Lena Schröder became a freelancer ten years ago with her sustainable women’s fashion label TRINKHALLEN SCHICKERIA. She went to a school for textile engineering in Offenbach and later studied fashion design, which is when she began working with the concept of reusing fabrics. Her love of flea market bargains and her financial situation as a student led Lena to develop a special eye for her findings and she started making new things out of the old. Her idealism and love for detail became the theme of her work.
Lena Schröder is the head of the label and owner of the store KLEIDEREI in Cologne, which is also the headquarters of the TRINKHALLEN SCHICKERIA. She is also the co-organiser of the platform for young German fashion and product design, DER SUPER MARKT, that is put on a few times a year.
Illustrations: Patricia Tarczynski / Photography: Andreas Wißkirchen
Orientation and Mindset
TRINKHALLEN SCHICKERIA sees itself as a slow fashion manufacturer, in contrast to the current fast fashion industry. Vintage fabrics, old pieces of clothing and surplus production are individually chosen and put into collections so they can be used at the right time later on. Upcycling is the magic word here. The important aspects are: regionality, saving resources, manual work, meaningful cooperation, creating synergy as well as sharing, lending and mending things. There are already so many existing textiles out there that are just waiting to be reused, there isn’t a need to produce things from scratch.
Trendy and long-lasting fashion
We’re not about trends and short-lived must-haves, we’re about using existing material to produce good, long-lasting collections of everyday clothing that are fun for the women who wear them. Each Trinkhallen Schickeria piece can also be brought back to the atelier in Cologne-Ehrenfeld to be mended.
In addition to that, everything is produced sustainably and fairly in Cologne. It’s good to see that more and more people today are questioning their consumer behaviour. There is an increasing number of people that inform themselves about consumerism and understand that consumer behaviour is the part of the system that keeps it running. The social wrongs that happen along the chain of production are increasingly being made public and that’s a good thing!
At the same time, TRINKHALLEN SCHICKERIA shows that it isn’t necessary to bury your head in the sand because it offers consumers a modern alternative.
Photography: Trinkhallen Schickeria
Origin of the Material
The fabrics used in the collections come from different places. Besides actually buying the rummage pieces at flea markets, we have a cooperation with VINTAGE EMDE. Individual pieces that don’t sell very well are used by the label. It’s a win-win situation for the environment as well.
In the meantime we have a large collection of fabrics in our warehouse just waiting to be used in production. Often times, the shape, colour or haptic of an old piece of clothing are the starting point for a new idea. For example, men’s shirts are made into dresses or blouses and wool plaid skirts become kimonos. The idea that each individual piece has its own story to tell and is made of individual experiences is what makes each product special, which is why the clothing is only available in stores.