Greenstyle founder Mirjam Smend on collections in line with the zeitgeist

The "always more", "always cheaper"principle of the fashion industry led to a lost appreciation for fashion. Now, a turnaround is required: Let's make eco the new normal

Sustainable glasses from new building
Source & Copyright by Neubau Brille

Author: House of Eden

Greenstyle munich is the first Fair Fashion Fair & Conference for consumers, trade visitors and the media. For the first time, the new format connects a specialist audience and end users, because change has to come from all directions. The goal is to look into a common future. An international conference format with speakers from politics, business, trade and NGOs. The current change in awareness is taken up and creative and innovative solutions are presented.

With us, the founder of Greenstyle munich Mirjam Smend, former ELLE editor and current Fair Fashion Ambassador, clears up prejudices about fair fashion.

greenstyle Munich

Mirjam Smend, founder of Greenstyle "home of sustainable fashion"

What does Greenstyle stand for in one sentence?

Greenstyle stands for innovative eco brands that depict all facets of sustainable fashion, smart consumer models such as lending, swapping, and second Hand and of course for the ambition to make eco the new normal. All these factors make up the special Greenstyle vibe that all visitors always talk about.

You gave up your job at ELLE to devote yourself entirely to Greenstyle, what were your motives?

I worked as an editor for glossy magazines for 16 years - I really enjoy fashion. Or rather I enjoyed it until I got more and more insight into the production conditions. Unfortunately, the appreciation for fashion has fallen by the wayside thanks to “always more” and “always cheaper”.

When I realized that there are brands that produce fairly and still design great looks, I decided to support the brands and give them visibility with my means so that more and more people are interested in sustainable fashion. I would like clothes to be produced respectfully again and that consumers will appreciate their clothes.

greenstyle

© DAWAN denim

Greenstyle connects consumers, companies and the media, why is that important?

Change has to come from all directions. The consumer has to ask questions and send an important signal through purchase decisions. The companies / industry must implement their production conditions and the media must use their XL range and report on the right topics. You can only act consciously if you know about certain things. And together you can achieve a lot.

What are the three biggest challenges facing the fashion industry at the moment?

At the moment, everything is even more in a mess than it was before the crisis. Commissioned and completed productions are not paid for or accepted by well-known (including German) companies, which has led to a humanitarian crisis in Asia. In this country, the stores are full.

Sales is an attempt to make room for the autumn / winter season, which hits stores in midsummer. What is not sold is often destroyed. The crisis has made it clear that too much is being produced, too cheaply and too far away. A trend reversal towards less is more must take place. The future of fashion lies in circularity.

Greenstyle

© Rah Rah Studio

The fashion giants are currently catching up quickly: fair collections from fast fashion brands such as H&M and Zara as well as sustainable capsule collections from large luxury brands. Is that greenwashing for you?

Sustainable is a not clearly defined term. Does sustainability mean organic cotton, recycled PET & Co.? Or does that also include fair working conditions for the workers? Basically, I am of the opinion that the big players reach a lot of people. They are louder than all eco brands put together.

If you use your voice - even if it's just a capsule - I think that's the right step. But even there it must be clearly communicated what the goals are. Is this just a marketing measure or should sustainability become part of the DNA? A single capsule made from organic cotton is not enough.

Fair fashion often has to fight with prejudices like "not so stylish, chic, cool or just too expensive". What is your answer to such comments?

Really?! Take a look at our website - we have listed over 100 brands that produce collections that are as contemporary as possible. Too expensive? That is in the viewer's point of view. In my opinion, conventional fashion is too cheap.

What are your current favorite brands?

As the organizer of a sustainable fashion fair, I have an incredible number of favorite bands. I wear my Dawn Denim jeans almost all the time. Just like my sneakers made of eco leather by nat2-footwear. Then there are streetwear items from Phyne, the Zero Waste Label AA Gold, the Cross Body Bags from Dzaino or the Bum Bags from Bridge & Tunnel.

Apart from that, I'm a big fan of second hand. Keyword: The Renewery - two creative girls turn second hand into new pieces and keep the things in circulation longer.

greenstyle

© Phyne Collection

According to "The State of Fashion", the sustainable fashion movement may accelerate due to the corona crisis, what can still be expected for 2020/2021?

Sustainability reached the point of no return as early as 2019. Companies that are not involved in this area will not be around for long. The crisis has made the importance of conscious production clearly visible. A rethinking is slowly taking place on all sides. The demand for sustainable products has increased due to the crisis. Keyword: sneaker trends. The supply chain law will finally come in autumn. Big houses like Armani reduce the number of their collections to twice a year. This is an important step towards decelerating.

Three tips to our readers for conscious fashion consumption?

Buy less, but better. If new, then sustainable. Those were just two tips. Number three: Loved clothes last. Only buy what you really want to wear. Otherwise we have a very suitable article on the subject in our GREENzine.

Thank you dear Mrs. Smend!

From November 5th to 8th, Greenstyle Munick will take place for the second time with a pop-up format within the Biolife trade fair in Bolzano to make sustainable fashion more tangible beyond the Alps. Further information can be found at Greenstyle.

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