We are super excited to announce that we have changed our name from WAIR to VAER.
Not the biggest change, some might think - why did they even have to change it?
In this blog post we want to take you behind the scenes of the name change, and explain why we are changing our name and how we came up with the new name.
THE STORY BEHIND WAIR
But first, let’s start with how we came up with the name WAIR in the first place. WAIR was a name that Lili came up with on a random day while she was sitting on the bus. She was looking for a name for a company she wanted to start at the time (an online sustainable fashion retailer). Water and Air came into her mind and combined with the sound of Wear - the name WAIR was born.
The first company never really started though, since she shortly after started her Master degree in London. During her time in London, she developed the idea of upcycled sneakers with her classmate and when she came home again and decided to make it more than just a school project - the name WAIR was still clear in her memory. Since none of the other names she came up with could compete, WAIR was an obvious choice for her new upcycling start-up.
WHY WE CHANGED OUR NAME
In the summer of 2021, we were contacted by a big footwear company - that told us that they thought our name WAIR was infringing on their trademark.
At first, we thought this was ridiculous since it wasn’t even the same name. It seemed like a threat just meant to scare small companies who didn’t know better. Therefore, we had no intention of changing our name after receiving this email, but we got wiser after getting advice from some people within the field of IP. They told us that this could get really expensive and really time-consuming if we didn’t just give up right away. So although it was a tough decision, we decided to “roll over” and change our name to avoid a lengthy lawsuit that we in no way would be able to afford.
Instead of seeing it as a defeat, we decided to see it as an opportunity. An opportunity to make a fresh start for our company, and at least there were two positive sides: 1) A huge footwear company had taken notice of us and 2) If it had to happen, it was better that it happened now than later.
HOW WE CAME UP WITH VAER
VAER is not so far away from WAIR, especially not when you pronounce it. You would have thought that when we had a big company on our backs, that we would want to change our name to something very far away from our original name.
This was also the intention when we started our new name brainstorm. We started off with identifying what the DNA of our company is, and revisiting our WHY. This then formed the basis of our brainstorm, which quickly led to all sorts of interesting name suggestions (over 308 suggestions in total).
Here are some of the names that were on the brainstorm: Whirl, WastID, Wolf (Flow backwards) and many other interesting ones (Gangart and Fløde were also on the brainstorming list 😅).
Finding a new name when you really like the old one is super hard, and for a long time, we couldn’t come up with anything that was better. You want that feeling of - YAAS, this is the name!! - but with every new name suggestion, we instead kept feeling like, hmm that’s an okay name.
But in our 100th round of brainstorming, we kept coming back to the name VÆRDI (value in Danish). Our main mission in WAIR was to maintain the value in the discarded textiles, by upcycling them into new fashion items. The amazing thing about upcycling is that we are using the textiles as they are, and we are thereby not losing the value or the unique story in the textiles.
So taking a few letters off became - VÆR. We all felt this rush going through us - we just looked at each other and knew we had found the name (sounds very dramatic, but it also felt like something out of a movie). VÆR was great, and Linda was all hyped up because we had the Danish letter Æ in the name. However, after testing it with a lot of people, we realised that Æ might be a problem in terms of being an international company. After a lot of back and forth, we decided to call us VAER - but connect the A and the E in the logo as an ode to the original idea.
That is the story of our new name and we are so happy that we came up with something that really represents what we are all about - UPCYCLING.
Do you like our new name? Or would you have liked us to be names something completely different? Let us know in the comment below