Warning signs with 'Hochspannung Lebensgefahr' next to bags made from bottle cups and jewellery out of recycled rubber; the industrial background of e-werk turned out to be the perfect location for The Ethical Fashion Show. 98 brands from 21 countries, and a growing number of visitors clearly show that green fashion is an upcoming market!
Ethical means more than just the use of ecological materials; a different approach to the organization of the fair is required. With the help of rickshaws and minimal interventions â no decoration material but only removable yellow and blue tape on the floor and walls to indicate where coffee or garbage bins are to be found - the former electrical substation is turned into a walhalla for every green fashionista.
In contrast to the luxurious brands of the GREENshowroom, the Ethical Fashion Show is devoted to showing street fashion and casual wear.
From the minimalistic designs by Studio Jux, the jewellery out of recycled rubber by the Finnish label 2.ELĂMĂ to the alternative punky accessories by the Italian label I'm back, made from the product that gets thrown in the bin the most: bottle cups. The fair offers plenty for everyone's taste.
Globe Hope, a label from Finland has been one of the forerunners of the current upcycling movement for over 10 years. COO Taru Aalto (On the Photo left with her colleague who wears Globe Hope's Army Jacket) tells passionately about the recycling of old textile into new items. Seatbelts are turned into bags, and German army laundry bags are combined with Swedish army pockets to make a new jacket. "Most important", Aalto emphasizes, "is that you show people what you can do with old clothing". With their stores in the city centre of Helsinki, Globe Hope has managed to find the connection to mass buyers. Their motto: "The world does not suffer from the lack of material but the lack of mind."
On the Ethical Fashion Show, also newcomers claim their place. One of them is Milde, a young designer who resides in Berlin Weissensee (See Photo below). Her newest collection, called 'rooted' is among others made out of rhubarb leather and recycled Harris Tweed. A different sort of sustainability is showcased by the small protest label Fukushima, that makes simple t-shirts and bags with big messages ('Earthlovers where the fuck are you'). Wearing 'Fukushima' on your chest, founder Jaouad Bouboa explains, should symbolize a new environmental conscious attitude.
To help build this attitude, on the fair a Knowledge Lounge was installed. The Fair Wear Foundation , but also Get Changed!, new internet-platform that offers clarity on fair fashion in the midst of greenwashing and the sustainability hype, were represented. On the stand of ESMOD Berlin, the International University of Art for Fashion presented their master 'Sustainability in Fashion'. This year 14 pupils with very diverse backgrounds studied what sustainable fashion in marketing or design can mean.
At the stand, the inspiring examples of some of the graduates was shown. Austrian Stefanie Stolitzka is inspired by the tradition of 'Tracht' (a word used to describe the stitching technique and patterns) from the Austrian lederhosen for a new line of sneakers, while Daniela Franceschini from Spain used the craftsmanship of Nepalese communities to make timeless women's wear and jewellery that also facilitates a better quality of life of it's producers (See Video Below). Kristen Nutall (America) makes colourful-add-ons out of left-over natural materials, like leather and fur. For the next years, the Ethical Fashion Show promises to be the stage for more inspiring designers to come!
ZimtbrĂ¶tchen, upcycling and Salzbretzel might seem like an unlikely combination. But The Create Green FrĂŒhstĂŒck showed itâs a guarantee for a good start. Long before lunchtime the experts at the table-talk where challenged to think about recycling: what to do with the 300.000 tons of used clothing and shoes that are thrown away in Germany each year?
A reward for everyone who hands in their old outfit; thatâs one of the solutions I:CO, a worldwide operating textile compiler, now puts into action. âYou hand in our old clothes, for instance at VĂ¶geleâ, I:CO representative Paul Doertenbach explains, âand put them in a recycled cardboard box that dispenses a voucher, which is good for purchase at the participating retail store.â But surely the solution to recycling canât be to buy even more clothes.
Awareness is what's lacking in Germany, Doertenbach clarifies. "Old clothes are for the homeless and the poor, or go into the bin." Although producers, who are confronted with rising cotton prices everyday, are aware of the fact that textile is becoming a valuable material. Consumers are not. And there, Doertenbach is convinced, lies the problem. Making people realize what garments are made of, and rewarding them with an Einkaufsvoucher at the same time is only a temporary solution. "It's the first small steps towards a continuous cycle."
