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Background 
 
Sustainability in fashion or “eco fashion” hasn’t been big of a topic until a few years ago. Actually, nearly all big brands made negative headlines concerning sustainability (see my earlier post on abuse in fashion industry. Today, the growth of eco fashion is remarkable – also in Berlin.
 
What kind of green fashion platforms exist? 
 
Green Showroom
 
The green fashion movement is big and varies in its presences. There is for example the
trade show green showroom that describes itself with the following choice of words “GREENshowroom is an un-conventional trade-fair/showroom with a new refreshing concept, conceived to enrich the fashion world. The future of the high-end lifestyle sector lies in the combination of luxury and sustainability. With our concept we redefine the meaning of luxury in an exciting and contemporary way. Luxury means experiencing and enjoying high quality in calm, knowing the products are conceived in a social responsible way with ecological materials. The showroom offers a selection of brands from fashion, accessories, beauty and gourmet, as well as a presentation of innovative ecological materials – an opportunity to present and sell their high end products.” Moreover, several criteria have to be fulfilled in order to be allowed to exhibit: “Participation in GREENshowroom requires a high level of design, quality and innovation. The brand shall clearly be positioned in one the upper segments. Besides, brands have to be able to prove at least 60% or more of their product is sustainable which will be proofed through a questionnaire.
 
Sustainability means for example:
  • Certified organic material or
  • Recycled materials
  • Standards such as Cradle to Cradle®, bluesign or Lifecycle analysis
  • According to Fairtrade or other accepted social standards produced or traded products
  • Support of  social projects and traditional textile skills”
Labels
 
I found a really nice blog that showed that there are also tons of labels, who claim to produce ecologically but exhibit at “regular” fashion shows like the BREAD & BUTTER, Mercedes Benz Fashion Week (includes Green Showroom) or Premium:
PREMIUM EXHIBITIONS
Armed Angels | A QUESTION OF | Blondes make better T-Shirts | CALICAMPO | Caro E.Haikure | I HEART | Julie Park | L`Herbe Rouge |Lanius | Les Racines du Ciel People Tree | Portocolonia | Raffauf | Reale |Simon Ese The Baand | Misericordia | Veja | Noir | Shakkei | Elsien Gringhuis | Rita in Palma | Themata | Villa Gaia
BREAD & BUTTER BERLIN
Natural World Eco | El Naturalista | Monkee Genes | One Green Elephant |Stop The Water While Using Me | Francois & Marithé Girbaud Actlive |Knowledge Cotton | K.O.I. | Nudie Jeans | A Question Of | Anvil | Natural World | Kuiyichi
GREEN SHOWROOM
Alina Schuerfeld Alma & Lovis | Atelier Laure Paschoud Atlantic Leather |Early Fish | Good Society | Hanna Felting | HULA | Kaschuba Hommage |Kaska Hass | Lanius Leibschneider | Materia Prima | Pampa Pop RE 101 |Reet Aus | Right as Rain | Royal Blush | Schmidttakahashi | Sonja Heyman |Stewart & Brown | Studio Ecocentric The Rooters | We3 | Wellicious |
 
Organizations
 
The eco fashion movement is followed by (mostly national) organizations and foundations that pursue the same goal. I listed the most important ones I found on “ecofashionworld” below:
 
BAFTS The British Association for Fair Trade Shops (BAFTS) is a network of independent fair trade shops across the UK, many of which stock garments and accessories.
 
The Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) is a voluntary program who’s vision is to enable millions of farmers around the world to grow cotton in a way that is healthier for the farming communities and the environment, and more economical.
With a population of 170 million, Brazil has a lot of people to “eco dress”. That’s why we were delighted to hear about the Ecotece Institute. São Paulo based journalist Ana Candida Zanesco set up Ecotece as a tribute to Mother Earth. The institute’s logo, a tree inside a butterfly, is a reflection of her philosophy: everything is interconnected, by living a green lifestyle, you can make a huge difference (it’s The Butterfly Effect).
Elsewear is a Dutch initiative to promote the most dominant fashion trend of our time: “Green is the new black”. Green stands for environmentally friendly materials, clean production processes and good labour practices in the textile industry.
 
The Ethical Trading Initiative (ETI) is a UK based alliance of companies, NGOs and trade union organisations. The purpose of the ETI is to promote and improve the implementation of corporate codes of practice which cover supply chain working conditions.
 
Fashioning an Ethical Industry (FEI) is a UK based education project ofLabour Behind the Label . The project works with tutors and students of fashion-related courses to give an overview of how the fashion industry positively and negatively impacts on working conditions. FEI aims to inspire students – as the next generation of industry players – to raise standards for garment workers in the fashion industry of the future.
 
Where are we heading? 
As turned out in my report above, the eco-fashion movement becomes more and more prominent and common. Moreover, customer’s awareness for ethical shopping has increased due to general global developments (see the “organic” department at discount grocery stores). Still, eco-fashion is not as easily accessible as non-environmentally friendly retailers like H&M or the whole INDITEX group – or basically anything from cheap to expensive. So I think a real shift in shopping behavior won’t happen before more brands like El NaturalistaMonkee GenesOne Green Elephant,  I HEART , Julie Park etc open (more) stores in shopping malls. If you can only buy these brands online (or abroad) the effort is too big, to make a change. But if I see ppl crowding in “the BIO company” stores in Berlin, I’m sure, they’ll also pay a bit more for sustainable clothing…
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