This round of Sustainability Drinks: Berlin tackled the topic of sustainability in fashion, with a focus on “”Fast Fashion: How can sustainable fashion keep up with trends”. Sustainability Drinks Berlin provides a platform which promotes various issues related to the sustainability movement. The events are organised by the hard working members at GreenBuzz Berlin and address sustainable topics involving food, fashion, technology, business, waste, travel & consumption through monthly presentations. The guest speakers for this round of drinks were, designer Arianna Nicoletti from the Upcycling Fashion Store and Ester Froehler from the Moeon sustainable clothing store. Both gave some insight into the importance of the sustainable approach in fashion.
Ester from Möon kicked the night off with some insight into their sustainable concept store in Kreuzberg, Berlin. They stock brands such as Bhalo (Australian label), Veja (French sneaker label), and Kowtow (New Zealand). Each brand is carefully selected dependent upon their ethical and ecological practices. Möon consider communication and transparency with brands to be the most important factor when selecting designers.
It was particularly interesting to hear about Ester’s observations when it comes to the perceived obstacles that buyers experience when searching for sustainable fashion. She found that textile type, higher price points and accessibility were areas that influenced peoples buying behaviour. Though at the same time, Ester noted that some of these factors can have the capacity to create a new aesthetic in fashion where imperfection is more appealing through alternative character and form.
Arianna from Aluc, challenged the question of how do we keep up with trends, responding with, “it’s not a question of sustainable fashion keeping up with trends, it is a question of whether we are willing to follow the principles of fast fashion”. She explained that for the past 20 plus years, fast fashion has dominated the industry with the ultimate aim of maximising profits through the continual production of cyclic trends. The fashion industry produces as many as 18 cycles a year, consequently encouraging the consumer to change outfits every 2-3 weeks. This over consumption makes the fashion industry the biggest polluter second to the oil industry, and highlights the need to engage in alternative & sustainable practices. Arianna’s label, Aluc, goes against these fast fashion ideals by creating shirts, blouses & tshirts from the discarded leftovers from the industry. The quality of their garments demonstrate how valuable these discarded materials really are.
Greenbuzz Berlin also selected a number of Berlin based sustainable fashion brands to display their goods during the event. The four featured brands were Anek (Womens Underwear), Fickle Sense (Sleepwear), Virtu (menswear), Substanielles Minimum (upcycled fashion).
Substantielles Minimum is an upcycling label created by Katarina. In her Kreuzberg store you can find upcycled items such as backpacks, tie bags and scarf ponchos.
Much like Aluc’s upcycling approach, Anekdot produces underwear made from leftovers. The designer, Sofie creates hand-crafted bras, knickers and lounge wear, while being mindful of producing as little waste as possible.
Fickle Sense (which is my label) combines character design, illustration, screen printing & sustainable textiles to create unique sleepwear for women, children & babies.
Virtu is a Berlin based label which carefully considers every process in their entire production line. They produce fairtrade, socially conscious white shirts for men. Check out their Youtube video below to better understand their concept
The two ‘take away points’ from the event were:
- Making small steps towards being more sustainable is a positive move
- Don’t expect to have a 100% sustainable wardrobe.