Prize-winning Twente entrepreneurs Bas Dijkhuis (26) and Karel Kloeze (26) launch their clothing brand

Bas Dijkhuis and Karel Kloeze won the Saxion Entrepreneurs Award and are now launching their clothing brand “Don’t Waste Culture”. Don’t Waste Culture wants to reconcile and connect in a time of increasing polarisation. The brand introduces a clothing collection that combines Renaissance culture with modern streetwear trends. Last year, the two young entrepreneurs were present as speakers at the Groende Loper.

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In short

  • Young entrepreneurs Bas Dijkhuis and Karel Kroeze launch their clothing brand
  • The brand “Don’t waste culture” wants to spread a message of connection and inclusiveness.
Early success

Fashion designer Bas Dijkhuis reintroduces his clothing brand Don’t Waste Culture, a high-end fashion streetwear brand that Bas already founded in 2013. He was still in high school at the time and made his own caps, T-shirts, sweaters and jackets. They were quickly worn by some of the Netherlands greatest artists. The world-famous DJ Don Diablo also noticed this, after which Bas and Don set up an internationally successful merchandise brand in four years.


In the meantime, Bas graduated from Saxion University of Applied Sciences. Together with Karel Kloeze, he has been working on Brand Your Merch for two years, providing merchandise to the world’s greatest artists. They won the Saxion Entrepreneur Award and relaunched Bas’s brand to show their drive and creativity to the world. To underline the rebirth of Don’t Waste Culture, the new collection was named Renaissance, which also means rebirth. The Renaissance was a time of innovation and optimism.

Everything is culture

Bas wants to make a statement with his clothing. “Look around you. Everything is culture. What is normal for one is strange for the other. Let’s not condemn each other in this time of polarisation but rather respect each other and pay attention to everyone’s individuality”, says Bas Dijkhuis. Don’t Waste Culture’s new Renaissance collection shows that old and modern cultures can co-exist. “People who wear Don’t Waste Culture join in with this philosophy, and thereby say that they are looking for connection instead of exclusion.”

Inclusive society

The name Don’t Waste Culture was coined in 2013 when Bas spoke with his cousin about his journey through New Zealand. His cousin said he lived with the Maoris. They have a very old culture with customs, art and music. These originated in the past and are still being expressed. Bas himself has Indonesian roots and has started to study these cultures. He realised that ancient cultures are at the basis of contemporary cultures and have helped shape today’s society. “That is why we respect all cultures and prefer connection to exclusion or polarisation. Hence the name of our fashion brand “Don’t Waste Culture””, Bas says. “The Renaissance fits in with this because the people from this time broke free from the limited and one-sided worldview from the Middle Ages. A time of innovation, optimism and perfectionism was born, expressed in art, music and science, with respect for ancient cultures from the Greek and Roman times”


Bas is inspired by artists from different times and uses that in new, contemporary clothing. With this, he wants to emphasise that it is the mutual differences that make this world so beautiful and diverse. We want to respect the personality of every individual.

Importance of sustainability in the fashion industry

Bas and Karel work with special cotton types and are constantly researching new cotton types, such as Pima cotton. Karel: “We only use certified factories, of course. We believe it is important to work with factories that have good working conditions, pay legitimate wages and do not have any child labour. The factories that we work with have been screened for this and are therefore certified. We are aware of the importance of the clothing industry for the environment. In the future, we want to be even more committed to the sustainable optimisation of parts within our company.” Twente has traditionally been a textile region but is now doing this in a new, future-proof manner. You can read here how Texperium makes new yarn from discarded clothing. Other sustainable initiatives in the clothing in the textile field in Twente include SaXcell and Frankenhuis.

Date: 12 February 2020
Source of tekst: Brand your Merch
Audio / video: Brand your Merch