But to recycle, need not imply transforming old clothes and fibres into paper, insulation, or cleaning cloth. 'Upcycling', Carina Bischof explains, is a way of making new inspiring fashion out of both pre- and post consumer waste. As one of the founders of The Upcycling Fashion Store Berlin, Bischof underlines that upcycling is not an end solution: "But it does lessen our ecological footprint. It could provide an answer to the inner structures of the fashion industry, that exists by the concept of change- and the need to buy something new every season.
Together with Luise Barsch, Arianna Nicoletti, Jonathan Leupert and Marie-Luis Dulig, Bischof (See photo left) runs the fashion store in Mitte, since 2012. In the shop you will find new labels of young designers, like Sarah Schwesig, who turns sweaters into jogging pants. Carmen Panizzo, experiments with ecofriendly dye techniques. Her dazzling pattern designs of H20 molecules, symbolize the use of less valuable water.
Super Fashion Rainbow Camp is the fascinating title of the label founded by Lisa Adler and Beatrix Landsbek, two graduates from Hannover Hocheschule, only a year ago. Their colourful mixture of old clothes, used fabrics and new and inspiring cuts leads to unique individual pieces, which does honour to their name (see Photo Below left).
Initiatives like The Upcycling Fashion Store and The Ethical Fashion Show might suspect otherwise, still there is much to improve. Although young sustainable designers are joint in collectives like the GrueneBande and exchange knowledge at the Strich- und Faden Modestammtisch of the Upcycling store, one of the main obstacles in the recycling industry remains the connection between suppliers of materials and designers.
"In our search for buttons, we buy old shirts just to pull the buttons off", Bischof explains. "There is no marketplace or platform where supply and demand can meet." While buttons, Doertenbach admits, is something I:CO and other large textile compilers don't know what to do with. "In the industry there are still a lot of investments to be made", Doertenbach explains. "We need machines that can identify textile waste. Now everything is still selected by hand."
Although neon signs and crush barriers might suspect otherwise, Huxleys Neue Welt is the location of the main ethical fashion catwalk during Berlin Fashion Week. The casino and concert venue situated the middle of creative hospot NeukĂ¶lln, could not be more 'Berlinish' with it's slightly dilapidated look. But first impressions can be misleading; no less than 16 sustainable designers showcase their collections on the Showfloor Berlin.
With a projection of the Brandenburger Tor on the catwalk's back wall, the link to the official Berlin Fashion Week is easily made. Showfloor Berlin however, the Berliner catwalk since 2009, is open for the public and makes ethical fashion accessible for all. At the opening on January 16th, mayor Heinz Buschkowsky, stated â not without humour- that his NeukĂ¶lln would turn into the new centre of fashion after Paris and Milan, for the coming three days. True is that most of the young Berlin designers, like upcoming Augustin Teboul, live and work in this multi-cultural district, which leaves much to discover for every fashion freak.
Lacking the restraint and perhaps the refinement of the official Berlin Fashion Week â 'Please do not walk the white catwalk with muddy winter shoes'- Showfloor Berlin is nevertheless a great way to introduce fashion lovers to more socially and environmentally sustainable designs. 8.000 visitors came to the in total 16 shows, that were dominated by timeless collections for everyone to wear. Extremes in colours or cutting seemed to be absent, instead the focus was on sustainable fashion that lasts more than one season only.
A pleasant variation was offered by the 14twenty6 of designer Dandie Zimmermann, who used recycled everything from old jackets to seventies dresses, which led to a surprising cacophony of colours, layers and textures in his streetwear collection.
P|AGE showcased a strong but feminine collection out of fabric made by Maya women in Nicaragua. Their label being lounged on the 21st of December, the two sisters Ania and Iwona Pilch wanted to symbolize the beginning of a new age.
On the 17th of January a Dutch delegation, in the form of ELEMENTUM, Natalie de Koning and winner of The Green Fashion Competition 2012, Studio Jux, showed once again the simplicity and elegant effectiveness of Dutch design. Another highlight was the 'Wuthering Heights' collection by London-based artist Battenberg-Cartwright. Their very elaborate Victorianesque haute-couture in deep purple and greens with matching gothic make-up, provided the Showfloor Berlin with the glamour sustainable fashion is in need of.
