Thursday, 7 February 2008

Premium Fall/Winter 2008/09: a bit of green and a lot of grey

With the Premium slogan "Save the future!", a green area, "green living" statements on the PR material and it's central symposium with the title "eco is not a trend" the Premium Exhibitions during the Berlin Fashion Week dared to profile themselves as green. But did the event make this green promise true?

The exhibition took place in huge old postal depot halls near Potsdammer Platz, and once you enter you feel in a labyrinth of fashion worlds. Somewhere at the very end, behind all black and grey, one could find the green area. With neon green flours and pillars, it was visible were to go for the green fashion consumer. But for the mainstream fashion buyers it might just have been one bridge too far.

Eco-Fashion professionals versus LOHAS Light
I missed out on the symposium "eco is not a trend", but from others I heard it was a hot, passionate discussion between LOHAS-light and Eco fashion-professionals. Speakers included the designer Katherine Hamnett, Renate Künast from Alliance 90/The Greens and Michalis Pantelouris, editor-in-chief of IVY WORLD. The event was moderated by Melissa Drier, correspondent for Women’s Wear Daily in Germany. While green is growing as a lifestyle movement, it also has the tendency to be more about lifestyle communication than about the actual subject to protect the environment and create human working conditions. Something we all have to find a balance in! Too much of environmentalism doesn't make it anywhere, too much happy glossy lifestyle doesn't work either.

Actually I was a bit suprised that so much central quotes from the Fair Fashion Affair, the ethical fashion event Grass Routes organized last Autumn, were reflected in the Premium PR. Christoph Harrach's statement on the new movement of "Eco2.0", a central focus on LOHAS, check it out on the Premium website! And the speech of Alexandra Perschau from the Pesticide Action Network was built upon the idea that eco should be more than a trend, and that that's the real responsibility for the fashion world. Without claiming any direct connections, I just realized we somehow hit the right thing there.

Meanwhile it stays a question for the fashion professionals and fashion events how to continue with the topic and make the promise true. In Germany there is still a long way to go! During the Premium Exhibition, the green fashion area stayed a small green spot between all grey, like a flower of hope between smoking factories. The real challenge is still to turn the grey into the green. In the end, green is not about style or trend, but just about a responsible production process. A positive note and prediction to end with: green is growing... no doubt.

Picture: ethical fashion by Camilla Norrback, a Swedish label present in the Premium Exhibition's green area.

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