Lots of people often wonder how and where to find sustainable fashion. Well, this weekend it was all cluttered at the biggest fair fashion festival of Rotterdam: The Fair Fashion Festival (you wouldn’t have guessed), organized by Young and Fair. In this post I will update you about this amazing day so you will make sure to attend next year. I will also discuss all the fair labels and shops that were present at the fair fashion market for your weekly sustainable fashion inspiration.
For me personally, it was a very special and exciting day. It was the first time I got to speak at a public event about sustainable fashion! I was asked to talk about detoxing from fashion I experienced during the I Buy Nothing Challenge. I also got to explain the origin of the name of our blog; ‘What if threads could talk?’ ‘What would they say?’ and how it started an internal conflict with my consuming behavior. I figured I was a fashion addict, needed rehab, started the I Buy Nothing Challenge, and figured out what it was that made it so addicting. Turned out we are exposed to seduction by brands 24/7 with the help of words like SALE and other methods. And ofcourse like we always do, I ended the talk by providing some practical tips.
Afterwards I received a box of chocolates (fairtrade obviously), but also a question from someone in the audience: ‘I am inspired. How can I start?’ That is such a rewarding question! It made me think about my dad’s words when I was down about the world: ‘’As long as you reach one’’. Well, I did! And it made my day.
But I promised you fashion inspiration. Let’s start with the fashion shows hosted throughout the day, which were not ordinary. Firstly, the show exposed the various brands of the fair fashion market, but also second hand clothes of Leger des Heils (Salvation Army). Moreover, the models walked the stairs our way. They showed up out of nowhere, walked down the ‘Luchtsingel’ (massive outside stairs), showed the creations and moved up again. Totally loved it. Well done fashion team!
Next up was the Fair Fashion Market. It was a lovely sunny day, so everything was moved outside.
Bright Loops is a circular brand that creates up-cycled threads, felt and knitwear. And it is beautiful! I have to admit that I didn’t try one of the vests on, as it was so hot already, but I can totally image myself wearing Bright Loops in winter or during chilly evenings. You will definitely grab some attention as it is both classy and casual. If you do so, don’t forget to tell the great circular story behind your garment!
WoC is not only lovely jewelry and accessories for you, it is also a living for refugees and people affected by conflict. WoC offers them fair wages, empowers them and shares their stories. This way they create a connection between the buyer and the creators of the jewelry. And it gets even better, because where possible, the products are up-cycled, organic, natural, cruelty-free, fair-trade and locally sourced. A long list of good stuff, and by buying from them (only when its necessary ofcourse), you can make the world a little better ánd get yourself a pair of beautiful earrings.
Eco Textile Studio does not only offer their designs, but also your designs! You can get patterns, ecological threads and fabrics, and textile classes. Or just ordinary assistance to create your dream outfit.Since Eco Textile Studio showed some creations the during the fashion show, I can ensure you are in good hands. In the cover picture you can see a wedding dress from the Studio in bohemian style made from linen and madder. Gosh she looked gorgeous…
‘Walking clean in a dirty world’ is the slogan of EKN, which tells you directly EKN creates fair products from organic materials. Every part is handmade and organic. ‘Clean’ can also refer to the designs. No hodgepodge, but very simple and straightforward, in a good way. Elegant, is what comes to my mind. I totally fell in love with the slippers.
Rebello is an Italian brand where sustainability and design go hand in hand. What I like the most is their total transparency. Each item has a code which you can track on Rebello’s website, to show you where the materials come from, where it is produced and how it is produced. Hence beauty from the inside, gorgeous from the outside.
Lizet is a ‘local’. From Rotterdam Lizet designs bags and clothes, inspired by traveling the world, seeing traditional craftsmanship and hearing personal stories. I can totally relate to that, and that is maybe what makes the bags even more beautiful. Since Lizet’s creations are not based on trends, but on her own imagination, her designs are truly unique.
‘‘Mind your bag!’’ says the lady through the speaker at the airport. That is the origin behind the name of this brand.‘Take care of your bag’, is what they’re actually saying and that is exactly what Mind Your Bag represents. Their pieces are created by Mieke Langenhuizen with the help of youth with a distance to the job market, from left over leather and fabrics from furniture factories. So a bag and a story you want to take care of.
Pretty and Fair is a young, mostly vegan, biodegradable shoe and bag brand. Their designs are classic, but with a twist. For shoes, you can go for elegant or more sturdy, but comfort is ensured. You can find matching bags, but they’re good looking on themselves too. Too pricey for you? Try their ‘oops’ section! Working with people, as Pretty and Fair does, means making mistakes every now and then. Instead of throwing away these items, Pretty and Fair offers them with discount. Way to go!
Shekila Ramautar makes handmade fashion in the Netherlands with GOTS certified materials (Global Organic Textile Standard, is recognized the world leading processing standard for textiles made from organic fibres). The brand only offers a small collection, but to wear all year long. Her designs are feminine, stylish and timeless, and only what Shekila likes. Simply personal, fair and ecological fashion.
Wolf and Storm is a webshop based on sustainable brands. I have been looking for something like this a loooooong time! Thank you for existing! They offer all kinds of items in different price ranges. Now my cheap basic shirts are all ‘out of shape’ it is time to invest in some qualitative pieces, and Wolf and Storm is just the right place. At the market, I couldn’t resist to buy a t-shirt from Noble Fibres. The shop is home to 16 sustainable brands, so if you are in need of an item, here is your solution!
I had such a lovely day at the Fair Fashion Festival and can’t wait for the next edition. I hope to see and meet you there! Check www.fairfashionfestival.nl for data and other cities. If you can’t wait to discover other sustainable brands, check out the Fair Fashion Map which will guide you to all of the sustainable fashion stores of Rotterdam.