With more than half of the labels on display hailing from outside of Germany, more visitors than ever showed keen interest in sustainably produced fashion collections. “The steady and impressive increase in both exhibitor and visitor numbers proves that green fashion is more sought-after than ever”, states Detlef Braun, managing director of Messe Frankfurt.
Altogether, 103 exhibitors at the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin (ewerk) and the associated Greenshowroom for premium brands at Berlin’s Adlon Kempinski hotel showcased their upcoming Spring/Summer 2014 collections. Combined, the two Messe Frankfurt events make up the largest European platform for green fashion.
“Everything on display here proves that a different world, a different approach to consumption is possible” adds Renate Künast, chairwoman of the Green Party/Bündnis 90, during her first-day trade fair visit. According to her, what started out with organic food needs to continue in the realm of textiles, “with great fashion produced under fair conditions for both people and the environment.”
Spotlight on social standards
In this spirit, the assembled labels highlight and exemplify many examples of modern, progressive production approaches. Putting social production standards centre stage, the sustainable fashion brands focused on transparent supply chains, fair pay, health and safety at the workplace as well as support of social projects in the production regions.
The Fair Wear Foundation’s “WellMade” seminar series, which had its premiere at the trade fair, examined the fashion industry’s working conditions and pinpointed concrete improvement measures. “We simply need to get started,” adds Künast. “Now it’s time for politics to create the right framework for conscious buying decisions.” Followed by creating a seal “that tells the consumer: This is where green fashion starts. When I spot this seal, I’m willing to buy!”
High attendance, more conventional buyers
The higher attendance and increased interest in Ethical Fashion Show Berlin brands, especially from conventional buyers, was clearly appreciated by the participating labels. “We had a great trade fair”, or so Mud Jeans CEO Bert van Son summarises his label’s Ethical Fashion Show Berlin debut. “You simply have to be here, in Berlin. The trade fair still continues to grow and we had a lot of traffic at our stand. We spentall day talking to buyers and media, introducing our new jeans leasing concept.”
An opinion shared by Josephine Grosser, managing director of Grand Step Shoes. “Simply everyone turned up: small retailer representatives with a focus on green fashion, but also the major buyers. The trade fair provides just the right platform for positioning ourselves on the market – and it really helps to raise awareness. So, we’ll be back in January!”
Matthias Hebeler, managing director of Brainshirt, adds: “If you are a sustainable brand, you need to attend the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin because it bridges the gap between conventional and green fashion. We just managed to convince some conventional buyersthat even male and business fashion can work really well in this area.”
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