A wide range of strategies was examined this evening in a series of presentations: from local textile production and creative recycling, to alternative design methods and new sales and PR forms. The speakers were Annemieke Koster (Enschede Textielstad), and fashion designers Conny Groenewegen, Barbara Langendijk, Martijn van Strien and Anna Telcs (Not Just A Label).
After the presentations, the floor will open for a conversation between the speakers and the audience in attempt to arrive at a collective plan of action for better and more sustainable fashion.
Conny Groenewegen works on the boundaries of fashion, technology and design. The tension between mechanisation and handwork and craft and industry is clearly visible in her designs. For the installation Fashion Machine on the third floor of Het Nieuwe Instituut, she unravelled numerous fleece sweaters and wound the harvested polyethylene threads onto spools. The vast quantity makes the scale of the fast-fashion industry tangible, while the banal material is given a new form and an almost activist character.
Following the garment industry disaster in Bangladesh in 2013 Annemieke Koster decided not to buy any more clothes. She began making clothes herself but soon discovered that it is hard to find sustainably produced fabrics. She gave up her career in marketing and devoted herself to sustainable and ethical textile production in her native Enschede, which until the 1970s was the beating heart of the Dutch textile industry. She currently produces a variety of fabrics from recycled denim threads with her brand Enschede Textielstad.
Fashion designer Barbara Langendijk explores how fashion can develop in the future. Her recent collection – Material.Environment.Mediation.01 – consisted of hanging textile sculptures that were slowly dyed in an automated process. She played with the fashion public’s expectations by publicising the project as a conventional collection. Langendijk graduated from the master’s programme in fashion design at ArtEZ in 2013 and has served internships with Walter Van Beirendonck and Proenza Schouler.
Martijn van Strien
The fact that the fashion industry is one of the world’s most polluting industries inspired Martijn van Strien to develop alternatives. His most recent project, Post-Couture Collective, is an open-source fashion label that allows consumers to order bespoke clothes or to make them themselves. Thanks to an innovative construction, the clothes can be assembled without a sewing machine. The designs are modular, allowing damaged components to be replaced without the need to throw away the entire garment. Read the article on Martijn van Strien. Together with Vera de Pont, he wrote Open Source Fashion Manifesto.
Anna Telcs is head of product and agency at the designer platform NOT JUST A LABEL (NJAL), which gives pioneering designers the opportunity to sell their clothes to a worldwide audience free of charge. Currently more than 20,000 designers are associated with the platform. NJAL encourages designers to use sustainable production methods and initiates projects that support local communities. Telcs is also a designer. In her own work, she connects historical and technical research into production techniques with film and performance to question the relationship between clothing and culture.
New Fashion Perspectives exhibition
From 14 to 24 April 2016 Glamcult and curator Hanka van der Voet are organising the exhibition New Fashion Perspectives in Amsterdam. It showcases talented young fashion designers, including Barbara Langendijk, with a critical vision of the future.
This Thursday Night is part of the Temporary Fashion Museum project.