A Guide through Ethical & Sustainable Fashion Trade Shows

A Guide through Ethical & Sustainable Fashion Trade Shows

I always get questions about where to source, what trade shows are the right for their business. Then it comes the big word “Budget” which always come through our minds to make that decision when investing for traveling for venues and trade shows. Therefore I wanted to create the Guide through Ethical  & sustainable fashion trade shows to watch & join this year. 

Each year, international trade shows offer great way to get a glimpse into the industry at the current trends and new developments in sustainable sourcing – new brands sit alongside some larger industry veterans and each has their own version of sustainability and responsible production.

Working freelance for various sustainable brands means that I have been able to refine my eye for both quality, design and communication.  Personally, I look for a number of things when looking at sustainable production, the first being design-led product which is innovative and beautiful.  But that’s not enough. Whether researching trends, building relationships for collaborations, or finding partner artisans, there are a few other key aspects that really should define any kind of partnership.

I particularly love brands that are very invested in their supply chain and using natural and local materials. This sounds simple, but understanding this in an authentic and circular way is absolutely key in relating to a brand, and some digging has to be done to really get to grips to see if this is the case. Some other things to look out for:

  • Pricing: This is often the part most sustainable brands will struggle with, as ethical production and natural materials will unfortunately push prices higher. If the prices are too good to be true, it’s usually because they are.
  • Materials: This is often the questions I find the most interesting for brands, as the issue to find suppliers and access to these materials are quite difficult to just research online. Brands want to test the product, they want to produce small batches, create capsule collections while suppliers aiming for the high volumes orders. Where do we draw the line?
  • Out-sourcing: It’s a great idea to try and understand why brands may be sourcing and developing products abroad – for impact? For skill level? Or to keep costs down?
  • Planning for sustainability: Can brands scale responsibly if they were to receive a huge order? What are their plans for the future and do they have a sustainability road map in place?

It is with these focussed questions I approach brands to decide if they would be the right ‘fit’. Here are some of the trade shows I have attended, and will plan to visit this year:

Neonyt – (Berlin Jan/July)

 

Credits: Neonyt 2019 – https://neonyt.messefrankfurt.com/berlin/en.html

The recently rebranded Neonyt (formerly Green Show room), which sits alongside Seek and Premium twice a year in Berlin, is a fantastic way to see the current trends in sustainable fashion. Not only were the talks excellent, I was excited to see a lot of passion in how many brand were approaching sourcing and development right from a grassroots level, and products from a wide range of categories. It seems that circular product design seems to be at the forefront of many designer’s approaches, which was really impressive and the brands showing were passionate about their goals and reaching new audiences.

Pure – London (Feb/ July)

 

Credits: Olympia London – https://olympia.london/whatson/pure-london

While not only showcasing ethical brands, the fair itself seemed to be focused on disrupting approaches to fashion and the bulk of the talks were aimed at educating attendees on sustainability.  It was especially interesting to have MP Mary Creagh, as well as sustainable sourcing platform Common Objective giving daily buying trail and guided tours around the specially curated ‘concious section.’ Although small, the brands showed great commitment to their sustainability goals, and came from a wide variety of backgrounds, using innovative materials and had some very interesting stories. I hope that the conscious section of the show will grow over the coming years.

NY NOW – Artisan Resource (NYC Feb/August)

 

Credits: Cabana Home – https://cabanahome.com/

The famous NY Now show is on many buyers calendars due to the huge variety of product, craft and opportunities in sourcing artisanally made product. This show is fantastic for home, lifestyle and gift categories. Artisan Resource is a fantastic section of the show whereby brands can search for suppliers from all four corners of the globe. As the demand for sustainably sourced, artisanal product is very high in the US market, and I find this focus of the show a key driving force in seeing who are the main contemporary design leaders and popular materials leading the current trends.

Perú Moda – Peru (Lima, April)

 

Credits: Perú Moda – https://www.perumoda.com/EN/

As someone who has worked and lived in Peru, this show always feels a bit like home and mainly due to the large amounts of alpaca fibre on display! As a brand, this show is excellent to find future supplier and resources, but you may have to dig deep to find the right artisan group for your collection, and be sure and clear of what you are looking for. Peru has some of the best natural resources and textile craft in the world, and there are plenty of amazing brands working out of Peru. It’s also a great show for gift and home. I will always recommend a visit to Lima for this show as it’s a fantastic way for local suppliers to connect with brands which can have a huge impact on their communities and livelihoods and the Peruvian textile industry in general.

