In only its third season, the GREENShowroom gave Berlin Fashion Week a more verdant hue this past week. Founded in 2009 by designers Magdalena Schaffrin and Jana Keller on the belief that the future of lifestyle products lies in both luxury and sustainability, the self-described “unconventional trade fair/showroom” featured 40 high-end apparel, accessory, beauty. and food brands whose products are as socially responsible as they are ecologically sustainable. Ecouterre scoped the three-day trade fair to bring you some of its highlights.
The Spring/Summer 2012 collection of veteran brand Studio JUX ("jux" means “fun” in German) brims with sexy, feminine pieces. Using varied sustainable materials such as wood pulp, organic cotton, and fish leather, Jux makes its garments in its own factory in Nepal, where designer Jitske Lundgren and third-party verifier Fair Wear Foundation ensure working conditions meet a code of labor standards based on the International Labour Organization convention and the United Nations' Declaration of Human Rights. Above, Jux manager Carlien Helmink dons a light, soft, slouch dress with a swooping neckline.
The Rooters is a German label that digs deep with urban-chic accessories made of rhubarb-tanned leather. The entire production process, from the cultivation of its crops to the manufacturing of the products, occurs in Germany. A scientist of "aroma analysis," The Rooters founder Anne-Christian Bansleben, pictured above, shows off a clean, classic shopping tote.
Good things come in threes, so it's no wonder that Dutch menswear designer Franklin Von Winckelmann presented three labels with his Spring/Summer 2012 collection. Above, his handmade "Tailor Apparel" label offers casual yet sophisticated pieces with decorative stitching that highlights their workmanship. Designed and manufactured in Indonesia, where Von Winckelmann lives, the pieces are made of 100 percent organic cotton certified by the Global Organic Textile Standard.
With seasonless style, Berlin-based Studio Ecocentric’s "Fur Immer” ("forever") collection features elegant pieces with minimalist silhouettes. Another reason we hope this brand is here to stay? Its pieces are made of GOTS-certified cottons and silk, along with vegetable-tanned leathers.
Inspired by renewable energy sources, Berlin designer Kaska Hass presents her first eco-couture collection, "Vent Vert." The angular, lapping lines of the blouse Hass holds above conjure images of wind blowing through turbines.
Schmidttakahashi breathes life into repurposed clothing, offering symmetrical silhouettes and bold patterns balanced with playful touches. Designers Eugenia Schmidt and Mariko Takahashi (pictured above) collect used clothing, combining key elements to create harmonious new apparel. Because each garment has a unique history, Schmidt and Takahashi include QR codes on their clothing tags. Scanned with an iPhone, each code unlocks a story posted by the garment's former owner.
Putting the "fun" in "functional," Hamburg-based Yog:k offers bright monochrome pieces with multiple uses, including jackets that can be worn as pants. "The collection questions the fashion rule, that people should fit the clothes," says designer Laura Krämer. "Instead, why shouldn't clothes conform to the needs and body forms of their wearers?"