Fair Trade Fair: Clothes, Climate and Consumption

An important area of ​​the Fair Trade 2019 trade fair is the special area Future Fashion. Future Fashion is the SEZ's movement for sustainable textiles and conscious consumer behavior.

“Most of the textiles we buy end up in the old clothes bin within a short time - barely worn,” explained Philipp Keil at the press conference to mark the opening of the spring trade fairs in Stuttgart. “Every year around 1,35 million tons of discarded textiles accumulate in Germany alone. About a quarter end up in the trash, three quarters of them go to recyclers, and about half of them can actually be recycled. The trend towards cheap clothes that has been going on for years is causing the quality of textiles to continue to decline and making it more difficult to recycle the fibers.”

Future Fashion would like to draw attention to this. Future Fashion appeals particularly to young people with year-round offers such as clothing swap parties, Future Fashion city tours or Future Fashion@school.

In his statement, Keil particularly addressed the connection between fast fashion and climate change and said: “The global textile industry is a challenge for climate change.” According to the Federal Statistical Office, everyone in Germany causes around 200 kilograms of CO2 emissions per year Clothing and textiles. If more people changed their consumer behavior and bought sustainable fashion and wore the clothes for longer, this alone would save a lot of climate-damaging carbon dioxide without us having to forego our supposed quality of life.

The consequences of climate change are already clearly noticeable in countries in the global south. For example, in Bangladesh, the country from which most of our textiles come and which has repeatedly been in the headlines in recent years due to the scandalous working conditions in textile factories.

Bangladesh is among the countries most affected by climate change, despite contributing only 0,4 percent of global CO2 emissions. By 2100, about 30 percent of the country's coastal areas will be flooded, a result of rising sea levels caused by climate change.

Against this background, Keil referred to two labels that are presenting cool upcycling products in the Future Fashion special exhibition area at the Fair Trade trade fair. One is Franziska Kaiser from Stuttgart, who makes stylish bags out of leftover leather. She will not only show her models, but will even be at Fair Trade with a small workshop. The other is Sarah Müller with the Kenyan label Nyuzi Blackwhite, which she founded. The bags, pouches, scarves and other accessories are made in the social project Karai Childrens Vocational Center.

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