This week, we as Animals’ Move have been at the Ethical Fashion Show Berlin and it was an extraordinary experience. To be fair, it was the first event of that kind for us. After quite a while working on our idea of creating a product with an ethical and environmental statement we were searching for some event to give us an insight into exactly this.
Why, you might ask, now that we already know our vision and started to implement it? The answer is easy. Nothing ever stops you from discovering new materials for your products, new manufacturing processes or just new contacts within that specific area of fashion. This is why we wanted to go to this event and also this is why we were searching for it in the first place.
Once we arrived on site, it was very pleasing to find so many people engaged in making fashion industry an ethical business. Many designers were not just giving it a beautiful look, but put even more effort into searching for the best materials for their product, some which feel good and use what is there to be used – in other words: they recycle.
We got inspired by so many different ways of producing clothes – be it recycled cotton, plastic bottles, hemp, tencel, birch tree or even apple. We think that this will be the future and so will introduce such textiles in our clothing as well. It is one thing to come up with an ethical message, but another step to realise it a hundred per cent, an end-to-end implementation of a sustainable fashion product.
This wasn’t the only valuable thing we took with us, we also made a lot of interesting and promising contacts over a common desire – design sexy ethical fashion. Among them the CEO’s of companies like Bleed, Vipsy or Green Window, but also representatives of very well-known organisations like FairTrade. Each of them has their own very unique approach to supporting the ethical fashion movement.
Bleed. Bleed started off 10 years ago, which is also why they handed out free beer this week. The founders worked in sports fashion and realised that most of the production of sports clothes was very chemical and very pollutive. “It didn’t serve anybody well, but the profits of the companies who produced them”, said Michael Spitzbarth, CEO of the company while drawing beer. They instead thought that fashion should carry more than just profit, so they started to implement products made from organic cotton, plastic and birch tree, as one of the market pioneers at that time.
Vipsy. Another encounter of the week was the lovely Naelle Cauzanet. She established an organisation, called Vipsy, which basically works as an incubator for fashion Start-Ups with a higher purpose, just as we are. She organises events for selected ethical fashion brands to sell their products and, in the end, donate a specific amount of their profits to electrifying schools in Africa. Furthermore, she plans to set up a boutique in Paris with all her partner brands to offer them a spot in at a well-known place to start off. When we told her about our brand, she immediately offered us a place in her boutique, which made us really happy and optimistic that even at an ethical fashion show, where we expected a lot of similar ideas, our project protruded and inspired a lot of people.
Green Window. Our last encounter of the day was a team of two enthusiastic women who represented Green Window, an institute for literally everything. It is a marketing agency, a curator, a fashion adviser and hosts their own green fashion award, all in collaboration with for example Rea Garvey. The just mentioned green fashion award is going to take place next year the first time and they warmly invited us to take part as it points out purposes exactly covered by our idea. To combine fashion and sustainability, with a pretty and good-selling design for the conscious people.
All in all, we can conclude that this week was a very valuable experience. We’ve learned a lot about how to best implement our principles and make them reach our target group. We’ve learned that what we want to do is to include the real value and price of producing it into our products. This is to produce fair with recycled or organic material, do good by setting a purpose for our products and combine forces through a community effect. This all with not even raising the prices immeasurably, but just to cut the margins a bit so that everybody receives a fair share of all the effort in it. This is what we call a socially efficient action, and that is what we stand for.