BRANDS suffers high financial losses. However, BRANDS is not solely responsible for the poor quality assurance in this project. After all, there is an amicable agreement with the customer, and the business relationship will be continued in the following years and expanded worldwide. BRANDS draws lessons from the disaster and implements the first major pillar of its sustainability strategy: A quality assurance department is established and the process of ISO 9001-certified quality assurance systems begins. In addition, the partnership with various independent testing institutes in Germany and Asia is considerably expanded. Today, BRANDS employs five people in the Quality Assurance department in Germany and, with Triton Textiles, has four quality assurance and social compliance offices in Asia with over 120 employees. In addition, BRANDS invests a seven-figure sum annually in the work of independent testing institutes. In 2008, BRANDS starts to rethink its approach; sustainability, the environment and social issues become even more important.
Individualization in mass production
BRANDS Polska receives a major order from a German supermarket chain to embroider polo shirts with individual names. Every week, up to 8,000 polo shirts are embroidered and sent to the various stores.
A summer’s fairy tale
World Cup in Germany. For the first time BRANDS produces promotional Germany-jerseys for Unilever and other customers. A new record order with quantities >500,000 is successfully completed. At the end of 2006, BRANDS moves into its own new office building and warehouse in Buchholz in der Nordheide.
Chain stores become core target group
The first DIY store and petrol station chains become BRANDS workwear customers. BRANDS’ full service offer “”Design – Production – Logistics”” is in great demand among chain stores and the focus on large workwear customers begins.
Expansion of production BRANDS Polska
Office, production and warehouse are expanded to a total of 3,000 square meters.
First major customer
Unilever Hamburg becomes a customer of BRANDS. For the first time, BRANDS produces over 100,000 units in Asia for numerous on-pack campaigns.
Hamburg’s football club FC St. Pauli succeeds in financial liberation in a legendary rescue operation. Of the 102,948 “”World Cup Winner Winner”” shirts sold, BRANDS is allowed to produce and print some 1,000 shirts. Silke Rosebrock (today CCO) and Frank Blankertz (today Head of Logistics) are among the first employees of BRANDS. By the end of 2003, BRANDS had twelve employees in Germany and successfully closed its first business year with a turnover of around € 2 million and a small profit.
Foundation of Corporate Wear GmbH & Co. KG, Germany
Henning Brandt meets the entrepreneur and textile merchant Dr. Uli Hofmann. In December 2002, together with Kersten Kruse, they founded BRANDS Corporate Wear GmbH & Co. KG (today: BRANDS) as a textile trading and service company in Nordheide (approx. 30 kilometres south of Hamburg). The company starts with Henning Brandt and Dr. Uli Hofmann in the management and one employee. A small warehouse and office in Nenndorf near Hamburg is the first location.
First Full Service Merchandising Customer
The Holsten Brewery’s Astra Shop (www.astra-shop.de) becomes BRANDS’ first full-service merchandising customer. BRANDS handles the entire e-shop process, including logistics and the production of the Astra shirts.
Football drama – order cancelled!
Bayern Munich loses the Champions League final at the last minute against Manchester United with 1:2. BRANDS Polska was commissioned to embroider as many winning caps as possible in a short period of time in case the Bavarians won. Kersten Kruse was ready with a large team to embroider several thousand caps within 24 hours. The night shift was firmly scheduled, then Manchester scored two more goals in extra time. Order cancelled!
Expansion by textile printing plant
The Cologne-based textile printer Georg Meyer comes to Poland and establishes the textile printing plant. Initial investments are made in modern screen printing technology.
First and oldest workwear customer
Joey’s Pizza Service becomes the first workwear customer of BRANDS and is still a customer today. The initially three branches in Hamburg have now grown to several hundred pizza stations in Germany. BRANDS accompanied the expansion without interruption and developed many workwear collections for Joey’s. In 2016 Dominos took over Joey’s Pizza Service. Today Dominos is a BRANDS customer throughout Europe.
Establishment of the textile production BRANDS Polska
BRANDS has its roots in textile production. The Hamburg businessman Henning Brandt and the textile specialist Kersten Kruse founded the textile embroidery and printing company BRANDS Polska Sp. z.o.o. in Somonino near Gdansk in Poland in 1996 to produce for the German and Polish markets. The production plant is continuously expanded with finishing techniques. This includes textile screen printing, foil transfer and flock transfer printing, sublimation printing for polyester jerseys, laser engraving on fleece and softshell materials as well as all conceivable application embroideries and prints. BRANDS Polska also set up a small textile confection shop in which aprons, jackets, waistcoats and many other textiles are custom-made in small runs of 50 pieces and more. The BRANDS standard collection (unfinished T-shirts, polo shirts, sweaters and jackets) is kept in its own warehouse with around 1,500 pallet spaces, so that it can be embroidered or printed with company logos at short notice within just a few days in the case of urgent customer enquiries. Today, BRANDS Polska is managed by Kersten Kruse and employs around 120 people.