Our brand is the result of a long journey – starting with skateboards, hoodies and denim, reaching an eye-opening shock moment when visiting the production facilities of our jeans and all the way to the resulting rebirth of ragwear as a vegan brand with a high sense of responsibility towards people and nature. In the past twenty years and more, ragwear has taken an exciting and sometimes rocky road.

To understand ragwear´s history, you need to go back to the source of the ragwear spirit – which lies in the free-wheeling skateboard scene of the late 90s. ragwear founder Holger Brodkorb wasn’t even a skater at the time, since Holger has actually always been a passionate snowboarder. One of the first German indoor skate halls, the Skate Cosmos in Hessen, only opened up for him in Limburg in the late 1990s.

At that time, the skater look was gaining ground and streetwear became established as an independent segment in the fashion industry. Holger developed his passion for fashion and sold his first home-made sweatshirts: ragwear was born! 

In the course of his activity in the exciting skate environment, ragwear became a sponsor of the first German girl’s professional team, among other things, and travelled from contest to contest along with the tour bus and crew. Before long the popular street styles were being sold in trendy skate shops all over Germany. From cool logo shirts and hoodies to jeans and jackets – ragwear quickly developed into a brand with a wide range of products.

A shocking experience and its consequences

In 1997 - the year ragwear was founded - sustainability has not yet moved into the focus of society. At that time, we too had not yet taken a closer look at the issue. This changed in 2007 at the height of our denim story. At that time, jeans are an integral part of our collection and we are responsible for the product from design to production.

On one of his numerous trips, our founder Holger visits a laundry in the North African desert. For those who have not yet seen the production facilities of industrial denim laundries with their own eyes, it is difficult to imagine the dimensions: In halls the size of a football field there are dozens of huge washing pots in which thousands of jeans are dyed and finished at the same time. This was also the case in the factory that Holger visited. However, the consequences of this process were not clear to us at the time. With his own eyes, he saw how the chemical-contaminated wastewater - a stinking broth - flowed out of the building unfiltered via a channel system in the hall floor and formed an illuminated "lake" in the sandy ground on its back. Slowly, the contaminated water seeped into the parched desert soil and thus into the groundwater or drinking water of the residents.

Holger was so shocked by these conditions that he questioned the ragwear's right to exist. Gradually, a change of times is beginning for us and ragwear is redefining itself: In the future, our brand should stand for everything that is important and close to Holger's and our personal hearts. Animal welfare and environmental protection are just as much a part of these issues as fair working conditions for all those involved in the production process and respectful interaction with one another.