ExpoArtesania – Colombia (Bogota, December)

 

One of the highlights of the Latin America trade show circuit, Expoartesania is a feast for the eyes. Colombia’s rich textile and craft heritage is showcased here with over 700 exhibitors. While contemporary craft proved to be the most popular section, it was fantastic to see a huge spotlight on indigenous craft.  The design, innovation and quality is second to none.

ReMode (LA, Oct)

 

Credits: REMODE – https://remode.com/

In only its second year as a trade show, this event has been set up to one of the most exciting trade shows which focuses on sustainable brands who have mission focused growth. This trade show offers some incredible support from prolific speakers and activists in the industry, alongside some very innovative and disruptive brand who are making way in developing new and exciting ways to break free of the fast fashion cycle.

I would have liked to attend the Future Fabrics Expo in London in January, but I couldn’t unfortunately make it this year. Hope you found this guide useful for you to join next time.

What are your favourite ethical fashion trade shows? Is there anything I have missed off that’s on your hit list?

 

Ellen Saville

Ellen Saville

Textile specialist - SFW Artisan Change-Maker

Ellen has worked in Peru for the past four years, as a Latin American textile specialist in the artisan and luxury handmade sector.  She is a fibre developer and creative consultant and has worked in South and Central America with diverse artisan groups to produce responsible, hand-made collections for Piece & Co.  She is a passionate about linking artisan groups to global supply chains, and uses her skills to empower women and aid cultural preservation. 

We are glad to have her in SFW Change-Maker and creating projects to develop more oportunities to work with artisan groups and encourage ethical collaborations between countries.

SFW Latin America ft. Leslie Palacios

SFW launching Latin America activation ft. our first change-maker in Peru, Leslie Palacios. A fierce and committed woman to unite the alpaca world, sustainable fashion & dance through her network and experience.

Slow Fashion Pop Up Berlin

Starting January 2019 we have showcased ethical and sustainable fashion throughout different cities around Europe organizing exhibitions, events and curated experiences. Our goal is to create unique and inclusive activities around Slow Fashion and Conscious Lifestyle...

Moda Sostenible Argentina: BIOTICO

  Conectando puentes Slow Fashion World, presenta la categoría de Moda Sostenible Latinoamérica 2019 en español  conectando su primera entrevista con la diseñadora Argentina Jesica Pullo fundadora de la marca BIOTICO, un proyecto sostenible de moda ética, ubicado...

Kuuki Yomenai

Kuuki Yomenai

Slow Fashion World is happy to announce that we are part of Kuuki Yomenai, an innovative concept connecting emerging brands betting sustainability, ethics and innovation during the Fashion Tech Week Paris.

Since 2014, the FashionTech Week Paris brings together every year emerging practices, recent initiatives and innovative designs of contemporary fashion. We are right on it with the KY concept.

KY partnered with Notoryou, a creative studio specialized in cultural immersive tour and VR experience, who filmed the shop in 360 degrees and runs it thought a software to create 3D augmented reality. A real retail innovation, you can now buy online like you were in the shop!

The emerging brands and early adopters of this creative concept part of SFW showcasing in Paris are:

Couture des îles is a brand rich of heritage and legacy of craftmanship by making use of traditional Bahamian crafts to bring it into modern day relevance.

Maco Calderon proposes contemporary creations made by artisans where savoir faire is recognized and transmited from generation to generation, in the heart of the Andes.

Phaukuss, a Parisian brand born in 2017, offers a modern and dressed version of the inevitable sneaker. The brand’s universe is characterized by a refined aesthetic rendering associated with a significant logo evolving through a logic of respect for the environment.

Soo Mee an international brand made in France dedicated to empower women thought their wardrobe… Soo Mee believe in body positive, inclusion and conscious design.

This saturday at our event “SFW Conscious Party“, your SFW advisor and host, Fouzia GRAICH will walk you thought the story of each featured, designers and talk about her vision of the slow fashion movement while having a nice drink in the heart of Paris. She will be also connecting people for upcoming events, talks and Christmas showroom.

