Undiemeister often gets the question how it is possible that two former bamboo rivals from the underwear industry have started working together. That’s why it’s high time for an explanation, but first a piece of history and some background. It’s quite an exciting story!
In 2011, Rik Vegter (former lawyer) decided that it would be nice to “do something” with tangible products, instead of working with intangible legal advice. Something you can hold, something tangible. Along with his brother, who was already an internet entrepreneur at the time, he made a list of what criteria those products should meet. Durability was at the top, immediately followed by quality. And a product that is always in need, so it would need a large market. Bamboo textile, which Rik had already encountered once in China, dominated everything at the time.
They agreed and without needing any type of real knowledge about the market but with a lot of enthusiasm, Greendaddy was started. Also without any form of capital and without inventory, but with a lot of heart and soul. Inventory was bought with the money from orders. Customers had to wait a while, but didn’t think that was a problem at all. After two years money was needed to continue the business and in record time the money was raised through crowdfunding.
While Rik, who in the meantime had bought out his brother, was still busy as a pioneer to convince consumers of all the benefits of bamboo, plans were forged by new parties to follow the bamboo initiative. One of those parties was Bamigo.
Bamigo was looking for an entrepreneur with guts, e-commerce knowledge and experience to establish the company as CEO. The company had to be set up by someone who wasn’t afraid to get their hands dirty and could start from scratch as a true entrepreneur. Jeroen, who had already proven his ability to scale up a business quickly in a short period of time, was the ideal candidate. And that’s how it came to be.
At that time, Rik was already pleased that new suppliers such as Bamigo were entering the market, because now bamboo textiles became a true market. With real competition and everything that goes with it. It was therefore inevitable that sooner or later the two would cross paths. One had the market, the other wanted it. In those days there were sometimes tough conversations between the two. The competition got tougher and tougher, perhaps not something you expect from people who share each other’s ideals. And more competitors came forward in the meantime. In fact, only Google got better from the situation. The boom in TV commercials didn’t escape anyone’s notice.
Fast forward to 2019. Jeroen Adriaans left Bamigo in the summer of 2018 in search of a new challenge. Jeroen’s first child was on the way and then other things become important. Moreover, Jeroen became increasingly doubtful whether bamboo, and especially bamboo viscose, was really that sustainable.
That doubt had also struck Rik Vegter. Although bamboo was a good step forward compared to traditional cotton, we could do better now. Both in quality and durability. Rik wanted to take that step, with a new fabric and a new brand. On to 2.0. And who better to market a new brand than Jeroen? So Rik got in touch (to the amazement of Jeroen Adriaans), and the conversations between the two went well for both parties. The rest is, as they say, history.
The two former rivals joined forces and Undiemeister was a fact. Jeroen as driven torchbearer and Rik as an experienced pioneer complement each other perfectly and combine for almost 20 years of experience in the premium and sustainable textile market. A better combination is almost unimaginable.
It appears that this is in fact a match made in heaven, but is it? Jeroen and Rik share the same passion for entrepreneurship, sustainability and premium quality. Both believe in better and sustainable products, without sacrificing anything. In fact, with Mellowood® Undiemeister has just got its hands on a fabric that raises the bar again, both in terms of quality and durability, with major benefits over bamboo.
So for anyone who was wondering how it is possible for rivals to work together, the answer is easier than you think. Setting egos aside and finding each other in a common goal and a shared passion.
It really can be that simple!