The proliferation of fashion weeks across the globe means that at any given point in time, there’s likely to be an event in progress somewhere. But in Finland, which has just hosted its fourth edition, founder Evelyn Mora, a producer and fashion photographer, has turned the traditional, locally focused model on its head. Not only does Helsinki Fashion Week showcase international as well as domestic design talent, it is the first dedicated to sustainable fashion brands.
Held over six days from 20th to 25th July, the 2018 event featured 30 brands, with garments crafted from recycled materials or natural and reusable fabrics, as well as an exhibition that showcased the latest innovations in bio technology and circular lifestyle, and a series of seminars looking to tackle issues including sustainability and innovation, and how both designers and consumers can contribute to the move towards sustainability.
And for the first time, the event was also staged in a specially designed Eco-Village, positioned by the sea on the southern island of Tahvonlahti. “If I want to start changing my life into a more conscious one, in terms of consumption and lifestyle, there is nothing around me that sends that message clearly,” Mora told Vogue Australia’s Clare Press, explaining the concept behind the sustainable space. “So I said to my team, let’s build an environment that you don’t have to question, that is inherently sustainable. It’s all about circularity, sustainability and beauty.” Constructed using renewable building materials and powered using solar energy, the Eco-Village also treated attendees to a menu of “zero waste” vegetarian food.
“Sustainability should be the norm in fashion,” said Mora. “Of course, good values are important, but it has to be beautiful. It’s about finding that harmony.”
Here are three of the local brands that unveiled their SS19 looks at the Nordic event…
MEM by Paula Malleus
MEM's fifth Collection entitled ‘Endure’ was presented at Helsinki Fashion Week on Saturday. The creation of designer Paula Malleus, each garment is produced in Finland and crafted entirely from textile waste.
London-based Finnish designer Miina Laitsaari transforms reclaimed and upcycled materials into garments that display her strong and distinctive panelled style. All the brand’s products are hand made to order in East London, and any fabric waste is fashioned into accessories or embellishments.
Founded by Nevean Holmes and Anna Uimonen as an antidote to disposable fashion, this Spanish/Finnish brand creates non-trend sensitive designs that are produced with the impact on the planet firmly in mind.
Homepage photo: @kaisasy