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13. August, San Juan de los Terreros
#1 Bottom up or top down: Denim-Patchwork goes Dior
From an old tradition I like to read the fashion news on vogue.de. Even though I’ve been dealing with sustainable fashion for a number of years, I’m still interested in Gucci, Dior & Co. Quite apart from the fact that it helps me when I can put topics into the larger context. I recently stumbled upon the topic of “Patchwork Denim in the Dior Cruise Collection”.
The big theme of the collection is a homage to the craftsmanship that Maria Grazia Chiuri celebrates on the big stage. Some looks are dedicated to upcycling. It’s really exciting that Dior is now dealing with a topic that has long been established in sustainable fashion. Keyword: Dzaino, Bridge & Tunnel. Plus: (patchwork denim).
And so I ask myself: did the big fashion houses understand that our resources are limited? That we have to rethink. Close loops? Does it help that a fashion house with such a great radiance makes the topic tangible for the mainstream? Or is that a classic case of greenwashing? What do you mean, Susanne?
Best regards to Bolzano,
Bolzano, August 16, 2020
Your questions occupy me and probably many others very much. And the answers to this are probably decisive whether the fashion industry really becomes more sustainable and fairer. It won’t work without the big fashion houses. As you say, they have charisma and this charisma can be used. It will not be enough that materials such as organic cotton or Tencel or Appleskin are used in a collection from time to time, that Up- or Recycling–practices are used for individual parts or that craftsmanship is celebrated. Without changing the business model, which has so far relied on more and more consumption, more collections, etc., it won’t work. Still, I think it’s a start. And what is currently primarily greenwashing could perhaps become more in the foreseeable future and move in the direction of a serious change. In any case, I can imagine the challenges for the brands are huge, the complexity of the production chains is often difficult to grasp, but I think they (almost) all understand that things cannot go on like this.
Giorgio Armani has already announced that he only wants to limit himself to two collections per year. Vivienne Westwood, Gabriela Hearst and Stella McCartney show that there is another way in high fashion.
To have to forego the creativity, style and craftsmanship of the big houses would be a great loss. Because even today it is brands like Chanel, Gucci, Valentino, you name it, who, at least stylistically, always present great things. A friend told me yesterday that sustainable fashion is still not enough for her. What do you think about that? Has anything changed here? Is sustainable fashion already clearly emerging from the basic area? Or is that perhaps also contradicting each other? Fashion, trends and sustainability?
October 10, Munich
Is sustainable fashion still not enough fashion?
now our new format has had a longer break right at the beginning. Not because we have nothing to say to each other. But on the contrary. The reason was rather that we are currently writing less and instead using the phone more (or even seeing “in real life”), because so many projects are running in parallel.
Um auf deine Frage zurückzukommen, ob „nachhaltige Mode immer noch zu wenig Mode“ sei. Oder ob sich hier schon einiges verändert hat: Hier hat sich in den letzten zwei, drei Jahren enorm viel verändert. Nicht umsonst konnte es im April 2019 eine Green Issue der deutschen VOGUE geben. Zahlreiche deutsche Designer wie Julia Leifert, Working Title, Lara Krude & Co. designen nachhaltige High Fashion auf allerhöchsten Niveau. Basics gibt es natürlich nach wie vor, was ich für ausgesprochen wichtig halte. Aber auch im Casual Bereich ist nachhaltige Mode viel mutiger geworden. Das war auf den vergangenen zwei Veranstaltungen der NEONYT ganz deutlich zu sehen. Von klassisch bis „trendy“ gibt’s inzwischen die ganze Palette. Perfekte getailorte weiße Hemden (AFORA world), Statement-Bomber (Phyne) und Evening-Jumper (wunderwerk) – es gibt inzwischen jede Menge Slow Fashion Brands bei denen „echte Mode“ Programm ist. Weitere Beispiele gibt’s natürlich hier
To come back to your question as to whether “sustainable fashion is still too little fashion”. Or whether something has already changed here: a lot has changed here in the last two or three years. It was not for nothing that there was a Green Issue by the German VOGUE in April 2019. Numerous German designers such as Julia Leifert, Working Title, Lara Krude & Co. design sustainable high fashion at the very highest level. There are of course still basics, which I think is extremely important. But sustainable fashion has also become much bolder in the casual area. This could be seen very clearly at the last two NEONYT events. From classic to “trendy” there is now a whole range. Perfectly tailored white shirts (AFORA world), statement bombers (Phyne) and evening jumpers (wunderwerk) – there are now a lot of slow fashion brands where “real fashion” is part of the program. There are of course more examples here.
October 10, Munich
#2 Finally: Old is the new new.
#SecondHandSeptember is just over and I’m looking forward to new information on the topic every day. Levi’s is now selling its used items online, COS has launched Regel, Gucci is cooperating with The RealReal – there is daily news on the subject. It was also more than overdue, considering the topic of old clothes vs. take a closer look at increasingly scarce resources. It just doesn’t always have to be new. We have to be a little more economical with resources.
Quite apart from the fact that Corona brought the used clothes collectors to collapse because they all mucked out, it can unfortunately be observed that the quality of the used goods has dropped drastically over the past few years.
