The Berlin Fashion Week just wrapped up and what an event it was! UrbanMeisters had been reporting live to you from the mega event to give you the full insider’s view on the green fashion updates, news and trends. But if you missed these by any chance then you can always catch up with our two part Berlin Fashion Week wrap-up.
In Part 1 we dived straight into the green heart of the matter- how Berlin has taken up the international leadership in Eco Fashion. We gave you all that happened behind the scenes and not just ramp moments because this fashion week was so much more than just pretty faces walking up and down in prettier clothes! There was definitely that too but the Berlin Fashion Week took green fashion very seriously with designers, bloggers, industry experts and even politicians taking up the cause strenuously. We saw for ourselves how eco fashion was making it’s strong presence felt alongside conventional brands. You can read the article here.
Now in Part 2, we bring to you our favourite and most striking trends, products and people from the Berlin Fashion Week. So get ready to know all about the mega event in only a couple of minutes and update yourself on the coolest green developments in fashion!
1. CAMILLE BOILLET COUTURE – Couture is so chic when it’s ethical!
When Paris comes to Berlin then it’s a beautiful union of elegance and style with social and ethical values and Camille Boillet Couture collection was just that- a wonderful symphony of grace and values. The collection totally stood out at the Salon Show- the catwalk of the sustainable high end fair trade show.
To give you a background, Camille is a 22-year-old fashion designer from France who has just been awarded the 2016 LVMH CSR Young Talent Award. I met the talented designer at the Greenshowroom where she told me her remarkable story.
Camille has been around people with disabilities since she was little. For her, clothes are, as she says, a “passport to society”. She believes that clothing is the key to feeling good about yourself and this makes you confident enough to open up to others and feel the way you want to feel. This is particularly important for the big occasions of one’s life, like the wedding day. So Camille created her label Camille Boillet Couture to design evening gowns, cocktail dresses and wedding dresses for ALL including people with special needs. Because fashion is for everyone! While any designing is creative, Camille’s work is especially so as each piece of clothing, cut and material is adapted to suit different disabilities. Now that’s an extra mile for sure! For this purpose Camille conducts various tests and most importantly, listens to the experiences of people with special needs and their families. We thought this remarkable story had to be shared with you as her materials might be conventional but her work certainly represents a strong social message.
2. LANIUS – Meet the German pioneers in high-end sustainable clothing
UrbanMeisters was also lucky to meet one of the earliest proponents of Sustainable Fashion, the founder of LANIUS, the charming Claudia Lanius herself.
Back in 1999, Claudia had a strong vision that elegance and femininity are no contradictions to ecological and quality raw materials procured via fair means and produced with fair working conditions. The epitome of feminine grace herself, Claudia created her label based on this conviction and since then they’ve been pushing innovations in eco fashion with the leitmotiv:
LOVE FASHION – THINK ORGANIC – BE RESPONSIBLE!
The company is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified which means that the total supply chain from the cultivation of raw materials to the distribution is sustainable. GOTS is THE textile seal that you must remember as it is currently the only certification of its kind in sustainable fashion. “The Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) is recognised as the world’s leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres. It defines high-level environmental criteria along the entire organic textiles supply chain and requires compliance with social criteria as well.” (Source)
Materials are a particular passion of the designer who is on the never ending quest for innovation and improvements. Claudia worked with the company Lenzing, for the limited edition that she presented at the Green Showroom fashion show. For maximum softness and colour intensity they mixed organic cotton with the new sustainable fiber Modal® Edelweiss. This is a new CO2 neutral fiber produced by an extremely eco-friendly manufacturing technology and from renewable materials.
With this Claudia Lanius guarantees that the clothing she creates not only look good but feel good too!
3. BRAINSHIRT – Work-o-holics go green
One of the big qualities of the two fair trades- Green Showroom & Ethical Fashion Show Berlin, was the great variety of sustainable offerings. Having seen what’s on offer, no one can actually complain eco fashion doesn’t have a lot of choice. In fact, we would go as far as to say, green shoppers can enjoy as much variety as conventional fashion!
Take « Work clothes » for instance. We had the pleasure of meeting Mathias Hebeler, the founder of the eco work wear brand brainshirt. It was inspiring listening to him during the panel discussion on how to increase sustainability in the European fashion. UrbanMeisters caught up with him once more for a quick chat and introduction to our readers.
