THEKEY.TO, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Berlin

ICH BIN BERLINER

For its January 2011 season, THEKEY.TO experimented with a new venue—Columbiahalle in Tempelhof—to be close to Bread and Butter, the famous streetwear trade show. Featuring designers from 15 countries, the green-fashion fair took care to be sustainable in all aspects of its operation. Stands were made from recyclable cardboard, for instance, and upcycled Christmas trees provided the decoration.

“We are careful to make sure that our ‘green’ values are respected every step of the way, from the innovative exhibition architecture to our partners,” says Frans Prins, the event’s founder. “For example, the carbon-dioxide impact of the event is compensated by projects of the company Ecogood. For us, doing business in this manner is just second nature, but others it is still avant-garde.”

The show’s theme, “Conspiracy,” brought ethical-fashion insiders together to “conspire” as a collective to create global awareness.

The show’s theme, “Conspiracy,” brought ethical-fashion insiders together to “conspire” as a collective to create global awareness. Much like London’s Estethica, THEKEY.TO has its own set of standards. Each brand has to adhere to strict guidelines, such as sustainable materials (organic, eco-friendly, recycled) and social standards (fair, social, craft.) In addition, there are optional supply-chain criteria that cover climate, toxicity, waste, and traceability.

Sarah Maccagnan, who is in charge of selecting the brands, offers her vision of fashion’s future. “Sustainability will become a matter of course,” she says. “Experience shows that already many people buy organic products without knowing they did or even specifically wanting to. If we want to live longer on our planet, then something just has to change. Gradually, this is being implemented, the only question is whether there is enough time left?”

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