The average catwalk might not be the greenest place on the planet. But there’s definitely a shade of green to be seen at the catwalks of Amsterdam Fashion Week.
In the past few years, The Green Fashion Competition served as the most prominent sustainable event on the Amsterdam Fashion Week agenda. Started in 2010 as a challenge for international designers to find a balance between the economic, ecological and social impacts of their collection, the competition enabled labels such as OAT Shoes, Elsien Gringhuis and Carrie Perry to present at Amsterdam Fashion Week.
In 2012 the government’s financial support to The Green Fashion Competition has ended, which has led the Amsterdam Fashion Week to look for new ways to incorporate sustainable fashion in its programme. Since 2013, that spot has been found predominantly in Amsterdam Fashion Week’s business programme. European not-for-profit organisation Made-By regularly hosts workshops, for instance to inform fashion brand about ways to make wet processing in their supply chain more sustainable.
Meanwhile, sustainable collections that can often be seen on the Amsterdam catwalks include Studio Jux (a slow fashion label that produces its collections in their own factory in Nepal), MLY (a locally producing, artisanal green fashion designer based in Eindhoven), and Winde Rienstra (a finalist of The Green Fashion Competition in 2010). Brands with a green touch include Marga Weimans (who creates her own fabrics), Elise Kim (who embraces craftsmanship in her collections), Tessa Wagenvoort (who designs handprinted textiles), FREDFARROWBRITTAVELONTAN (a designer duo that celebrate handmade knits and artisanal embroideries) and Sophie #1234567+ (a designer collective whose approach to seasonal collections could be called slow).
And there’s a small consolation for eco fashion lovers that are unable to attend the invitation only press events at Amsterdam Fashion Week. The downtown programme, which is open to the public, often includes collection presentations by sustainable fashion brands, such as Shekila Eco Fashion and O My Bag.