So it’s all the more beautiful to see that the image of second hand fashion is finally positive. You can let off steam online at providers such as rebelle.com and de.vestiairecollective.com (luxury!) And thrifted.com (vintage). On- and (finally again) offline you can find unique pearls at kilo prices at Robin Balser’s VinoKilo, which, like us, was hit hard by the event’s cancellation due to the crisis, but which is kind of back. He is currently loading wooden containers with used favorite items that he has brought to Venice by ship to inspire the Italians with a first sales event. Congrats, Robin!
No city anymore without at least one great second hand store (thank you, Susanne, for kidnapping me to Karin Klammsteiner’s second hand store Kleopatra in Bozen on Monday.
I LOVE my new Pinstripe jacket!). And because you have to start somewhere, let’s just start with a second hand guide for Munich (info and tips are welcome to me: firstname.lastname@example.org – we are also happy to publish with credit).
Sunny autumn day greetings,
October 19th, Munich
#3 Your absolute favorite clothing
One question I get asked again and again in interviews is about my favorite piece of clothing. The last time was just a few days ago – for the style guide for women over 45 (!) by Susanne Ackstaller (from March 2021 at Knesebeck Verlag).
The answer is easy for me: my favorite piece of clothing is my blue vintage bomber jacket from Diesel. I bought this piece, which my daughters named “fish jacket” because of the fish skeleton, in a Berlin vintage shop near Wittenbergplatz. Shown by Cherie Birkner, wonderful photographer, fashion activist, esthete and founder of Sustainable Fashion Matterz. Why do I love it so much? It just goes with everything: pants, dress, casual, elegant, formal, informal – it doesn’t matter. And I wear it almost every day. Indoor. Outdoors. At home and on the go.
By the way: I once read that people who often wear the same thing use their clothes like a logo and are perceived as a brand. That is not the reason why the fish jacket accompanies me so consistently. Actually, after all these years working for fashion magazines, I don’t feel like “thinking up” a new look every day. Quite apart from the fact that I like the jacket so much, I also want to show that you don’t need that many pieces of clothing to be happy. You only need the right ones (keyword #capsulecollection).
And because I’m just as curious as our readers: What is your favorite piece of clothing, Susanne?
Bolzano, August 21st 2020
my favorite piece? When you asked me about it, I had to think for a while. I have some pieces that I really, really like to wear. Then often I put it away again, at some point pull it out again and carry it again. Today, on my bike ride into town, it occurred to me: The item of clothing that I never put away, that was never sorted out, is my beloved pinstripe jacket, which I bought in Barcelona 17 years ago. Back then at Massimo Dutti.
“Shop your own closet”, I try to take that to heart. Firstly, I have beautiful things, and secondly, it is not particularly sustainable to constantly buy new, even if sustainable, parts. And I have to say that the quality was different than it is today. The jacket still looks great, even though I’ve worn it regularly over the years. Sometimes styled casually, sometimes more formal.
The jacket wasn’t cheap for me back then. But it’s worth investing in your favorite pieces. They become life companions.
Greetings from Bolzano,
Bolzano, October 30th, 2020
#4 Purpose Looks Challenge
the RKI recently added South Tyrol to its list of travel warnings. That means – after the cancellation of the Biolife and thus the cancellation of the GREENSTYLE x Biolife pop-up – that we cannot hold any joint events until further notice and our planned multi-day strategy meeting will not take place for the time being. That is bitter. We have all put a lot of work into these upcoming projects. Not everything was useless, of course. I also fear that the recent global, European, national and local tightening will hardly be bearable for quite a few small brands. In order to produce as sustainably and fairly as possible, it takes a lot of effort, in every respect. The reserves are quickly used up. I very much hope that we don’t lose too many of the small, fine sustainable brands. Now is the time to go on as best you can and support each other wherever possible.
For two days I was paralyzed and also depressed, now it’s back. And I started putting together sustainable outfits, photographing them in the bathroom and posting them on Instagram. For the fun and also because too few people are still convinced that sustainable and secondhand fashion can look good. Of course, one can argue about taste. I think the style factor is very important, just throwing something on because it’s sustainable is not enough. I think we agree on that?
And now my question: Are you there in the week we would have set up the pop-up, to post an outfit every day?
Greetings from Innsbruck,
November, 1st Munich
Unfortunately, we actually have far too much practice in canceling events. But we have also become better at flexibly changing concepts and formats. So it goes on. And to be honest, this resistance spurs me on even more. The work was definitely not in vain – we collected a lot of karma points and the brands that we wanted to take with us to Bolzano still get visibility. They all got a brand portrait that will be posted on Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn. We integrate them into our newsletter and consider them when we work together with the unisex brand Afora.World from Berlin, whose white shirt we have with us in our GREENSTYLE x Fairnica “Pauline” capsule.
Your idea of using the “Bozen” week to post outfits on Instagram is a great thing. In addition to activism, the brands’ collections and the resulting outfits with which we can inspire everyone and encourage them to act more consciously, rethink, etc.
