Interview with Coudre Berlin
2016 found two friends – Dimitri Moustakidis and Daniel Diederich – at respective crossroads in their lives. Dimitri was working as a head buyer of menswear for a multi-brand retailer and Daniel as a menswear designer. After working abroad for many years, Daniel felt the urge to return to his roots, and thus conversations between the two began, the first seeds for menswear brand Coudre had been planted.
Coudre has grown steadily as a brand that offers modern essentials, prioritising contemporary, current design with a strong commitment to mindful consumption. Alongside their collections of timeless pieces, Coudre also offers beautiful fragranced candles as part of its range of homewares. If you’ve ever wondered about the gorgeous scent that washes over you every time you enter The Good Store, it’s our custom scent, which we developed exclusively with Coudre. As part of our interview series Friends of The Good Store we sat down with the Berlin-based duo to discover more about their menswear and homewares label, where they go for inspiration and the long-kept secret about that signature Coudre x The Good Store scent.
Coudre is both a menswear and homewares label, which came first? Did one instigate the creation of the other?
Yes, at first we started out with only menswear, so we created an overall theme and mood board for what Coudre meant to us. By doing so we were also thinking about different ideas outside of the fashion realm. We started experimenting with scents as they are also an essential element to our overall theme and have always inspired us. We quickly realised that we wanted to create a product as natural as possible so we only used essential oils. We created three scents: Coriander x Lime, Basil x Cedarwood and Bergamot x Patchouli. The reception was what we had hoped for so we were motivated to create more candles, wool blankets, Hamam towels and handmade soaps.
What inspires you both individually, where do you go to be inspired?
We draw our inspiration from road trips into nature and also city trips. We usually play with the contrast between nature and the roughness of the city.
How do you ensure your products meet ethical standards, is this something you are both are very aware of within your practice?
Yes, definitely. Right from the beginning, we were looking into sustainable and natural products. We produce our clothes in our neighbouring country Poland and our fabric suppliers are in Europe. We also use EcoVero (a sustainable viscose with the lowest environmental impact) fabrics in some shirts.
Our candles are manufactured in Berlin by hand, using only natural ingredients. And our soaps are handmade by a small manufacturer in Berlin.
We do as much as we can locally in Berlin and if that’s not possible we try to have the shortest supply chain, that is within the realm of offering an acceptable price for our products.
When we started four years ago we noticed that no one really was looking for sustainable or ethical products, but now in 2020 we feel like there was a sudden increase in demand; people are more informed about practices and supply chains. We are excited and encouraged by this development.
The candles are handmade in Berlin! Could you explain a bit more about how a Coudre candle is manufactured?
First, we focus our efforts on making the scent of the candles. It all starts with an idea and a certain mood that we want to capture. We create scent samples by mixing and testing different combinations of essential oils. When we have found the perfect scent combination we can start putting the components together.
Can you tell us about creating the custom-made The Good Store scent?
We have been friends with Gerda for more than a decade now and we have always been supporting each other. Very early on when we started making scented candles, Gerda helped us by supporting the idea and selling our candles in her store. Gerda knew exactly which scents she would like and what would fit the mood of her store. So we tried a few combinations, and after a couple of test rounds, we found the perfect mixture of lavender, rosemary and vetiver. It was fun to create a scent with a different perspective than our own.
Can you share with us any exciting plans for the future?
We always have too many plans. We still are only two people and sometimes we have more ideas than the time to fully create and test new products. Right now we are in the midst of creating new scents for our diffusers and scented candles and expanding our organic teas with an evening tea.