Friday, 15 January 2016

Planning for The Ethical Fashion Show

It’s that time of the year again, when the Ethical Fashion Show opens its doors to over 100 eco-friendly brands and acts as a space for open discussion on some of the hottest topics in the fashion industry right now. I visited the show for the first time last July as part of Berlin Fashion Week, and was amazed at the range of brands on offer, from established labels like People Tree and Komodo to new and upcoming brands such as Muka Va. This year the focus of the show is “Circularity”, and I’m really looking forward to attending some of the lectures led by industry experts.

The Green Showroom from last year's edition

So what does “circularity” mean in a fashion context? This is the question that designers and retailers will have to start asking themselves very soon, and it’s something that brands like MUD Jeans have already implemented through their ‘circular design’ principle of repairing, recycling and re-wearing. During two lectures and a panel discussion (see the full timetable here), the Ethical Fashion Show will explore what circularity in fashion means to different designers, retailers and students, through topics such as wool recycling, changing consumer behaviour and the industry shift towards re-using precious resources.


However, the talk I’m most interested in attending this January is Tuesday's opening panel discussion entitled “Eco-fashion on the sales floor: how the conventional fashion trade can integrate eco-fashion into its assortment”. As much as we should support eco-friendly and ethical fashion brands, it's an unavoidable fact that the biggest impact will come from established fashion brands and retailers shifting towards a "greener" product offer. Part of this is improving their own processes and manufacturing methods, and another part is exploring how they can successfully combine new 'green' ranges with their existing offer, but in my opinion the biggest challenge is how to educate the customer about more conscious choices, so that we can eventually get to a place where "ethical" and "fashion" aren't separate terms. 

Stay tuned for updates next week!

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