With a few short weeks to go before the eco Helsinki Fashion Week, there is growing excitement about this big and relevant event happening in a small Nordic country. Founded by Evelyn Mora, the three-year-old fashion week in Finland sponsors its designers and shows only sustainable and ecological fashion. This year, for the first time, not just the clothes, but also the event, a not-for-profit company, will be eco-friendly. Venues are being built using recycled and re-usable natural materials and the “eco-village” will be run based on the circular and sharing economies. According to the website, “the five-day fashion week sets to inspire urban development and cultural interaction by re-evaluating the way we consume, adapt and co-exist with our surroundings in the fashion landscape of the future”.
In making the selection of designers to showcase, Evelyn told Twyg earlier this year that she is looking for designers with solutions to becoming more sustainable using biodegradable yarns and upcycling or recycling existing ones. In addition, transparency and social responsibility are being considered. Here are some of the designers who passed the test:
This Grecian brand is interested in progressivism and unconventionality. According to the Facebook page, the brand “strives for a perpetual battle with conservatism and conventionality, envisaging clothes not as strictly functional everyday items but as multidimensional structures, maintaining at the same time fashion’s allure and scrutinizing urge”.
CHAIN is a fashion brand based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. According to the website, it is committed to the environment, designs are made by hand in their little studio with raw local fabrics and organic dyes. “Zero waste patterns, a-gender fits and sustainable production make their clothing stand the test of time.”
Fuenf is a young, Berlin-based brand with a sustainability at the core of its DNA. According to its website, “The brand presents a welcome alternative to fast fashion with its deliberate attention to the methods of fashion production, fabrics and fairness of labour. The clothes are produced in Berlin and at small ateliers in Poland with transparency and traceability being the key aspects”.
Miina Laitsaari is a London-based fashion brand focusing on ethically and sustainably produced women’s wear. Their “products are hand-made to order in East London (UK) using upcycled materials. Because there are only small amounts of each material available every piece is composed individually, giving them a unique feel but always maintaining the original look”.
Estonian designer, Liisa Soolepp cares about fabrics and ethical production. “My drive is the world of patterns and textures. You can discover them everywhere – in natural or in unnatural, human or in nonhuman environments. Arcaic and modern, geometric and abstract ones. To let them tell their stories and build them up, create paths through them, to make us wander along these roads. That is the way I collect images and ideas. That is I can hold on,” she explains on her website.
Saneras is the creative brand of twin sisters. Serena and Siliana Arena, who both graduated at the Academy of Fine Arts. Theirs is a linear and minimalistic aesthetical vision, embedding a sophisticated concept of femininity. Their website says they produce “essential, high quality and wearable garments. Saneras represents Italian timeless elegance in a contemporary vision”.
Titziano Guardini won the Franca Sozzani Green Carpet Challenge award for the best emerging designer last year. The designer who has won multiple awards describes his work as “ECOuture”.
Nathalia JMag is a contemporary fashion designer on a mission to honor people, animals and the earth through her work. The website says that, “JMag believes that we don’t need to harm people, animals or the environment to create beautiful garments because fashion doesn’t have to hurt. She uses zero waste design approach, chooses the most sustainable fabrics available to her and upcycles old clothing to give them new life, these are a few ways in which Nathalia JMag is ethical and sustainable”.