Sustainable style in the UAE: A column by fashion designer Khulood Thani
The founder and creative force behind Bint Thani
Sustainable fashion is a trend that has been taking a shape in some cities around the world of late, the most interesting example of which is in Berlin in Germany – with a growing number of designers who are consciously designing their collections and accessories taking into consideration the environmental, cultural and economical key factors.
Today, Berlin organises its own specialised fashion show that focuses on highlighting only the contemporary eco-friendly fashion labels and designers of the city, but does so to coincide with Berlin Fashion Week. It also hosts the 'GREENShowroom' – a trade fair showcasing sustainable fashion labels, taking place during the umbrella of the 'Ethical Fashion Show Berlin', planned this year from July 8-10.
The Ethical Fashion Show and the GREENShowroom in Berlin
Closer to home in Dubai, The Goethe Institute for German Languages in Dubai organised a program under the theme of 'Go Green: Focus Eco-Design' last year, a combination of a fashion exchange program between Berlin and Dubai followed by the 'Berlin Dubai Festival 2013', a fashion show that celebrated the eco-friendly creations by the participating designers, under the creative supervision of Eugenie Schmidt, the co-founder of the Berlin-based fashion label Schmidttakahashi, working to recycle clothes creatively.
Other designers from Dubai included were Basma Al Shamsi, Iman Al Midfa, Maryam Omaira and Fatima Al Ghurair; and from Berlin – Isabell de Hillerin, Esther Zahn, Tina Luther and Katharina Thiel.
Each individual collection created for the show required the designers to use eco-friendly design techniques such as the use of organic fabric and natural dyes, plus a 'zero-waste' technique that focuses on the planning of pattern cutting, recycling, or even perhaps merging some of these techniques together when designing and producing their pieces. No mean feat when it comes to keeping the fashion on offer creative.
BrinGing ecological thinking into her contemporary designs LAST YEAR was a promising local designer named Maryam Omaira
Bringing ecological thinking into her contemporary designs for the festival was a promising local designer named Maryam Omaira, who created two couture gowns using only organic fabrics – and zero waste.
Luckily for those who perhaps missed the offering, each of the designers' collections will be showcased again during the 'Eco Fashion Show' as part of the plans for the UAE Green Festival event in Abu Dhabi on April 9.
It's worth mentioning that the selection of local UAE and German-based labels join others who are already proficient in this field, one of which from the Middle East region being Sally Sarieddine, the designer of LaLa Queen, an accessories brand that follows a strict organic process when tanning its leathers with vegetable dyes.
However overall, style fans can look forward to a showcase that will prove fascinating in displaying the differences in creating a product with quality design elements, factoring eco-friendly elements as a priority – as they should be.