The young student Fabian Frei is the founder of the label Degree. Already during a trip to New Zealand in 2009, he planned to design fashion and wanted to produce ecologically. As a student of environmental and process engineering at the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences, he starts printing fair trade shirts made of organic cotton together with some friends. Cotton shirts with the print 'Wenn Bayern ein Meer hät' (If Bavaria had a sea) or the portrait of the 'King of Augsburg', a local original, have already become an icon in the Augsburg area. With fellow student Wolfgang Schimpfle the printing started on a larger scale, but still the screen printing takes place in the cellar and the self-made screens are kept in the shared room. Thanks to a clever marketing strategy that relies on word-of-mouth propaganda and cooperation with well-known athletes, artists as well as local clubs, shops and cultural events, the fashion label is soon to be included in the program of several Augsburg stores and has had its own shop in downtown Augsburg since 2014. In addition to their master's degree, the founders design wearable streetwear there. The boys are also able to present themselves in a media-effective way, as both the local newspaper and the magazine DER SPIEGEL have already reported on the brand in addition to online portals. Degree is a deliberately chosen name and alludes to global warming, which Fabian and Wolfgang counter with sustainably produced fashion.
The organic cotton comes from Turkey, where the pesticide-free fibre is processed with resource-saving energy and by fair paid workers. Further processing takes place in Portugal, where the young company founders have seen for themselves the work of their suppliers and have visited some factories with regard to a more environmentally friendly sewage disposal. All labels in the clothing are made of the renewable raw material cork. At home, the company founders are working on new strategies for environmentally friendly production. For example, the material for the sweaters in a new collection is already made from recycled PET bottles and one of the trousers contains neither plastic nor metal. An old knitting machine is also already in operation, producing fabrics which are then processed by two seamstresses.
The style of Degree is characterized by the surf scene, which is connected with the creative wishes of the mainly young clientele. Practical, sporty streetwear with imaginative prints is the core of the brand: plain or printed shirts and hoodies for men and women. A small selection of beanies, caps and some shirts for children shows that the brand is just starting out. But by no means do the students neglect the design of their pieces and provide them with funny ideas. For example, a sweater with a propeller on the hood is particularly original. Form and function do not form a contrast at Degree, but are combined in the best possible way. This inventiveness and the continuous work on an honest looking dream make the label likeable. Under the motto Eco - Fair - Endless Degree expands the world of eco-fashion by a down-to-earth brand with urban style.