The vegan trainer, the handbag made of pineapple leather, jeans made of organic cotton for leasing, the blouse made of non-violent silk, the dress dyed with algae: the range of sustainably produced fashion available is broad and constantly growing. The collections range from urban streetwear to elegant business outfits. A growing number of sustainable fashion brands represent the zeitgeist of a generation that, as it does with food, cosmetics, mobility and holidays, pays attention to environmental friendliness and fair payment when it comes to clothing. At the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin and Greenshowroom, international sustainable fashion brands will once again be presenting their new collections at the Berlin Fashion Week from 16 to 18 January 2018.
Sustainability is the expression of an attitude to life
The purchasing behaviour of a broad consumer segment has fundamentally changed: the share of organic products within the total expenditure on food and beverages in Germany has almost doubled from 2.9% to 5.7% in the last ten years.1 With electric vehicles, hybrid engines and rental concepts, mobility is moving towards a more environmentally friendly future. The Nielsen study on the subject of the “Green Generation” confirmed back in 2015 that sustainability is a priority for the new generation of millennials when it comes to shopping. Around three in every four 15 to 20-year-olds are prepared to spend more on products by brands that are committed to environmental or social principles. The percentage increase within just one year was significant: from a proportion of 55% in 2014 to 72% in 2015.
For many consumers, a sustainable lifestyle now also includes clothing that has been produced in an environmentally friendly and socially responsible manner. The success of sustainable fashion is likely to be helped by the fact that many brands have a memorable character and real stories behind them. The products are fashionable and contemporary. The manufacturers are fully committed to sustainability. They are incubators, trend-setting and future-oriented, and also partly revolutionary. Their products embody the change that is currently taking place in society and reflect what Generation Green is looking for.
Organic and fair, sustainable and slow – what’s behind it all
Sustainable fashion is varied and colourful. All the brands whose products fall into this category essentially produce according to environmentally-friendly and fair criteria that go beyond the legal requirements and they communicate these criteria openly and transparently. They set different priorities in this respect: regional production, the promotion of social or humanitarian projects, adherence to fair standards for workers in the textile value creation chain, animal welfare, controlled organic farming, recyclability, longevity or sustainable fibre alternatives. The manufacturers of fair fashion are primarily concerned with working together responsibly in a globalised, networked world. They want to ensure that they pollute the environment as little as possible and at the same time produce stylish fashion. They are drivers of innovation and have fun while they do it.
Sought and found
Meanwhile, a large number of sustainable fashion brands around the world are enjoying great success. Consumers can find what they're looking for, particularly on the Internet. Numerous online shops and blogs specialise in the green lifestyle. Antonia Böhlke from the blog www.mochni.com has published a list of international websites for fair fashion. These include accompanyus.com, reve-en-vert.com, theslowmode.com and takeitslowfashion.nl. One of the best-known specialist online shops in Germany is probably Avocadostore. In addition, there are the platforms of leading brands such as Hess Natur, Lanius and Armed Angels.
However, there is also a lot going on in the stationary retail trade. In recent years, numerous concept stores for eco-fashion have been established. The German market is currently one of the pioneers in Europe with chain store-based multi-label concepts such as Glore, Manufactum and Deargoods as well as various individual stores. Conventional retailers such as Modehaus Hempel in Wolfsburg or Woggon in Göttingen also include sustainable fashion in their product range. The Get Changed! network's Fair Fashion Finder currently lists around 320 stores in Europe on its homepage, of which about 130 are in Germany. There are also over 150 brands that often sell their products via their own online shop.
For specialist retailers, the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin and Greenshowroom have developed into globally unique platforms and the largest trade fair for fair fashion and sustainable lifestyles as part of the seasonal Berlin Fashion Week, creating a unique selling point for them within the Fashion Week itself. At the trade fair, specialist and conventional retailers will be able to gain a comprehensive overview of a broad spectrum of sustainable fashion, from casualwear and streetwear to contemporary and high fashion. In addition, specialist conferences, workshops and discussions on innovation, sustainability and technology in fashion will bring together the key players in the fashion industry and encourage them to share experiences on these topics. The forthcoming editions of the Greenshowroom and the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin will attract visitors to the centrally located Kraftwerk Berlin from 16-18 January 2018.
1 © GfK, source: ConsumerScan (CP+) / “Organic arrives in the mainstream”
Background information on Messe Frankfurt
Messe Frankfurt is the world’s largest trade fair, congress and event organiser with its own exhibition grounds. With more than 2,300 employees at some 30 locations, the company generates annual sales of around €647 million. Thanks to its far-reaching ties with the relevant sectors and to its international sales network, the Group looks after the business interests of its customers effectively. A comprehensive range of services – both onsite and online – ensures that customers worldwide enjoy consistently high quality and flexibility when planning, organising and running their events. The wide range of services includes renting exhibition grounds, trade fair construction and marketing, personnel and food services. With its headquarters in Frankfurt am Main, the company is owned by the City of Frankfurt (60 percent) and the State of Hesse (40 percent).
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