Can we actually speak of sustainable fashion or fashion that is honestly environmentally conscious? And in what ways can a fashion designer create positive impact through their work while being part of an industry with an inevitably bad reputation for unsafe work conditions, draining of natural resources and perpetuating ephemeral trends that only feed our irresponsible consumerism? We asked Impact Hub members, Stella Panagopoulou and Valisia Gotsi creators of the newly founded clothing brand 2WO+1NE=2 to share their insights on ethical fashion.
Many independent designers try to be sustainable but you can only be responsible, really. Massive industries are making strong efforts to make the industry “greener” but nothing can stack up to simply not making and consuming huge amounts of clothing. The problem doesn’t really start from any independent designer who produce locally, a really small amount of garments a year, with natural fibers, eco friendly slow production and responsible employees. It starts from mass-market companies who produce thousands of pieces per week at a really low cost which reflects on the lesser quality of the fabrics with lots of synthetic fibers and workers that are paying the price. Nevertheless, designers are doing their best to diffuse the inevitable impact of those actions.
Faustine Steinmetz. The specifics of her sustainability vary from season to season. She hand-weaves, pleats and dyes her garments. Either she is using 50 percent recycled denim or all the water she is using to re-pulse the already existent denim is recycled.
Cara Marie Piazza. She is a natural dyer and textile designer using natural dye stuffs such as botanicals, plant matter, minerals, non-toxic metals and food wastes. She uses only organic cottons and fibers.
Edun. Its mission is to source production and encourage trade in Africa. It is building long-term, sustainable growth opportunities by supporting manufacturers, community-based initiatives and partnering with African artists and artisans.
Wales Bonner. Her work explores representations of black male sexuality and identity. Informed by broad research which encompasses critical theory, composition, literature, and historical sources, Wales Bonner attempts to explore the notion of luxury via a hybrid of European and African approaches.
Marieyat. Is an underwear and loungewear label for women, using natural materials such as cotton and silk. The brand emphasises in it’s versatility, comfortability and ethics.
2WO+1NE=2. is an Athens based fashion brand, founded in 2016. “We try as much as we can to be sustainable, therefore we only use natural fibers, environmentally friendly fabrics, naturally dyed and processed. All the items are produced locally, in house, in a normal pace, in contrast to the fast-fashion craziness that dominates the industry”.
*Stella Panagopoulou studied Geology and then Fashion Design at Veloudakis Fashion School. She was also a professional in Rythmic Acrobatics. After finishing her studies she worked for 3 years as a fashion designer and pattern maker at greek fashion label Digitaria. Valisia Gotsi at first studied Philosophy and History of Science and after that Fashion Design at Veloudakis Fashion School, in Athens. She is also a musician and collaborated with several bands such as Phoenix Catscratch, Strawberry Pills, Father Breath and Doric. She worked as a fashion designer and patern maker for brands such as Sotiris Georgiou and Guy Laroche.