This is a invitation only event. If you wish to attend, contact us.

A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes

A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes

NOMA is holding since February an Exhibition called  A Queen Within: Adorned Archetypes until May 28, 2018 presenting rare pieces from one of the world’s largest private collections of Alexander McQueen fashion.

“NOMA’s first major fashion exhibition will feature contemporary designers showcased in an immersive gallery presentation. This exhibition’s bold couture explores different archetypes of femininity, and how these mythic characters manifest through storytelling in fashion over the past decade” – quoted by NOMA official website.

#NOMAQUEEN exhibition displays more than 100 experimental gowns, head pieces, jewelry and shoes. Designers also include Iris van Herpen, Charlie Le Mindu, Comme des Garçons and others.

 

Lauren Marie Reyes of Papalodown Agency

The exhibition was developed by curator Sofia Hedman from MUSEEA and Barrett Barrera Projects showcasing fashion, design, femininity. They also involved an expert advisory team formed by Faduma Aden, Kimberly Jenkins, and Anna-Klara Mehlich.

Faduma Aden Contelier

HOW SLOW FASHION WORLD GOT INVOLVED?

SFW Change-Maker Faduma Aden Social Entrepreneur, Advisor and Creative Director behind Jemmila and Contelier was selected as advisory board member. She focused on making the exhibition more inclusive and accessible to a wider audience. From the inclusion to new and established artists to “making sure we include cultural diversity” in  the texts close to the displayed designs . The exhibition explores seven personality types of a Queen – or, metaphorically, a woman: The Sage, Magician, Enchantress, Explorer, Mother Earth, Heroine, and Thespian. For that work Faduma selected as contributors Ruby Veridiano  for researching and writing about Filipina-Chinese history/mythology and me to write about the Peruvian/Mexican history/mythology. Furthermore Faduma also decided to include Somali mythology and proverbs. Check out in our Instagram for more here.

As a Peruvian building a community and living abroad, it is always a responsibility to represent your culture and roots wherever you go. Therefore this opportunity is a great contribution to visualize our culture. This contribution is an excellent example of how a community of change-makers can join forces, connect to fantastic opportunities and work together for a positive outcome.

A Queen Within: David Lachapelle, Alexander McQueen, Omar Victor Diop. Photography: Roman Alokhin

NOMA EXHIBITION: MEET HERDENTIER

One of the designers exhibiting at NOMA is Herdentier , a handmade vegan brand from Hamburg,  Germany. Miriam Zabek has recently showcased her designs as well in Madrid at the El Paracaidista with the event we co-organized together with The Circular Project called Smart Fashion=Slow Fashion (see our previous blog). It was such a great surprise to see Herdentier selected to be part of the exhibition next to experimental gowns, headpieces, and jewelry by avant-garde fashion designers such as Alexander McQueen, Gucci, Iris van Herpen between other artists, photographers.

Thank you to Sofia Hedman  from MUSEEA and Faduma Aden for including our roots and inviting us to contribute in this one of a kind event of the year.  Check out the exhibition highlights here

Mariel Jumpa

Mariel Jumpa

Founder

Description
Mariel has built a deep interest in sustainability and fashion working as a consultant for international projects. She is the founder of Slow Fashion World, a global platform connecting an international community and spreading initiatives to generate positive impact and action around the fashion industry. Mariel is a Marketing Advisor at Contelier, a creative agency that connects diversity management with business development.

SFW Latin America ft. Leslie Palacios

SFW launching Latin America activation ft. our first change-maker in Peru, Leslie Palacios. A fierce and committed woman to unite the alpaca world, sustainable fashion & dance through her network and experience.

Slow Fashion Pop Up Berlin

Starting January 2019 we have showcased ethical and sustainable fashion throughout different cities around Europe organizing exhibitions, events and curated experiences. Our goal is to create unique and inclusive activities around Slow Fashion and Conscious Lifestyle...

Moda Sostenible Argentina: BIOTICO

  Conectando puentes Slow Fashion World, presenta la categoría de Moda Sostenible Latinoamérica 2019 en español  conectando su primera entrevista con la diseñadora Argentina Jesica Pullo fundadora de la marca BIOTICO, un proyecto sostenible de moda ética, ubicado...

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