We’re are extremely happy to announce our collaboration with faircado, a Berlin based start-up that has created a browser plug-in that provides you with second-hand alternatives available for the products you are looking for. The perfect way to go for your next sport items!
On this occasion, our founder Laurent had the chance to meet with faircado‘s co-founder and CEO, Evoléna de Wilde d’Estmael and discover what led her to create her company and how she maintains an active life despite working long days and nights to achieve her vision of a world where second-hand naturally becomes everyone’s first choice.
Hey Evoléna, tell us about yourself and your connection to sport and sustainability?
I’m 30 years old, I was born in Belgium but have been living in Berlin for 7 years now. I have alway been active, both on a personal/physical level, because I have quite a lot of energy and really can’t sit still for more than 5 minutes. On a societal/engagement level, to push for changes that, in my view, would make our world better: towards more sustainability, circularity, gender diversity, climate and social justice. So entrepreneurship was the right choice for me: I love being challenged, in constant movement, outside of my comfort zone.
What are your favourite sports? How often are you active?
I am a big fan of biking. I bike every day for at least one hour. During the week, to and from the office. And during the weekend I often go mountain-biking or bike-touring in nature. The freedom, the speed, the fresh air… It’s amazing! My favourite form of meditation, for sure. The home office period was driving me crazy because I didn’t take that time to let my mind process all the information it constantly received. Other than that: yoga! Especially outside. And HIIT, for when I’ve had a tough day and need to sweat it all out. It works wonders. I also love hiking and skiing in the mountains (especially the Swiss ones). It’s unfortunately a bit less accessible on a daily basis from Berlin, but I go at least twice a year, by train.
When did you really start becoming environmentally conscious and what led you to that?
I was born in a family that is very socially active and politically engaged, and very avant-gardiste in its environmental consciousness. I proudly wore Greenpeace pyjamas as a kid. My dad founded ProVelo, a nonprofit to promote better biking infrastructures in Brussels, my mum switched to buying only organic food 30 years ago already. We had natural apple juice at our birthday parties, never Coca Cola. My mum was the type saying that she’s not here to poison her kids. No TV, also. I hated to be so different from the other kids back then, but it forged my character. I am very grateful for this education today. It pushed me to question everything. And it was fun, also: we played a lot of games, learned to build stuff on our own, spent most of our time outside, did a lot of sports. As I grew up, we started to discuss topics around the climate crisis a lot more. I was 12 when my parents took us to watch “An Inconvenient Truth“, the shock documentary from Al Gore. I cried a lot. It’s quite hard for a kid to realise that everything they think will last forever (animals, nature, water, humans), is in great danger. That was the aha-moment that led me to climate activism.
How did you come up with the idea of faircado?
The idea of faircado came up in 2020 when I moved to an unfurnished flat in Berlin. I spent hours searching for second-hand furniture and was totally frustrated by the process. There are around 70 different second-hand marketplaces in Germany alone, and no aggregator that could show all the available options, so all I could do was scroll for hours and have 100 tabs open.
I could not believe that second-hand shopping was still so time-consuming and inconvenient. While discussing with my friend Ali Nezamolmaleki, now the co-founder and CTO of faircado, we decided to do something to offer a real alternative to Amazon. Entrepreneurship is the best way I found to turn my energy into impactful change.
And this is how faircado came to life. A browser plug-in that functions as a shopping buddy, that pops up whenever there is a second-hand alternative available for the product you are looking for. And it works! Just download it on faircado.com (it’s free), and then next time you’re looking for books, sports equipment or electronics, we will find you the sustainable and cheaper options in a second.
What’s your long term vision with faircado?
The objective of faircado is to empower every consumer to make better purchase decisions on a daily basis. So that second-hand naturally becomes everyone’s first choice. And long term: we want to turn e-commerce into recommerce!
How did you hear about Active Giving?
A friend of mine told me about Active Giving a year ago and I love the idea of combining positive action for the mind, the body and the planet. It’s a brilliant one-step-three-stones concept!
Can sport enthusiasts find sport equipments on faircado?
Absolutely! You can find more everyday. Things like yoga pants, running shoes or water bottles for the gym, but also real gems for the sports enthusiasts out there like tennis rackets, gravel bikes, rowing machines & home trainers.
Do you think second-hand shopping can have a significant place in the future development of the sport industry?
I think it needs to! The sport industry generates quite a substantial amount of waste. By extending the life of sports equipment, clothing, and other gear, sporting activities can become both more sustainable and more inclusive. Most sports require specific equipment if you want to it well, and that quickly gets really expensive. Second-hand is then a good alternative to get high-quality stuff for a cheaper price and a lower carbon footprint.
Also, all the outdoor lovers like me will probably agree that getting off your sofa to do sports is way more fun in a beautiful environment. And in the end that’s exactly what we are trying to achieve: preserving the nature that we all enjoy spending so much time in. The circular economy is a big step to get there.
What are your recommendations for sport enthusiasts to incorporate eco-actions into their daily lives (while still enjoying sports to the fullest)?
Apart from shopping second-hand with faircado, you mean? Well, there are actually quite a few things, some of them also depending on what sports you do. Let’s maybe start with some more general ones:
1. Invest in reusable water bottles and snack containers to minimize single-use plastic.
2. Choose eco-friendly transportation when getting to your sporting event. I would of course recommend biking or walking, but public transport is also a good alternative, especially in cities like Berlin. If you take part in team sports and there’s no alternative available, even carpooling is a first step in the right direction.
3. Practice the leave-no-trace policy. Whether you’re out hiking, running, or mountain-biking make sure to clean up after yourself, stay on the designated tracks, and respect the natural environments you are in.
4. Combine it with a good action! If you’re already out hiking, running, or going for a long walk, you might as well take a plastic bag with you and collect some trash on the way.
We are very grateful for the support of faircado and having Evoléna in our community! To celebrate this collaboration we decided to go out for a run!
If you haven’t yet, make sure to download faircado here