What does 'Kontinentalwaren' mean?
'Kontinentalwaren', or 'Continental Wares', gets its name from 'Kolonialwaren', or 'Colonial Wares', from the 19th and early 20th century. At that time, these particular shops offered a variety of products which were mainly imported from the colonies.
Accordingly, 'Kontinentalwaren' offers merchandise which comes from our own continent, Europe!
Why European Products?
Nowadays, the trend is to have products of all kinds manufactured in the Far East for financial reasons. This causes not only the loss of jobs, but also know-how, along with local culture and tradition.
Having produced their merchandise in Asia, manufacturers typically sell them for the same price as before - even when the quality isn't as good. Either that, or we are bombarded with cheap, mass-produced goods, which are sold in the anonymous atmosphere of chain stores, and thrown away when they break or we are dissatisfied with them.
The working conditions under which these products are manufactured, as well as the materials used to make them, are often unknown.
The Value of the Merchandise, or 'Slow Shopping'
The value of a product is a result of the raw materials used to make it, as well as the labour involved in its production. The low cost of labour in East Asia allows for prices of consumer goods in industrialized countries to be much cheaper than they were when manufactured locally.
This leads to a change in consumer conduct: due to the cheaper prices, the consumer is driven to buy products he or she may not need. These items are accordingly discarded in a short time.
The direct result of this phenomenon is that the product loses its value. Can I afford this product? Where does it come from? Who manufactures it, and under what conditions is it made? What is its history? For many products there is no longer an answer to these questions. A large number of traditional brands have already disappeared from the market.
The objective at 'Kontinentalwaren' is to put the value back into the products and to support conscious shopping - in a manner of speaking, 'Slow Shopping'.