INTERVIEW – Sustainability in fashion

Philip LadigesInterview

Central-BlouseUsually whenever we talk about a more green way of living or about how to be more sustainable, the first things we come up with are global warming, meatless food or separating your waste and recycling. However, sustainability is starting to play a role in a lot more industries nowadays. One of these industries is the fashion industry.

To illustrate an example of someone who knows that the fashion industry needs to become more sustainable, I was able to interview Lisa Konno. Lisa is a 24 year old, Amsterdam based designer who made her debut on the Amsterdam Fashion Week of January 2015. This year, in January, she hosted her second show. In both shows Lisa has focused on sustainability. Last year, almost all of the designs in her show were made of recycled material, and her designs showed pictures of one of the biggest disasters in the fashion industry, which occured in a factory in Bangladesh (2013). This year her show featured the opportunity to buy the pattern of one of her designs, in order to get people to think about the craftsmanship and labor that is behind the clothes you buy in the stores. Read the interview below.

  • Can you tell us something about how the issue of sustainability influences you as a designer?

Lisa Konno: Sustainability is an important condition for me. I love fashion and I love making beautiful designs, but not at the expense of someone else. I will always try to make sustainable choices and I hope to contribute to a more sustainable industry.

  • How has this topic influenced your last two shows at the Fashion Week?

Lisa Konno: Both shows had a clear message. The first one was a statement against sweatshops. After the second show, I sold the audience the pattern of one of my designs, inviting them to make a piece of my collection themselves. I’m convinced that when you make a piece of clothing yourself, you will value it completely differently and you won’t see it as a throwaway as much.

  • How are established fashion brands within the industry trying to become more sustainable? Is there any negativity towards the topic?

Lisa Konno: The general consensus is that something has to change within the industry. If a designer contributes to this, while making great designs, no one will be negative about it. I do think that a lot of influential fashion brands are not taking enough responsibility to make real changes. It’s a big issue for younger designers, but it would be better if the bigger players would contribute more.

  • Do you have any inside tips on where we really shouldn’t buy our clothes anymore?

Lisa Konno: A little while ago, the ‘Zeeman’ advertised with a wedding dress that they are selling for 29,99. It is supposed to come out of ‘good factory’, and then everyone just assumes that this is correct. I can guarantee that someone at the end of the production line is paying the price for this. It can be frustrating how easily people will throw their morals out of the window, in exchange for a cheap piece of clothing.

Thank you for your time Lisa!

If you want to see more of Lisa’s designs, check out her website and Instagram!