Sustainable Fashion: What is new?
In addition to fashion technology, the Berlin fashion industry is most concerned with the topic sustainable fashion. The Green Showroom and the Ethical Fashion Show have been taking place for several years at the Berlin Fashion Week with an increasing number of visitors and exhibitors.
But where is the sustainable movement going in fashion? We talked to designer Magdalena Schaffrin, Creative Director, Sustainability of Green Showroom Berlin.
Currently he biggest green trend in the fashion industry is known as "Circularity", an idea that we have already known for decades in other areas of product manufacture. Basically it is about producing without any waste, because nature knows no waste. Many people already live this lifestyle online and offline, enlarging the community of "Zero Trash" celebrators. They are talking about resources which in a cycle always return to the beginning in order to be used for further productions. The prerequisite for this is that a product is already designed in such a way that it is also recyclable. This is the main development that is currently at the forefront of Sustainable Fashion.
The Cradle 2 Cradle e.V. was founded to deal especially with this theme and to hold workshops, panel discussions and projects to raise the awareness of the people, to present the latest concepts and innovations as well as to offer new approaches. According to the C2C e.V., materials remain useful in two cycles. Only substances which can be biodegraded at the end of their lifes are used in the biological cycle and in the technical cycle, the materials are sorted separately after using in order to be completely reused. There are many different approaches and concepts on how these product cycles can work in the fashion future, but the complete changeover will take several years. Anyone who wants to support Cradle to Cradle can get a member for this sustainable development.
Big companies also increase their environmental awareness year by year and deal with the topic of recycling. In addition to its Conscious Collection, H & M Conscious they also developed an H & M Conscious Foundation, which deals with new innovations and ideas as well they are prizing an award for the most innovative ideas, the winner will be supported with a prize money. H & M has been dealing with "upcycling" for years. Everyone can bring their old clothes back to the shops, receiving a voucher and H&M takes care that the old pieces are reused again. The well-known Kunert tights brand is also dedicated to the topic of "Upcycling" and has started to produce tights made of recycled fish nets, which are expelled from the Mediterranean Sea.
Many designers are dealing with this topic and work with fabric residues from mass production or with waste products from which they create new garments. For example, there is the company "Reet out" that has managed to also produce upcycling clothing in mass. Behind the label stands the designer with the same name. She found out that 15% of clothing can be produced just with the textile waste of the textile industry. Together with the textile producer Beximco (H & M & Zara) she developed a unique system called "Upmade", which already has a re-use in the production process and ensures that the remnants can be put to good use. You can buy those clothes at Trash.to.
Another important theme of the green fashion is the pollution of the sea by plastic waste, which the Green Showrooms is particularly addressed this season. There will be a special issue on the topic "ActiveSlow", as well as a panel discussion. A study by Patagonia has shown that a large proportion of the microplastics in the world's seas are not only the plastic particles from the cosmetics industry but also the synthetic fibers, which are washed out of the synthetic clothing in the washing machine. It has been been on the agenda at the EU, microplastics have already been banned in the cosmetics industry, as it will stop the use of thin-walled plastic bags in 2020.
As a solution approach, before a legal regulation can come, the Green Showroom will present the "Guppy Bag" by the brand Langbrett. It is a washing bag that catches the fibers in the washing machine so that they can not get into the water. The problem with the synthetic fibers is that they are so small, a normal wastewater treatment plant can not filter them.
As useful as the "upcycling" concepts are, the desired circulation is not yet established with this. The materials are also waste products after their use. That is why new concepts to create materials that can never become waste are so important. The well-known ecological and vegan fair-trade company "Bleed" for example has created plastic-free outdoor jackets made out of natural products as well as the production of a vegan leather jacket. The fashion label Deepmello has also developed a process which allows to tan leather with the natural product rhubarb without any waste.
Due to the many developments that take place at bigger companies, they has succeeded in combating the dusty image of eco-fashion. "Sustainable Fashion" is now more high quality than ever, trend-oriented and timeless. Every little step in this direction and away from the fast-fashion movement can save our environment. That is why the Green Showroom has its focus on the topic "ActiveSlow" this season. Here, manufactures and the international school of fashion Esmod Berlin are showing a selection of prototypical functional clothing, which deal with the topics of resource efficiency, slowness and circleability, what is also attended by many of the 178 exhibitors.
TheGreen Showroom Berlin and Ethical Fashion Show Berlin:
17 -19th January 2017
Straße der Pariser Kommune 8
Tuesday / Wednesday 10am – 7pm
Donnerstag, 10am – 5pm
only for trade visitors