Welcome to the world of FARE - quality and innovation since 1955

For more than 60 years, FARE has been committed to developing high-quality umbrellas that are not only practical but also stylish. Our history is characterised by constant innovation and a deep understanding of our customers' needs. On this page, we take you on a journey through the decades of our company history. Discover the milestones that have made us one of the leading umbrella manufacturers and experience how our products have evolved over time. From the first umbrella frames to the modern, technologically advanced umbrellas of today - immerse yourself in the fascinating world of FARE.

1955: Guenther Fassbender founds the sole proprietorship Fassbender together with his wife Margot on 3 January 1955 and exports tools of all kinds to the Near and Far East.

1956: After training as an export merchant, Gerhard Griesel joins the Fassbender company in Remscheid-Lennep. In the years that followed, the company exported almost everything that could be sold around the world: 2,500 hectolitres of beer to Nigeria, mountains of Brussels sprouts and TV sets to Singapore.

1960: The year of separation. Guenther Fassbender leaves the company, which is transformed into a general partnership.

1962: Through a chance encounter with a Japanese umbrella frame supplier, Fassbender now also imports umbrella frames.

1972: New partners in Taiwan. After 10 years, the relationship with Japanese umbrella frame suppliers has to be terminated for price reasons. Taiwan is more favourable and so a new business relationship is established there, which is to last for 17 years. Fassbender now also supplies umbrella factories in France and Belgium.

1977: Umbrellas in first place. Asia has caught up considerably, so it is hardly surprising that tool exports are declining. So Gerhard Griesel concentrates increasingly on umbrellas: the import of complete fashion umbrellas gradually replaces the import of frames. Taking over the complete procurement for the largest German umbrella factory in Wuppertal, combined with regular trips to Taiwan for design and quality control in the supplier factories.

1986: New domicile. Move to new, larger business premises in Remscheid-Lennep, Westring 20.

1989: Conversion of the company into a limited company. Gerhard Griesel moves umbrella production to China - Taiwan is also too expensive - and presents an absolute novelty to the world: the world's first automatically opening and closing pocket umbrella under the name ‘Schwupps’, later also known as FUTEC.

1993: Modification of the FARE logo. The colour scheme is changed. The globe, created during the export-orientated period, remains. The first complete FARE catalogue is published. FARE concentrates entirely on promotional umbrellas in the high quality range.

1994/95: FARE secures exclusive sales of the new generation of mini pocket umbrellas that open and close automatically: The magical Mini becomes a bestseller at FARE as the Trimagic®.

1997: The senior brings the junior on board. Gerhard Griesel and his son Volker travel to Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. In the same year, FARE is the first supplier of a mini pocket umbrella made of aluminium weighing only 200 grams.

1998: A 40% shareholding by son Volker Griesel, who takes over the management, initiates the company succession. Branded products and ISO standardised production of individual products help to establish FARE as a first-class independent brand. The best proof: FARE is once again the first supplier of a magical, automatically opening and closing mini pocket umbrella in aluminium design: the Magic-Light® weighs just 300 grams.

1999: Innovation à la FARE. FARE is the first and still the only supplier in the world to launch the Genie® Magic - the world's smallest automatic opening and closing pocket umbrella.

2000: FARE is the first supplier to present TÜV certification for some top models. From now on, all Windfighter® brand products are equipped with a TÜV seal.

2001: The construction of a spacious new building with a high-bay warehouse to the latest standards ensures that the young, energetic team can fulfil the FARE maxim ‘Highest quality, competitive prices and excellent service’. The number of employees is doubled. And something new again: FARE offers the first backpack.

2002/03: FARE® is the first supplier of TÜV-certified - automatic open/close pocket umbrellas in oversize format.

2004: Junior boss Volker Griesel takes over 100% of the GmbH shares. Several employees celebrate many years with the company (10 years: S. Heinrich, 15 years: G. Dörner, 25 years: B. Drewniok).

2005: FARE celebrates its 50th birthday. In its anniversary year, the FARE team is where it wants to be: 25 million umbrellas are imported into Germany every year, around 1.5 million of which come from FARE. This means a quantitative market share of around 6%. FARE puts the value share at around 15%. The FARE logo is modified. It is modern, clear and unambiguous. The rhombus pictogram has been retained, the globe has given way to a stylised umbrella. At the centre of the new logo: FARE as a brand.

2006: JCK Holding GmbH Textil KG becomes a shareholder in FARE and creates valuable synergies through its global presence in sales and procurement. Under the umbrella of the holding company are several well-known companies in the promotional products industry (see ‘Our partners’).

2007: Change of company name. The former Guenther Fassbender Inh. Gerhard Griesel GmbH has been operating under the name FARE - Guenther Fassbender GmbH since 1 January 2007. The brand name FARE is clearly in the foreground here, as with the new logo, thus rounding off the brand modernisation begun in 2005.

2009: Expansion of the offices, second high-bay warehouse and the screen printing shop moves in.

2011: The FARE team has now grown to 34 employees. An internal marketing department is established within the company. Marketing activities are intensified. The brand mission statement is revised in close co-operation with the advertising agency. As part of the development of a new corporate design for FARE, the logo is modified again. The dominant shadow disappears.

2012: The FARE team continues to grow with the strengthening of the sales team and the establishment of an IT department. The new PR campaign ‘I am real’, which depicts umbrellas as people in familiar life situations, is very well received. Lutz Albrecht is granted power of attorney.

