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Fashion Shame

Trend Watcher Antoinette van den Berg predicts that wearing new clothing will be as much a matter of debate as flying. Fashion companies are among the major polluters. In this sector too, more attention must be paid to reuse instead of incineration, dumping (and production)
Publication in: De Stentor - de Pers Groep

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The Dutch way to go

-The movement for sustainable fashion may be a cross and patch across the world, but it is sewing a pattern in the the Netherlands.

- The key problem in the fashion industry;

the current fashion system promotes consumption of new clothing. Magazines, influencers and online platforms are fed  by the brands with new clothes, visual content and they offer financial resources that runs their business. The brands have only one purpose stimulating even  more sales of new clothes. That works! ...

- The fashion industry is under enormous pressure and fashion is getting a black flavour and starts to realise that something is going terribly wrong; they want to do something, but how? They look for opportunities and content to change the system and break the link between fashion and pollution and give more purpose to their business than just making money. The system must be changed..

- The Lady in Blu started on the concept of and founded the Re Love Foundation in 2018 “as an institute for all Re Love activities.” Its core values: promote, stimulate and activate less consumption of new clothes; work for a behavioural change among consumers (less consumption) and companies (less production) of new clothes; and, develop creative concepts that activate less production of new clothes, for companies.

Publication in Fibre2Fashion India  1/3

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A few hard facts:

- An average article of clothing takes 100 pairs of human hands to make. All  of those people dreams and hopes are represented in your closet. Of the nearly 400 billion square metres of textiles produced each year, 60 billion square metres will be left on the cutting floor. The world consumes about 80 billion new pieces of clothing every year. This is 400 per cent more than the amount we consumed just two decades ago. As new clothing comes into our lives, we also discard it at a shocking pace. (The True Cost) 
- In a typical wardrobe, one-third of the clothing has not been worn in one year. Nearly 60 per cent of all clothing produced ends up being buried or in landfills within one year of being made. According to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation, the equivalent of one garbage truck of textiles is landfilled or burned every second. Textile production is a significant contributor to climate breakdown, emitting 1.2 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually thats more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined. It further warns that unless the fashion industry changes its practices by 2050, it could use more than 26 per cent of the global carbon budget (which is the amount of greenhouse gases we can emit and still stay on a path to limit global warming to 2° C) 
- It is time to make re-use, re-touch, re-style, re-pair and re-peat fashion socially accepted and appreciated and so reduce the pollution of the fashion industry.
Publication Fibre2Fashion India 2/3

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This is the RE LOVE Foundation office.

This is the Re Love Foundation office promoted by Antoinette van den Berg or the Lady in Blu—of aquiline features framed by hair dyed a shocking bright blue, tall and teetering on high pencil heels. Re-love fashion, she says , is full of joyful alternatives for consumption of new clothes— re-touch and re-use. You enter a quiet door amidst the hubbub of the marketplace, walk up a narrow red-carpeted flight of stairs, and as you step into a long spacious room on the third floor, you are greeted by two white cats as they sidle, purr, jump, walk over and around you, and wash themselves unabashedly, even as you hold a conversation, the walls choc-a-bloc with hangers full of clothes, bags, some jewellery and a long table at the centre with some more clothes, sketches, papers, bric-a-brac.

Publication Fibre2Fashion - India 3/3 

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Sustainable production is like mayonaise light; you still can eat as much as you want.

- "Everybody is focusing on sustainable production, which is good, but it still means you can consume as much as you want. The most efficient solution is simply to consume less new stuff. That is the next thing we are going to realise.” Though this sentiment might scare some retailers, it’s unlikely to bother other leaders of Amsterdam’s sustainable style scene. They understand the importance of quality over quantity and know dressing well goes beyond carrying a different bag every day of the week. Consumers are also catching on, looking for pieces they can buy in good conscience. 
- There’s little point in looking pretty, after all, if it leaves you feeling ugly on the inside.
Publication AMS magazine Amsterdam / Amsterdam & Partners

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The end of consumerism is a big one

Marlies : Could you describe the 2 most influential trends of the moment? 
Antoinette: The end of consumerism is a big one. It's a tragic fact that between 10 and 40 % of all produced fashion and cosmetics is never sold and goes straight to the garbage dump. You see pictures of people kissing each other through their surgical masks and you realize: wow, in only 40 years time pollution has gotten completely out of hand! The keyword now is respect. Respect for the earth, respect for each other. 
Marlies: I think the shift away from fast fashion has been going on for a while, but it has become more urgent than ever. When I had to reorganize my company for example, I took the opportunity to shrink my collection to about a third of its usual size. It's proven to be a great success. 
Antoinette: I can see that! I recently shopped around for a new iron, and within minutes I became completely overwhelmed with the endless variety on offer. I realized that in the end, the consumer is not impressed by quantity, but will choose the iron that has been made with respect for the world and mankind. Similarly, even though there is a lot of lingerie out there, women will go for your brand because you respect and empower them with your designs. Your concept of feminine feminismis not some superficial marketing story but an extension of you! It IS you! A super sexy business woman who kicks ass! 
Publication FeminineFemisnist Magazine Marlies Dekkers

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Amsterdam is the real sustainable fashion capital It's home to some fab eco-fashion activists

- “Fast fashion is bad quality; that is why we throw it away? Nonsense. Do we see people walking around in broken clothes? Or do we see people walking around in repaired clothes? No. We throw it away because we don’t like it anymore. If we throw away fast fashion because it is bad quality, then why do we buy jeans with holes?”  asks Antoinette van den Berg a.k.a. The Lady in Blu.
- The Lady in Blu is a clear example of how we do not need to buy endless ‘basic’ pieces for our wardrobe and that extravagant and eclectic clothing can be worn over again and styled in various ways.

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Looking to the future.

- Unfortunately, the world’s issues aren’t going to disappear overnight. But the push for sustainable style isn’t going to vanish, either. Antoinette van den Berg, a trend forecaster and creative director of the RE LOVE Foundation.

- ”We will all have to consume less. People say it’s not good for the economy, but in the end, it’s either that or we don’t exist anymore…

- ” Van den Berg’s words don’t just reflect her personal feelings: They reveal what she believes people want from the fashion industry. "Consumers are not going to buy from companies that behave badly towards the Earth. The ones who don’t care, they are out." She thinks companies should treat the demand for sustainable style the same way they would any other trend – from polka dots to flared jeans – and give people what they crave. She also says minimising the consumption of new clothing is the way forward, whether that means buying secondhand, repurposing old textiles or transforming used pieces into new ones. 

Publication AMS magazine IAmsterdam / Amsterdam & Partners


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“Take-make-waste” has to be disrupted. Antoinette van den Berg, alias The Lady in Blu, knows that very well.

‘The textile industry has to change, the system. “Take-make-waste” has to be disrupted. Antoinette van den Berg, alias The Lady in Blu, knows that very well. In 2018 she founded RE LOVE Foundation, the first creative agency world wide with a societal mission, reducing the pollution of the fashion industry by stimulating and activating less consumption of new clothes with solutions as Re-Use and Re-Style www.relove.foundation.

Publication - Stile - Magazine of Il Giornale -  Italy

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