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Exhibition Eco Chic-- Towards Sustainable Swedish Fashion

By Editor . 27.03.2009

Underneath the attractive appearance of our clothes lies an uncomfortable truth. But there are alternatives to today’s environmentally harmful clothing.

The Swedish Institute’s exhibition Eco Chic – Towards Sustainable Swedish Fashion presents Swedish fashion designers who take an environmentally-friendly and ethical approach to their work, without sacrificing an ounce of fashion.

Today’s textile industry lays waste to natural habitats and shortens people’s lives. It uses more water than many other industries. It spreads toxic chemicals and produces substantial carbon dioxide emissions. Together with the shoe industry, it employs almost one billion people. Far too many of these work under inhumane conditions, deprived of the right to work for reasonable pay or belong to a trade union.
The difference between ecological and other clothing is not visible on the surface but is seen in the values of the fashion designers and the production processes. The ecological and ethical production of clothing begins with the very design of a garment, and continues through to the finished product. Fashion companies that want to be seen as trustworthy by their customers have to be able to show how production was carried out and what materials were used.
In 1987, people only used as much of the world’s resources as nature managed to renew. In 2007, we had already consumed the world’s renewable resources for the year by October 6, and finished the year ecologically in the red. The fashion industry faces major challenges. Yet it is possible to change our attitude to fashion and consumption. Sustainable development is not just an empty word, and fashion is not just about appearance.

Exhibition Eco Chic will take plase at the Riga Art Space between 27 April and 6th June.