Sunday, 21 February 2016

REVIEW: Sustainable Fashion at Modefabriek and MINT

Working in fashion definitely has its perks, and one of those was a few weeks ago when I attended Modefabriek, Amsterdam's premiere trade show with four fashion 'districts'  and over 600 brands. But Modefabriek (literally, "fashion factory") isn't just a key player in terms of size - it's also at the forefront of sustainable fashion, with dedicated trade show MINT giving eco-friendly, conscious brands a brilliant platform to present their products to potential buyers and promote the fashion of the future.

The Netherlands is well known for sustainable fashion brands, and I was really pleased to see lots of established labels that had also been at the Ethical Fashion Show in Berlin, such as Lanius, O My Bag, Komodo and Miss Green, as well as smaller, emerging brands such as Granny's Finest and Inti Knitwear that were completely new to me. Although MINT definitely felt a lot smaller than the Ethical Fashion Show, I got the impression that more care had been taken to pick labels with a cleaner and clearer aesthetic, so that the selection on offer therefore felt more polished and - dare I say it - commercial. This was particularly obvious in the "bestseller wall", made up of key pieces from each of the labels on show: a clear message to potential buyers that sustainable fashion should make business sense as well as promote ethical and environmentally-friendly values, just as sustainable labels should keep in mind that fashion is a what they are supposed to be selling and what customers are buying. No-one wants to wear a hemp sack anymore, even if it is biodegradable and fairly-made!

It was great to see sustainable fashion promoted so positively alongside other mainstream brands, and there was a real sense of innovation and creativity throughout the whole show, from fashion installations, to unique visual merchandising displays and cutting-edge books focusing on zero-waste design and creating a circular economy. My reading list has already doubled! Overall I left Modefabriek feeling really inspired to be part of the sustainable fashion movement and hope to back soon to see how MINT grows and develops even further.

Til next time, Amsterdam!
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