Mathias founded brainshirt because well he is a business man and like all corporate people, he always needs shirts! He knows how important it is to not just look sharp but also be comfortable in office wear. This is why he was always willing to invest a certain amount of money to have a product that is meets his high expectations. But then he discovered that this « high-end » product was actually a low-cost “Made in China” buy which was not produced via the fairest means. Mathias found himself questioning the fashion industry and this is how he founded brainshirt 4 years ago. His vision was to show that a premium product can be produced at the same price in Europe. He took not only the challenge of sustainability, but also of delivering the same quality and practicability of conventional business apparel at the same price. All materials are chosen for their low environmental impact and the cotton is organic.
4. DENIM Forever
The big trend at the Green Showroom and Ethical Fashionshow was clearly DENIM and this is important for two reasons:
Denim is a totally conventional fashion thing. For the last couple of years denim has been ruling the roost with fashionistas donning it literally from head to toe! And this material is kind of timeless- it’s been a classic for ages now so in a sense it is the most re-visited piece in fashion making it quite a sustainable concept. But unfortunately denim is an extremely polluting and resource intense material.
But there have been important advances made in the treatment of denim. Let’s examine this a bit.
Cotton the key ingredient in this material and that we know is is one of the world’s most polluting crops as we have examined in detail here. Apart from production of cotton, the conventional treating methods are also extremely polluting and worrisome from the green angle. Most notably « Stone washing » that gives that typical urban and worn look that we love about denim. For this the denim is washed an rinsed repeatedly which consumes a huge abount of water and energy. And Organic cotton usage doesn’t change the game so much because this hardly effects the processes of denim treatment that are resource-intense (like stone washing that we described) and unhealthy for workers as well as shown by repeated studies of denim workers. Silicosis- a serious lung disease cause due to Denim Sandblasting is a well documented « occupational hazard ». Read more here. Scrubbing jeans releases denim and silica dust which causes this affliction.
In our exclusive interview with Thimo Schwenzfeier, Marketing Director, Messe Frankfurt Exhibition, we brought out this ugly facet for discussion. Thimo told us that Claude Blankiet, considered one of the founders of denim, regretted his invention after understanding its adverse environmental footprint!
But the Green Revolution is not far behind in this as well. There are treatments with laser now that use no water at all, but give you the same ‘distressed’ finish without distressing the environment! Pun intended.
And one of the brands to successfully use this new green innovation and a holistic sustainable approach is Mud Jeans, a B Corp company- a certified group of sustainable companies.
Denim fashions change ever so often and all of us end up buying a new pair of jeans every couple of months. And this is a conservative estimate. I know many a fashion addicts who own as many as 20 pairs at the same time and keep going for the ‘latest’. So essentially its a very fast changing cycle of consumption leading to a lot of waste as old jeans get thrown away ever so often. Mud Jeans is set to change that.
A very clever business concept based on RECYCLING- which they say is in their DNA, Mud Jeans allows you to « lease » a new pair of jeans instead of buying one thus preventing you from throwing or staying with the same pair all your life. After 12 months the company sends you an email to ask if you are ready for a new pair. They offer you to switch to a new pair and easily continue with the monthly payment or keep the one you have if has become a must have in your wardrobe. A fun way to get a new pair of jeans totally guilt-free.
5. INFANTIUM VICTORIA – For cool kids with even cooler Mums and Dads
I could have chatted with Dinie van den Heuvel, designer and creative director of the edgy label Infantium Victoria, for ever and ever! Dinie is complete Belgian fashion scene insider. Apart from working for the label she also teaches fashion in Belgium, Switzerland and France- as guest lecturer at the renowned IFM, Institut Français de la Mode.
She is also the “wingman” of Julia Gaydina at the label Infantium Victoria –a babies and childrens-wear collection determined to merge ‘black and green’. The high-end collection is organic and vegan.
For both women the turning point was the frustration while searching for cool baby and kids clothes. Dinie expained to me “When my boy was born I wanted a black shirt for him, black is my favourite colour and there was nothing. Why should babies and kids be reduced to light blue and princesss rose? Why should babies and kids not be able to be cool? ». The women came together and founded the brand in 2013. The designs are very urban and cool. All paterns are handmade in Belgium and then the final products are created in Germany and a special project in India.
And we have some more exciting new for our readers! Founder Julia Gaydina will soon do a guest feature on UrbanMeisters.com so sign up for our newsletter if you haven’t already here so that you don’t miss out.
That brings us to an end of the 5 top picks from Berlin Fashion Week. But this just the tip of the ice berg. We came across so many more exciting designers, founders and labels and we will continue presenting them here. So sign-up and stay tuned or you’re in for some major #FOMO 😉