(16 Jan 2018) LEAD IN
Reducing fashion waste is one of the main topics at this year's Green and Ethical Showroom and FashionTech event in Berlin.
The two shows are a part of the Berlin Fashion Week - one of Europe's most important fashion events.
It's the time of the year when the fashion world leaves London, Milan and Paris to decamp in the German capital Berlin.
The Berlin Fashion Week is the first major fashion event of the year, and it sets the stage for the season to come.
But, away from the runways and the parties are two events hoping to set the stage for years to come, not just the next season.
Over recent years, the Green and Ethical Showroom and the FashionTech event have become more visible and important.
For the first time, the events are being held together in one venue to focus on the future of fashion - a future that is more sustainable and ethical.
This year the focus is on waste, and how it can be prevented, says Thimo Schwenzfeier, the head of the events.
One person that is focusing on reducing waste is Brazilian designer Larissa Roviezzo.
Her handbags are all made of recycled or biodegradable material - including one handbag made out of pineapple leaves.
The leaves are a waste product when harvesting the pineapples for consumption.
One company in the Philippines has developed a method to use that waste to create a material that is similar to leather.
And once you throw away the bag it will degrade and slowly disappear - there is no part that is not biodegradable.
Another designer working with waste is Taiwanese dressmaker Chen Wen Ting.
Her traditional dresses are made out of recycled polyester - the material that originally comes from recycled PET bottles.
She wants to show that new materials like polyester can be used to create traditional looking garments.
"I think it is very important when we go forward to future, to value our traditions and culture together," she says.
Swedish designer Jonna Haeggblom is taking a different approach. Her clothes are modular, meaning that they can be modified over the years to change with a consumer's changing taste.
Patterns can be added, and collars can be attached or removed.
The idea is to make consumers keep their clothes longer.
"If a consumer lacks the desire to keep the garment there is actually no need to design durability into it. So maybe slow fashion is not the answer but maybe garments that actually evolve with the consumer's changing needs and desires," she says.
Over 170 labels are showing their products at the Green and Ethical showroom and at the FashionTech event.
Some large labels are represented, but most are smaller companies and relatively unknown designers.
"We want to get the new generation excited," says Schwenzfeier.
"So that they can absorb all these new trends and then, when they are done with the school, their universities or their startups, and they move on to large corporations, then they can bring these ideas and show the large corporations that there are new processes available."
The Green and Ethical Showroom and the FashionTech events opened on January 16 and runs through January 18.
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