17 and a Half Questions with Julia Zirpel

We ask inspiring people 17 and a half questions. This week we have Julia Zirpel, CEO of the ethical fashion and beauty platform the wearness. She has a clear vision for the future: Less me and now, more we and later

17 and a Half Questions with Julia Zirpel

1. What I like about my job

Three years ago, I co-founded the wearness, an e-commerce platform for sustainable fashion and beauty products. My biggest reward: working with a purpose! Sure, economic success is important to us, but not at the expense of the environment and people. The positive impact we can have on society with our company motivates me every day! I just love discovering new sustainable brands and products and introducing them to a wider audience.

2. What sometimes frustrates me

The widespread opinion that sustainability is a luxury: "We have to take care of business first."  Our vision for the future: no business models without purpose.

3. My secret dream job

I'm already living my dream job. After more than 20 years as a fashion journalist and stylist, I have been the CEO of my own company for three years.

4. Best strategy to survive a really bad day at the office

The worse my mood is in the morning, the fancier I dress! At least looking at yourself in the mirror should always be fun. In a pinch, even just bright red lipstick will do.

5. How I get into the flow

Unfortunately, I'm only in the flow in the evenings... Is it because I was born shortly after 8pm? Is that my zero hour? My starting point?

6. Biggest success so far

That I had the courage to quit my secure job to start my own business. This decision was a bright and right one for me, even though I still have no idea what the future will bring.

7.  Biggest defeat

Defeats are part of the process. Big ones and small ones. The main thing is to get back up and learn from them.

8. Worst buzzword

"After Corona, when everything is back to normal." Is that really what we want? Is yesterday's "normal" our goal for tomorrow? Is that the vision we desire of the future?

9.  Best reward after a hard week at work

A twenty-minute nap. After that it's like a new morning, and the weekend can begin.

10. Home office or in-house

If I had to choose... I'd rather work from home. With some breaks for inspiring lunch dates or walks (I've learned to appreciate them a lot during Corona times).

11. Most important traits a colleague/business partner must have

Optimism, creativity, loyalty and no fear of the new and unknown.

12. My creative hack

A long walk. Alone.

13. First website to check in the morning


14. Favorite digital tool

Shopify — a fantastic e-commerce shopsystem.

15. The book or series from which I have learned the most for my (work) life

One of my favorite TED Talks is "The power of vulnerability" by Dr. Brené Brown, where she charmingly and wittily explains how we can not only endure shaming experiences, but also emerge from them more dedicated and courageous.

16. A series, book or podcast I can recommend to anyone

An absolute must for anyone interested in fashion and sustainability is the documentary The True Cost. Fast Fashion, die dunkle Seite der Billigmode (Fast Fashion, the dark side of cheap fashion) is also very good and currently still available on the Arte Mediathek.

17. Most prominent follower on a social media channel?

Livia Firth, one of the leading minds of sustainable fashion: founder agency Eco-Age, a consultancy for sustainability solutions (some of her clients: Chopard, Stella McCartney, Gucci), producer of the aforementioned documentary The True Cost, founder of the Green Carpet Challenge – and ex-wife to Colin Firth.

17 and a half: What has always...

…inspired me: The motto "less me and now, more we and later". Less focus on our own advantage and short-term success, more focus on our community and the future we want to live in.



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