"Sustainability and other stories" on stage at Salonshow @ greenshowroom part of Berlin fashion week
When Fast fashion and Sustainability cease to be a paradox.
This project is the result of a deep belief that in order to create change we need to understand the motivations behind human behaviors and be realistic about the overall context. As a true fan of democratic fashion, it only made sense to start a study that would constitute a starting point to democratic sustainability. It relies on us as experts in the fields to find the right arguments to convince, the right words to elaborate and the right marketing strategies to communicate.
The study went from a critical analysis on human nature, behaviour and consumers' perspective, which set the tone to depict the tools that could be useful to engage with a mass, to looking into circular economy as a business argument for mass market to infiltrate sustainability, without altering aesthetics and direction.
The long-term vision of the project is to place sustainability as a normality of our everyday life. Coming from this point, it wasn’t hard to notice which fashion segment takes part of our daily lives, which kind of brands would be found in every household, around the globe, it only made sense to choose mass market as a possible Trojan horse to vehiculate sustainable values. Needless to say any decision taken by the fashion giants could have a drastic impact on our planet and revolutionize the industry. Despite the unwillingness of governments to create worldwide common laws, the capitalistic system by its nature gives a large margin of power for companies to become leaders. Consumers’ environmentally conscious actions tend to focus on areas where they have some perceivable sense of control, impact, or direct financial savings. In regards to buying clothing, environmental-friendliness is still not a primary purchase driver for consumers. International mass-market companies are experts in introducing their values, their lifestyle; their marketing strategies are flawless when it comes to understanding and translating the consumers’ needs. Mass-market business model works and continues to expand exponentially. The use of "soft power" and branding, through manipulation, proved to be successful in the export of culture, values, policies and institutions, whether or not the ethical grounds are questionable. On the other hand, the impact of consumer behaviour on society is of relevance. For example, aggressive marketing of high fat foods, or aggressive marketing of easy credit, may have serious repercussions for the national health and economy. Products are consumed at a high level and western goods are often over-packaged, contributing to even more waste. The most common approach to tackling waste from the textile life cycle is to implement waste management strategies known as the 3Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. The Cradle-to-Cradle founding principle is to turn waste into “food” to the earth; which constitutes in some form a “reuse” statement. From a sustainable, waste management perspective the transition from a linear to a circular economy is necessary. As a case study, with the support of 4 innovative companies, Mayya Saliba developed a capsule collection that could be introduced into high street fashion, tackling different levels of circular economy with an ambition to move towards a complete Cradle-to Cradle optic. The future aim is to find a way to repay the earth with what we are taking and to find a healthy symbiosis between planet, environment, human and all living beings; without having to sacrifice one for the other. She designed each garment according to its end-life, considering every component to organize accordingly. Inducing deeper sustainable values needs a realistic understanding of the context. In this perspective, the design strategy is a direct extension of the marketing study; it constitutes not only the tool of communication but also the communication itself. The design strategy serves the overall purpose, in tune with the set marketing requirements. The collection was designed for circularity using different techniques: Zero waste, Compostable (bio-cycle), Recyclable (techno-cycle), Mono-material, Easy to disassemble with Cradle-to-Cradle, GOTS certified materials; Pineapple leaves fibre, peace silk, water based print.
Radical change can happen with drastic measures and brutal revolution. What this project is proposing is a Trojan horse: a change that can lead to completely radical transformation, with the use of "soft power"(Joseph Nye) and experimentation.