With the trade shows Green Show Room, Ethical Fashion Show and an extensive program of talks, discussions and lectures, Berlin Fashion Week has managed to put a bright spotlight on ecological and social issues in the fashion industry. Yet not only in those fairs especially dedicated to sustainable fashion is the number of eco-fair labels ever-growing. We are especially happy to witness that in other trade shows designers are increasingly taking the responsibility to produce fair and eco-friendly garments as well. Many of them who work with organic textiles produced fairly and with resource efficient technologies do not even highlight these efforts plainly but rather consider an eco-fair value chain as the basis for a high quality product that makes the consumer not only look but feel good too. In the following we introduce you to some brands we have met during Berlin Fashion Week in early July 2017 who make beautiful sustainable clothes and accessories and who might help pave the way to eco-fair fashion becoming the desirable standard.
Working with ethical producers, using only organic cotton and recycled polyester, the Swedish brand Dedicated proves that sustainable fashion is cool.
Johan Graffner, part of the founding team states: “We want to challenge people’s perception of what sustainable fashion can look like by collaborating with some of the most creative illustrators and photographers in the world. Our backgrounds are rooted in board sports and music, and through our long experience of working in the fashion business, we realised the need for a better sustainable option in the streetwear market. In everything we do, we support a unified, loving and caring world dedicated to protecting and advancing life.”
This Italian denim brand’s mission is to respect the planet and its people by promoting a new lifestyle where the latest fashion trends and sustainability can coexist whilst seeking continuous product innovation within a context of maximum transparency at all times. In the production process, the use of water, energy and chemicals is reduced remarkably. The denim is made from organic cotton and many fibers and materials are recycled, partly in collaboration with the ocean clean up initiative Clean up the Med.
High transparency allows traceability of environmental sustainability, provenance and composition of the materials involved, along the whole supply chain from the fields where the raw material is grown to the workshop where the garments are finished.
Via a QR-code on the label the conscious consumer can track down all the information about each garment’s production story just with an ordinary smartphone.
Maska, which means “knitted stitch” in Swedish, combines clear, Scandinavian cuts with strong and warm colors throughout all seasons. Founded by designer Maria Svensson in 2009, the brand avoids short-term trends and produces timeless high quality clothes to ensure a long life cycle for their garments. Selecting materials that age with grace and are long-lasting is central to the company’s sourcing philosophy. Accordingly, the brand also takes into consideration environmental aspects regarding usage and washing by favouring materials that seldom need laundering and require lower wash temperatures. Wool is the brand’s favorite knitwear material as it is a high performance fibre that rarely requires washing, has a low lifecycle environmental impact and stays beautiful and cosy for a very long time if treated with care.
This young Berlin-based label has rediscovered the ancient craft of making net bags, that has survived in the mountains of Mexico to the present day: over a period of several weeks, natural sisal leaves are transformed into extremely stretchy fibres and nets. Traditionally, the net bag is worn with a single leather strap across the forehead in order to transport heavy loads.
The modern variation is this Cho’jac rucksack that can be transformed into a shoulder bag. The nets, made by hand by local craftsmen in Mexico, are finalized in traditional workshops in and around Berlin, also exclusively by hand.
The leather straps come from German cattle and were tanned using natural methods. The high-quality lining is made from pure, durable linen, produced in Germany, and is sewn in a local workshop by people with disabilities. All parts of the Cho’jac bags can be replaced or repaired and if the rivets are removed the whole bag is biodegradable, as it’s completely made from natural materials.