GREENSTYLE Challenge: PURPOSE Talks goes #PurposeLooks
So that the whole thing gets a little bigger impact, I took our format here as inspiration and made a little challenge out of it. If our community participates, we can start a small GREENSTYLE challenge with the hashtag #PurposeLooks, and reach as many people as possible with the community power.
My #PurposeLooks? This time they are from my library.
On the current occasion, I have decided to use my library. I still have numerous outfit pictures on my phone that I never posted due to lack of time. For one thing, I just don’t create a new photo every day. On the other hand, we don’t really have a reason at the moment. From Monday we have a lockdown light the whole November. The gastro has to close. All events are canceled. Only two households are allowed to meet. That means: my outfit creativity will be limited in the 24/7 home office. Then I’d rather have a fashionable look back at the past year with my favorite pieces of clothing.
The #PurposeLooks main actors will be:
Various denims from DAWN, my all-time favorite coat “Eugene” from LangerChen, my white sneakers from nat2 footwear, my vintage bomber jacket from Diesel. You can see it on my blog @mygreenstylecom nd under #PurposeLooks
I look forward to the pictures of everyone who participates and send my best regards,
Bolzano, December 22nd 2020
#5 Bye-bye 2020. Welcome 2021
The holidays are just around the corner, the year is coming to an end. What a year! New challenges in every nook and cranny. I had time to read more than in the years before. Finally several books again. I also read various fashion platforms such as Business of Fashion or Fashionista. The urgency of a fundamental change in the fashion industry is spoken here like never before. And not everything is just words. Big names are also there. Designers like Giorgio Armani or Dries van Noten are reducing their collections, sustainable collections are being created, such as “Upcycled by Miu Miu”, H&M has developed its Conscious Exclusive Winter Collection 2020 from food waste and plastic waste, Gucci and Levis are entering the preloved market. Even if you have to look very carefully where it is primarily about marketing and where there is really the will to change something, the topic is becoming more and more attractive.
There are many losses for the industry as a whole, especially at the bottom of the supply chain. In the “State of Fashion Report 2020” by McKinsey and Business of Fashion, i.a. stated that, in addition to losses, there are also opportunities for brands, especially for those who are not afraid of digital solutions, who react flexibly, quickly and creatively to the crisis. It was also found that in addition to sustainability aspects, consumers are increasingly placing importance on social aspects, i.e. how and by whom their clothing is produced. So something is moving.
My sister recently told me about the increasingly popular hashtag #joyisrestitance. I think it’s a nice approach. Fashion always has to do with style, joy and self-expression. And hopefully that won’t change. I wish you, me, you and us that the next year will allow fewer cancelations and more real encounters again. That we advance our topic with a lot of energy and joy. Our collaboration was a highlight of this year for me.
Greetings from Bolzano,
Munich, December 23rd, 2020
I have to admit that I am not completely sad that the days of 2020 are numbered. A year with incredible challenges on so many levels. With setbacks, stumbling blocks, maximum effort. But also a year that has strengthened a realization: It’s better together. The cooperation with our brands and people like you, Susanne, was simply wonderful despite the adverse circumstances and it showed us that we are still on the right track. That we have to keep going despite the enormous efforts if we want to change something. And that’s what we want. Honestly? If not now then when?
The year 2020 left us with a disruption on a scale previously unknown to us. In the private as well as in the social perspective. We were forced to pause and returned to the true values that have fallen by the wayside over the past few years. Spending time with the family, baking and cooking together, excursions into nature were suddenly rediscovered. Bicycles and fitness outfits were sold more than ever before. Nature instead of Netflix.
And as you write, even outside of your private sphere, changes have taken place (or have at least begun): high fashion has discovered its responsibility and is reacting by changing course accordingly. Upcycling, sustainable materials, fewer seasons and fashion shows … I’m curious to see how much of the commitment will continue “after Corona”. Second hand has finally become socially acceptable this year. Preloved fashion is not only hip in Berlin and among young adults. Off-White founder Virgil Abloh described vintage and second-hand as the future of fashion at the beginning of the year. More and more vintage shops like the Vintage Fabrik in Munich are opening. High street brands and luxury designers are discovering their preloved fashion as a serious resource.
Corona hit us all hard and those at the beginning of the supply chain hardest (all the more important that we finally get the supply chain law). But Corona has finally led to such grievances finally reaching the middle of society. The consumer asks more and more, wants to know what he is buying and where it comes from. Each of us has a voice and together we are loud. And that’s why I wish for 2021 that the newly regained, delicately burgeoning consciousness among consumers will continue to grow and that they will act accordingly. Buy less, choose well, make it last. The saying about the Queen of Punk is pretty trite, but just as correct and important as on the first day. Let’s change that fashion game!
And as for us: We mastered the year despite enormous adversity. We have expanded the website to the “home of sustainable fashion”, further enlarged our network, set the course and forged plans. Yes, we have big plans in 2021. You can find out more about this during NEONYT on air in January.
I wish you, dear Susanne and your family, wonderfully relaxed holidays in Bolzano – probably just as much in the smallest of circles as on this side of the Alps with us. We look forward to everything (good!) That the new year brings for all of us and hope that our trips to South Tyrol will not be thwarted again next year.