Three sustainable brands worth keeping an eye on
The three up-and-coming design houses - sur le chemin, By Signe and Forét - each have their own unique approach to sustainability. They have, among other things, championed Danish and fair production, timeless design that does not have to be replaced every season and inspires an existence that is more outdoor than online.
The three New Talent Scene brands competed for a mentorship with Scandinavian online store Boozt, which will help the winning brand make the grade after the end of fashion week.
"The mentorship gives the winner the opportunity to receive help with branding, production or design aesthetics, so that the product reaches its full potential and becomes a marketable item," says Copenhagen Fashion Week’s Trine Rindsig Laursen to Scandinavian Traveler.
It was sur le chemin that ran out victorious and, for the man behind the brand, Kjetil Aas, slowness is an important part of his vision.
“’Slow fashion’ is a bit of a smart label, but what we would really like is to differentiate ourselves by changing the way in which fashion is produced,” says Kjetil Aas to Scandinavian Traveler. "We want to work slowly, assure the quality of our products and not make full collections every season. Instead, we will produce essentials that can last for a long time and always work, regardless of prevailing trends and season. Clothes we use every day, such as chinos, Oxford shirts and t-shirts.”
sur le chemin has completely broken out of the current fashion cycle, where collection after collection is presented at a rapid pace, with overproduction and overuse as a result.
"I see this constant collection race as the core of the overproduction problem in the industry, which in turn leads to overuse," says Aas. "There are simply too many clothes produced during the course of a year, consuming an unnecessarily huge amount of resources. Lots of items going unsold and the constant wave of sales are symptoms of the fact that we have enormous overproduction in the fashion industry."
sur le chemin combats this by producing slowly, in moderate amounts and, above all, by designing timeless classics that always feel relevant.
"Our inspiration comes from the classic men's wardrobe, incorporating elements of workwear and military uniforms, both of which have been absorbed into the way we dress every day and have become their own style icons. It’s a look that I’ve also transferred to our women’s collection, producing a casual and boyish expression," says Aas.
When it comes to materials, he likes to use organic cotton in shirts, but not at any cost. "If the organic option can’t match the conventional in terms of quality, I will always go for what is of the highest quality," says Aas.
Above all, his designs must be durable and keep the wearing looking cool.
So what will the New Talent Scene prize and the Boozt collaboration mean for sur le chemin’s vision?
"We must meet and find out what's going to happen. We’re already starting to feel a greater level of visibility and attention, and we hope it lasts. Our goal is not to be huge, but to grow to a reasonable size where we can get our products to a wider public. We must hold true to our ‘slow fashion’ concept, which I believe is possible, even if we manage to break through onto the international stage. You just have to be aware about what you are doing."
Copenhagen Fashion Weeks udvalgte, bæredygtige brands:
sur le chemin (winner)
‘Slow fashion’ runs through sur le chemin’s DNA. Designer Kjetil Aas creates clothes that last and are easy to incorporate into everyday life. Focusing on only the essential parts of the wardrobe - classic chinos, merinould knitted sweaters and organic cotton shirts - the brand creates a positive reputation. By reinterpreting established wardrobe elements, sur le chemin’s mission is to create designs that are sustainable and long-lasting.
At By Signe, the entire design process is brought under one roof. By having a single production location in Denmark, the brand guarantees ethical control in a safe and healthy environment. Responsibility is also expressed in their ambition that all materials should be organic and GOTS-certified. The FW18 collection is inspired by designer Signe Rødbro's personal experience. Using the moon as a symbol, the collection seeks the natural beauty of the darker corners of life.
Childhood friends Jeppe and Jesper created Forét with the ambition of creating green products for travelers. They aim to inspire consumers to slow down, get off the Internet and instead explore their surroundings. Their new collection, Fish & Folk, draws its inspiration from nature, relaxation and presence, and the clothes are practical, comfortable and easy to integrate into everyday life.
Kilde: Copenhagen Fashion Week
Published: March 20, 2018
Last edited: March 20, 2018