Berlin: Fair Trade Summit, Future of Fair Fashion.

Berlin: Fair Trade Summit, Future of Fair Fashion.

It’s been a minute! Between the Small But Perfect accelerator and multiple trade shows it feels like we have been “on tour” for a while now. We have had a fantastic time exploring new places and meeting new people. The journey has been filled with excitement and challenges, but it has also been a great opportunity to learn about sustainable fashion, and showcase our products to a wider audience. Each place we visited had its own unique aspects and although we are ready to be back in the studio for a while, we have definitely enjoyed the ride.

Let's fill you in: Berlin August 2022

Berlin has a rich and complex history, known for its cutting-edge art and culture, and thriving start-up scene. Plus it is an important political, and economic center within Europe and a huge place for fashion. At the second Small But Perfect bootcamp, we participated in the World Fair Trade Organization (WTFO) international summit. The World Fair Trade Organization is a global network of fair trade organizations. By exploiting labor and materials, the textile industry has been able to offer products cheaper and cheaper to the EU and North American market. The WFTO has members in over 70 countries and works to promote fair trade and improve the lives of marginalized producers and workers, particularly in developing countries. For this two day summit we sat in multiple workshops at the Silent Green Venue which was a crematorium turned cultural center to learn about Fair Trade, Fair Fashion, exchange ideas on a sustainable economy and the urgent need for social-ecological transformation. The big focus in our workshops was about ethical and sustainable sourcing: This model prioritizes using environmentally-friendly materials and fair labor practices throughout the supply chain. Something that we really value with our own company and we pride ourselves on being a small women owned brand and team who work under fair and comfortable working conditions.

10 Principles of Fair Trade

  • Create Opportunities for Economically Disadvantaged Producers.
  • Transparency and Accountability.
  • Fair Trading Practices.
  • Payment of a Fair Price.
  • Ensuring no Child Labour and Forced Labour.
  • Commitment to Non-Discrimination, Gender Equality, Freedom of Association.
  • Ensuring Good Working Conditions.
  • Providing Capacity Building
  • Promoting Fair Trade
  • Respect for the Environment

 Fashion is one of the worlds largest industries, it is also one of the worlds most polluting industries. The fashion industry exploits human labor globally. T-shirts selling for 5 euros can’t exist, it means someone is being exploited somewhere in this supply chain. These principles outlined by the WFTO are important because they promote social, economic, and environmental sustainability in the global marketplace. By following these principles, businesses and consumers can make a positive impact on the lives of producers in developing countries and help to build a more equitable and sustainable world.

A big topic at this bootcamp was the Good Clothes Fair Pay Campaign. This is a global network originally founded in the Netherlands and the purpose of their work is to ensure the fundamental rights of workers are respected. They aim to educate and create collective action; people as activists and agents for change. The mission is to support the empowerment of workers in the global garment supply chains, improve working conditions, and prompt the government's involvement to protect employment rights and human rights. There is a EU focused campaign demanding that garment workers get paid a living wage. The goal is to get 1 million signatures and hold fashion brands accountable for their workers. If you want to learn more about their work and this campaign check out their work here.
What better way to advocate for change and not even have to leave your couch. Sign Now!

So back to our focus in Berlin. If you love browsing the shops in Berlin but are looking for some sustainable recommendations we can make a few. From quirky boutiques to high-end department stores, there's something for everyone here. As mentioned we are participating in the Small But Perfect Accelerator with 27 other brands from all over Europe and some are based in Berlin!

These include:
MONKIND, a socially responsible family-run Berlin brand that makes simple, bold, minimal clothing for kids and adults that lasts and can be passed onto future generations. They use GOTS-certified organic or innovative and sustainable materials.
SICA Upcycling, which promotes Fair fashion proudly made in Bangladesh and can be found doing various pop ups and workshops around the city. Check out the site for more information and a cool video of the founder Simone and her interviews with artisans about their cultural heritage and partnership with SICA.
CODRESSING - Codressing is a sharing model for clothing where (if you live in or around Berlin) you can rent designer clothes and accessories one time for an event or for regular wear every month via a subscription. The founder Floriane runs a beautiful boutique in Hackesche Höfe.

One other brand we really love who have a shop in Berlin is MOOT - Made Out Of Trash, which is known for its carefully curated selection of upcycled items including coats, scarfs, and t-shirts. (Notice Imke's cool jacket!)
One cool location we like to check in at is BIKINI Berlin - a concept shopping mall with local and international boutiques.

Whether you're a fashionista or just looking for something special to take home from your travels, Berlin's shops are sure to offer plenty of inspiration and fun. If you are from out of town and just in Berlin for a visit you might consider going on the Green Fashion Tour here to discover some very interesting and beautiful local shops and Brands.

Next bootcamp location: ATHENS

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