2013/14: The FARE team consistently pushes ahead with product expansions and developments and small gaps in the range are closed. The fashionable, innovative new products are perfectly tailored to the requirements of the advertising market. A responsible approach to the environment and people in the production facilities is very important to FARE. For this reason, the company is a member of amfori BSCI. Through continuous auditing, FARE is demonstrably and visibly committed to fair working conditions and labour protection in the supplier countries.

2015: In summer 2015, FARE celebrates its 60th anniversary at the Wolkenburg in Cologne.
To mark this event, FARE is presenting a world first: FARE®-iAuto! The first pocket umbrella that can be opened and fully closed electrically at the touch of a button. Instead of presents, Managing Director Volker Griesel wants children's eyes to light up on the occasion of the company's 60th birthday. 20,000 euros are handed over to Salvatore Lerose in August to support the Lerose Foundation's support programmes.

Due to the influx of refugees, there is a great need for clothing and hygiene articles. Umbrellas are also urgently needed in the emergency accommodation centres. In addition to umbrella donations, FARE supports the refugee project of radio journalist Horst Kläuser and is developing the ‘Remscheid Umbrella for Refugees’. Various Remscheid retail shops sell the umbrella. The proceeds from the umbrellas are immediately channelled into refugee work.

With the launch of the FARE® style, FARE offers an elegant midsize umbrella with an anthracite cover and a surprising colour concept; when opened at the touch of a button, the bright colours of the shaft, ribs and handle rings are revealed, giving the umbrella an appealing overall design.

The new website with a new web shop is launched in autumn.

Günter Schmidt is granted power of attorney in 2015, and by the end of 2015 the FARE team has grown to 42 employees.

The jury of the Promotional Gift Award presents the FARE® style with an award in the ‘Communicative Product’ category for its special colour concept. All the more reason to expand the successful Style family with an automatic pocket umbrella that takes up the unusual combination of coloured ribs and handle rings and adds coloured seams.

The electric mini pocket umbrella FARE®-iAuto has also been honoured by this jury. In addition, our world first, which opens and closes fully electrically at the touch of a button, also receives the recognised Red Dot Design Award.

As part of the ‘Wirtschaft erleben’ event, the FARE factory outlet opens in Remscheid Lüttringhausen, where we exhibit and sell part of our range.

FARE has set up an online shop for end consumers at www.fabrella.de.

2016-2018: FARE sets trends in the promotional products industry with a focus on sustainability. The ÖkoBrella with recycled plastic and bamboo frame wins the PSI Sustainability Award in 2017. A major step is the start of construction of an extension under the direction of Volker Griesel, which unites the buildings. The new FARE® STYLEBOOK complements the main catalogue and inspires the promotional products trade.

2019: FARE's commitment to design and quality leads to double Red Dot Awards for the FiligRain Only95 mini pocket umbrella and the FARE®-Precious. In July, the new building is inaugurated with a summer party. FARE ushers in a promising future with the introduction of its own training and study programmes in warehouse logistics, e-commerce and business informatics.

2020: FARE celebrates its 65th anniversary with special activities and publishes the FARE Feed for exciting stories and facts. Despite the pandemic, FARE reacts flexibly and introduces a customisable mask. Product innovations take centre stage: the oversize pocket umbrella FARE®-AOC Colorline and the AC midsize pocket umbrella FARE®-Sound win the Red Dot and Promotional Gift Award respectively. With the waterSAVE® cover material, FARE introduces a sustainable innovation that is used in several products and is OEKO-TEX® 100 certified. The Welcome Home Tour is conducted virtually for the first time, opening up a new dimension to the event. FARE wins ‘Innovator of the Year’ at the Sustainability Awards, recognised for the sustainable production of the waterSAVE® material and the promotion of sustainability throughout the value chain.

2021: Due to the pandemic, the PSI trade fair takes place digitally, forcing the industry to present innovations digitally. The FARE® DoggyBrella wins the Red Dot Design Award for its unique design with a removable handle containing dog waste bags and a classy paw print pattern. FARE launches the #waterSAVEchallenge in support of viva con agua. For every waterSAVE® umbrella model sold, 6 cents per litre of water saved will be donated to support projects such as water filters and hygiene workshops. Commercial customers who opt for waterSAVE® will receive a donation certificate.

2022: The waterSAVE® cover material, previously only available in black, is expanded to include five new colours, offering customers a wider range of sustainable models.

FARE launches the first climate-neutral umbrella collection ÖkoBrella. The CO2 footprint is offset through climate protection projects.

The #waterSAVEchallenge wins the PSI Sustainability Awards in the ‘Sustainable Campaign’ category and supports water projects worldwide with 1,112,975 litres of water saved and EUR 66,778.52 in donations.

After the pandemic, in-person events are organised again, including local and national events such as the Park Food Festival and the Press Brunch.

At the end of the year, FARE expands its range to include two children's umbrellas with special safety features aimed at children.

2023: FARE initiates the #SCHUTZschirmfürKINDER campaign with the Kinderschutzbund to support its work. Companies can participate by ordering umbrellas and making a donation, with over 20,000 euros being raised by the end of the year.

Managing Director Volker Griesel celebrates 30 years at FARE, having grown the company from 4 to 60 employees and always remaining loyal to the Remscheid location.

A new careers website under the motto "Why FARE? That's why!" goes online, presenting the company in an attractive way to potential applicants.

The FiligRain Only95 wins the Promo Swiss Award 2023 and once again confirms its design excellence, as it did at the Red Dot Award 2019.

FARE presents the sustainable ÖkoBrella To Go set, consisting of a pocket umbrella and an iso-cup, which is ideal for employer branding.

A new customisation price list makes it easier for customers to calculate, supported by reduced prices and free delivery in Germany.