In the first week of July, I spent a couple of days in Berlin at the 2017 Ethical Fashion Show. Yes, finally getting around to publishing this sorry! This was my first fashion trade fair, and my first ethical/sustainable fashion trade fair, and I really loved it!
I met so many lovely people, from fellow bloggers to designers and creators, and saw some beautiful and innovative pieces.
The Ethical Fashion Show was a part of the larger, Berlin Fashion Week and took place from the 4th to the 6th of July; and emphasised the fact that fashion can be created ethically and far more environmentally consciously. I was pleasantly surprised at the vast range of styles and fabric innovations that were on show. Previously, when I thought of eco- or ethical fashion, I didn't think of the sleek clean styles that you might see on more "conventional" catwalks; but rather the overly colourful, rough, "hippy-looking" fabrics. There of course were designs such as these, but also a huge variety from sportswear to business wear and everything in between. There's no way I can mention all the brands that were there, so I will just give a few of my favourites a mention...
WEAR YOUR WASTE
I’ve seen a couple of swimsuit brands out there now which are using ECONYL - a fibre made from recycled fishing nets - as their key fibre, but none of them have been like Wear Your Waste (correct me if I’m wrong).
The patterns for each collection are done by a different artist and are completely unique. You will never see the prints anywhere other than on Wear Your Waste swimwear. The really interesting thing about this is that each pattern is customised for each size within the collection. I have never seen this before, I really like how this ensures that the patterns fit the body and not parts are cut off. You really have a piece of art when you wear one of this swimsuits, you won’t see these unique patterns in cheap, fast fashion pieces.
Though the company is based in Spain, their manufacturing occurs in Italy by highly skilled, fairly paid tailors. They use European fabrics, and they aim to reduce their impact wherever possible (e.g. hangtags from recycled cardboard, paperless transactions, biodegradable cellulose bags).
I’m so in love with the Belly collection which has been designed by Belly Button who is a freehand tattoo artist that tattoos all over the world.
JAN ‘N JUNE
I was so in love with Jan ‘N June before I even got to see their clothing in real life! They really do make environmental and ethical fashion affordable and more available to a wider percentage of the population. Their production happens within a family-run factory in Poland and all of their materials are certified and sources from Turkey, Portugal, or India. They use eco-friendly fabrics such as recycled polyester derived from post-consumer waste (e.g. plastic bottles) for their garments, as well as Micro Modal – a cellulose based fibre from sustainable forestry practices, and GOTS certified cotton.
Their garments are clean cut, and beautifully designed. Far away from the old school thinking of what eco-friendly clothing needs to look like. There are a few jungle themed pieces in their upcoming collection and oh my goodness, I can’t wait until they’re available!
I think my favourite aspect of their brand though is the QR codes they have incorporated into their labels. You can scan the code which is on your shirt, coat, pants, and it will tell you about the supply chain and materials used in this particular item! The transparency is amazing and I wish more brands could be confident enough in their sourcing to also include this.
If you have been following me for a while, you may have noticed that I have an obsession with silver; I basically never wear gold jewellery. Needless to say, as soon as I saw Ombré Claire out of the corner of my eye, I made an absolute B-Line for their stand.
I fell in love with basically everything. The designs are all hand drawn by the founder, and then they work with craftsmen and craftswomen as part of a social project in Niger to bring the drawings to life.
They use recycled gold, silver, and vermeil (gilded silver) and due to the recycling/melting process the gold and silver becomes incredibly pure (most contains a small amount of impurities). This does make the pieces softer, but I think this is nice as they then will personally mould to the owner.
I actually saw this brand on Instagram before I saw their shoes in real life. They use a mix of luxe, ecofriendly materials (both vegan and non-vegan) and make high end sneakers and other footwear that LASTS. What really struck me was that they had found a way to make shoes with STONE! They collaborated with Roxxlyn (known for their stone accessories) for this collection. They have developed a process that makes real slate (type of stone) soft and flexible; it was totally amazing! (Having studied Geology during my bachelors, I am a self-confession rock freak).
They also have a number of other interesting collections including the Wooden Line, includes flexible wood into the sneaker designs, and boots made from a mix of natural rubber and recycled leather. Another shoe that blew me away was their rainboot made from a mix that included inedible corn (pictured in the middle, also hello eco-friendly Hunter dupes!)!
They actually smelled like sweet popcorn! It was hilarious! Pretty sure people were starting to look at me funny because I was standing there smelling this rainboot for ages!
This was a new find for me, and I am so glad I stumbled across these beautiful modern, yet timeless pieces. This Berlin based brand truly does bridge the gap between ethics and luxe, stunningly designed apparel.
Their high-quality fabrics all adhere to their non-violence philosophy (cruelty-free, doesn’t exploit animals, humans, or the natural environment). They minimise transport within the supply chain wherever possible by sourcing materials as close to point of production (in Berlin) as possible. Their fabric palette includes certified organic cotton, Tencel (cellulose based “vegan silk” – so soft!!) organic wool, and ethical silk (silk worms are allowed to naturally break through their cocoons as butterflies rather than being boiled out).
I really loved spending time looking through all of their pieces they had at the show; it was amazing that all of their fabrics were all natural, yet all so different! I was so pleasantly surprised at the diversity of these “simple” fabrics.
LESS TOO LATE
I love this Cologne based label! They bring out collections that call for action; the latest collection was about diversity.
The designs are simple and clean (LOVE) with messaging that doesn’t slap you in the face, but takes a second or two to sink in. I really love that the messaging is clearly there, and you can advocate for the cause as loudly or as subtly as you want.
Their fabrics are organic and their clothing is of course, made under fair working conditions.
I can’t wait to see what their next collection is going to be! (I voted for raising Coral Bleaching awareness!)