January 2021 Regular Meeting via Zoom

"Fashion for Future"

After this year’s President Dr. Sabine LangHeinrich-Bartsch greeted long-standing club members, she introduced Alexandra. Karentzos, professor of fashion and aesthetics who gave a presentation on the project called "Fashion for Future".                     

She kicked off with two exciting questions: How has fashion evolved and what is the future of fashion?                                                                                                                                     

In the 1960s, polyester, a synthetically manufactured material based on petroleum, was used to produce large volumes of textiles that were crease-free, inexpensive and came in a multitude of variations.


 Allegory of a German woman who can't decide what to wear. She stands wrapped in the German flag on a mountain of clothes and exclaims, "I have nothing to wear!" On the one hand, a classic cliché is addressed here; on the other hand, this cliché alludes to fashion consumption: On average, every German buys 60 new items of clothing per year, but only 60 percent of them are actually worn. The rest end up in the dumpster or trash can.

Most old clothes end up in countries such as Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania and are sold for the most part on African markets. As a result, the textile industry, which was a major industry in the 1970s, especially in East Africa, has been largely destroyed by the volume of old clothes from rich countries flooding the market. Today's mass production is closely linked to globalization: About 90 percent of our textiles come from Asia, especially China, India and Bangladesh. While the largest share of profits ends up in Europe or in Western societies, the predominantly female, local textile workers often live in very poor economic conditions and child labor is a matter of course.

The chemicals from industrial textile production enter the water unfiltered since there are no important comprehensive sewage treatment plants, and the coloration of the rivers makes this particularly type of pollution very clear.

Can it go on like this? What does the future hold?

More and more fashion companies are trying to be increasingly environmentally friendly and responsible.  They are getting help from service providers who offer networks, advise fashion companies and point them to recycling or sorting companies, for example, or to sustainable products with the help of a materials database.

Innovative textile companies started to successfully produce sustainable fabrics from fruit fibers such as pineapple and citrus fruits. Environmentally friendly products are also increasingly made of linen and flax.

This exciting lecture with numerous pictures made it clear to us that each of us can do something if only we want to!  And that it is also possible to create beautiful, elegant, creative and sustainable fashion!

IWC Frankfurt e.V.