Smiling porters carrying suitcases, posh ladies in evening dresses, and an old man playing jazzy tunes on a shiny black grand piano; this Berlin Fashion Week (15-20 January) Hotel Adlon Kempinsky set the stage for the GREENshowroom, a fair focused on sustainable and luxurious high-end fashion. Luxury needs to be redefined, the organization is convinced, in a sustainable way.
What better location than the Hotel Adlon, ever since the roaring twenties the most luxurious hotel of the German capital. Charlie Chaplin and Greta Garbo have stayed in the hotel's fancy five-star rooms, which offer a great view on the boulevard Unter den Linden and the Brandenburger Tor.
Today however, 28 fashion designers exhibit their garments, accessories and beauty products, all of which are conceived in a social responsible way and fulfil a set of high ecological standards.
Ignoring the signs with pool/sauna, visitors head of to several suites on the Beletage, where the products are showcased while hanging in the wardrobes, standing on the cupboards and tables, or lying on the beds. No extra resources are needed, while the restrooms transform into changing cabinets and the living areas cange into a considerate and calm environment where designers and professional buyers can meet.
Lisa Dralle (See photo on the left), a young designer from Berlin, exhibits for the first time at the GREENshowroom. Standing amidst her own clothes hanging on the racks, Lisa enthusiastically tells about her label Myuli, which she founded together with Katharina Seidel only last year. âWe got inspired by the Nachtfalter, moth in Englishâ. The dazzling kaleidoscopic motives lead to an elegant as well as forceful first collection, which is also produced in Berlin.
The social aspect of sustainability is represented by the brand SeeMe, which heart-shaped jewellery were shortlisted for the Fair Luxury Award 2012 and shine with simplicity. The founder, Caterina Occhhio, explains how the jewellery is not just sustainable because itâs with certified silver: âOur hearts, unique and handmade, allow us to improve the living conditions of disadvantaged Turkish women in the slums of Ankara and stride against domestic violence.
The Salonshow, held on the 16th of January, gave an overview of the designers involved. The catwalk spanned several master suites, abundantly decorated with rich velvety carpets and heavy curtains. Seated in the comfortable armchairs, invitees felt submerged into an intimate atmosphere where one could almost touch the luxurious fabrics and carefully constructed garments. The classic details of the wallpaper, including the arms of the city of Berlin, formed the perfect background for these exclusive brands.
The first 10 designers were represented by one outfit only, which made it hard for the viewer to follow who was who. Luxaaâs cork sculptured top (See photo below/left) was and eye-catcher amidst the foremost classic and very wearable designs. The Dutch winner of The Green Fashion AwardsElsien Gringhuis concluded the show. Her purist garments in bold red, pink and green showcased the new definition of luxury perhaps the best: in the form of timeless elegance with a twist.
-How can games and game mechanics be implemented in branding and marketing? -Which applications can you mobilize to build solid and lasting customer relations? -How does fashion appear in the variÂŹous game genres that are currently available in the market? -Pushing back frontiers and âthinking out of the boxâ are encouraged. -The final result is a plan for an innovative project.
WHAT? The LAB induces collaboration between talented professionals from the different segments of the fashion and game industries to explore new, untrodden paths. The days are spent on brainstorm sessions, co-creation, collaboration and inspirational interventions. The participants are offered a unique opportunity to explore and experiment. Incentives and examples stimulate them to bring forward their own ideas and develop them together with others. Feedback and coaching are supplied by mentors and at peer-to-peer meetings. WHO CAN COME? Fashion industry entrepreneurs, game deÂŹvelopers and game designers
WHY? Bringing them together in a 3-day LAB to explore common interests soon provokes cross-fertilization and the realization of new applications. Games, after all, can be used to launch new fashion collections. They can be used for innovative marketing strategies, as well as for creating loyalty and engagement with customers and fans of fashion brands. Conversely a fashion designer can give his creativity free rein in the digital world, without having to take physical requirements and limitations or cost of fabric into account.
Fee: 350,- (ex VAT) Deadline for registration: November 16, 2012 Send an email with your cv and motivation (in English!) to info@iDROPS.be
A 2nd Fashion & Games LAB, the Follow Up, will take place in London, during the London Fashion Week (15-19 February 2013) www.iDROPS.be