Once upon a time, there were only two fashion seasons. When our grandparents grew up, there was one collection for spring/summer and another one for autumn/winter. Nowadays, there are 52 (!) seasons a year. The fast-paced industry has taught us that an item is obsolete after one week. Hurry up, don’t miss the latest trend!
Big fashion houses want to sell as much as possible - in the shortest period of time. Consequently, their clothes are often handled like toilet paper. Consumers use them one season and throw them away. For the first time in human history, worn clothes have almost zero value. If you want to donate your old stuff to a local charity institution, you might hear that there is no need because the storage places are full.
Yes, apparel is very cheap nowadays. However, other people have to pay the price. When you pay a single-digit price for a t-shirt, you can calculate how much is left for the sewer and his family.
This is a dilemma for people who love the idea of fashion design - there is so much creativity, cultural history and craftsmanship behind it. There has to be a fair solution that combines outstanding design with good labour conditions and sustainability. How can we solve this issue?
Katja and I found a an independent non-profit organization that shares these values. The Fair Wear Foundation aims to improve labour conditions in eleven production countries in Asia, Europe and Africa. Their standards that are based on the UN’s Declaration on Human Rights and the International Labour Organization.
We scrolled through the members and found two of our favorite labels there: the Swedish queen of simplicity Filippa K and the German fashion house van Laack. Here are our favorite looks!
Berlin business chic
„No one is forced to produce clothing under inhuman conditions“, says Christian von Daniels, owner of van Laack. The German company is exemplary for the industry: Employees in Vietnam and Tunisia work in air-conditioned environments under the highest security standards. They have access to day care centers, free meals and medical assistance.
Blouse and skirt by van Laack, bag by Chanel, shoes by Stuart Weitzman
Blouse and skirt by van Laack, bag by Chanel
This humanistic approach does not harm the van Laack's success - on the contrary! The company was founded more than 130 years ago and operates in 64 countries worldwide.
Blouse and pants by van Laack, bag by Chanel
Blouse and pants by van Laack
We have already shared some of the production processes at Filippa K with you. The Swedish brand uses recycled garments and aims to be 100 % sustainable by 2030. Fun fact: Their black-and-white shopping bags are currently replaced by sustainable bags made of corn. Yummy!
There is an amazing coat in their Front Runner collection - it is made of recycled wool and all components are made of sustainable materials.
Coat and dress by Filippa K
Their clothes are produced in countries such as Bulgaria, Portugal, India and China. As a member of the Fear Wear Foundation, the company performs regular audits to improve and develop their social compliance standards.
Just to name a few agreements of Fear Wear members:
Wages are sufficient to meet basic needs of the workers and their families.
There is no child labour for children unter 15 years. Children between 15 and 18 years won't perform work that harms their health, safety or morals.
There are reasonable working hours - not more than 48 hours per week, and at least one day off for every seven-day period.
Dress by Filippa K
Let’s change this industry together. Buy one quality piece and keep it for a few years. Look for vintage clothing online - you will find hidden treasures there.
We love fashion and its incredible power to inspire, play, express and provoke. Fashion is a wonderful genre of art - we should treat it that way!
Katja & Andrea
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