Next weekend in Berlin, Launderette will be checking out the THEKEY.TO, an international event for environmentally and socially sustainable fashion, lifestyle and culture. Now in it’s third edition, THEKEY.TO brings together the most innovative and contemporary brands at the leading edge in terms of successfully merging style and a responsible approach. The theme for this season’s event is ‘Acceleration’, which represents the vision of increasingly strong and innovative sustainable design industries that promote an ideal blend between aesthetics, ecology and ethics.
THEKEY.TO aims to maintain a high standard of sustainability throughout the fair including the selection of its exhibitors. To guarantee this standard is upheld, the sustainability criteria is reviewed and revised several times a year with respect to new developments within the sustainable clothing industry. The criteria requires the use of sustainable, environmentally-conscious materials, fair social and labour standards and a responsible, traceable supply chain.
The founder of THEKEY.TO is Fran Prins, who over the years has been organising workshops and events around sustainability across the world with his creative NGO, Grass Routes Foundation. Frans is a complete visionary in the field of sustainable fashion, and to top it all off, he couldn’t be a more friendly, approachable and all -around lovely guy. Launderette is a big fan!
This edition of THEKEY.TO includes exhibitors from across the world and several Launderette favourites:
Flavia Aranha – Sao Paolo
The namesake label of Brazilian- born Flavia Aranha is a salacious collection of everyday womenswear pieces in soft, neutral tones using all-natural dyes and fair trade materials. Aranha strives to work closely with rural communities and small farmers to promote economic development in the areas of Brazil where she sources materials.
In rich but muted shades of grey and taupe, she creates simplistic designs without losing an attention to detail. Her garments are the type of clothes you could wear anywhere from the beach to a lunch meeting to an evening out in fabulous Sao Paolo. It’s minimalist chic at its finest and most comfortable.
WUNDERVOLL – Berlin
There’s a reason why this lingerie label is carried by Barney’s New York – because it’s the epitome of luxury. Honestly, it’s absolutely divine! Matthias Jaschke, the label’s founder, creates fashionable, luxury underwear for everyday wear using selected materials from Germany and an exclusively domestic manufacturing process.
WUNDERVOLL’s trademark silk jersey is produced exclusively for the label in Germany, in combination with biophyl, an innovative artificial fiber. Biophyl is made from corn, a renewable raw material, and generates a very low level of CO2 emissions in its manufacturing process (63% less than nylon).
The collection has been designed to be mixed and matched with a sophisticated colour palette reminiscent of earth tones. The high-waisted panty is a personal favourite with an understated retro pin-up feel.
Elementum – Netherlands/Portugal
Elementum is a clothing collection by Daneila Pais based on the total use of a piece of a cloth where minimum cuts provide maximum use. It was borne out of her research into industrialized models and consumer behaviors as well as an exploration into other models of consumption prompted by the massive consumption waste that characterizes modern society. Her pieces are multi-purpose and can function as a scarf, dress, shirt, jacket, skirt and trousers. It definitely makes you think about your body, how you dress and how you consume in different and hopefully more profound ways.
Daniel Kroh – Berlin
Danile Kroh is another innovative designer to join the ‘upcycling’ trend by repurposing clothes deemed unusable by the working world to create fashion for men and women as well as quirky and functional furniture. He tends to mainly use denim and other industrial textiles to create anything from tailored suits to denim jeans to chairs and couches in bold colours and whimsical designs. His furniture is particularly genius but he also does a well-designed women’s blazer that can be worn for work or with jeans for a more played-down approach. Let this couch lend you an arm or five!
Magno Wooden Radio – Hamburg
This wooden radio is a definitive must-have for every BBC World Service listening hipster (I point my finger at myself, here). With its sleek minimal design and strong commitment to sustainable values, this is by far the most fashionable way to stay at home to listen to ‘This American Life’. If I don’t see the Magno on the shelves of Urban Outfitters in the next year, I’ll be utterly shocked.
The Magno Wooden Radio was originally created by the Indonesian designer Singgih Susilo Kartono. Every radio is hand-made within 16 hours. They are also manufactured in an environmentally sustainable production-process, which covers fair social standards in the company. Only plantation wood is used in the production. The profits support the development of a plantation surrounding the production facility, where about 30 youths receive a sound schooling in handicrafts. The output of this work helps to develop the village-community in Kandangan, a remote area in Indonesia where every radio is manufactured.
Merel Karhof – London/Netherlands
Merel Karhof works within the public space using elements that people share from the most obvious thing like the wind to ignored details like the pattern on a manhole cover. At THEKEY.TO, Karhof will be exhibiting a wind powered knitting machine and the plans for an entire wind power knitting factory. Using the power of the wind, the machine knits from the outside towards the inside of a building. The knitted material is harvested from time to time and rounded-off in individually packaged scarves, which each gets its own label telling you exactly how much time it took to knit all of the material required for the scarf. Say goodbye to fast fashion as we know it!
Don’t miss THEKEY.TO as part of Berlin Fashion Week at the Postbahnhof, July 8-10 2010