HFW SS’20 Press Release II

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Press Release
Helsinki Fashion Week 2019
SS’20 Edition
June 2019


Fashion has an influence on the most remote corners of humanity and on our planetary home. We don’t exist in a detached bubble; instead, we are all the very architects who together help weave the vast and colorful web that connects us all. And from what better position than ours to adopt a new mindset. This is an opportunity to unite industries, re-unite the fashion industry and communities everywhere to understand the root of the challenges which we are all facing.

The holistic approach of the EcoVillage platform in 2018 was a big step in the right direction which demonstrated just how real utopia can be. Understanding our choices and how they affect our environment and one another is the key to creating balance.

This season’s event will include fashion shows, keynotes and panel talks, workshops and side events, along with the ‘Bio-Playground’ initiative – a platform which will promote and facilitate partnerships between a diverse range of academic, commercial and governmental organizations. The aim of this platform is to inspire and promote innovation in material processing and transparency throughout the value chain.

The platform brings together challengers and scientists who will be premiering their portfolio of bio-based materials and their ongoing developmental research of bio-based solutions that aims at solving resource insufficiency at large: changemakers who aim to close the loop by teaching microbes to use the fibers as their nutrients to re-produce and recycle the used materials and innovators using modern biotechnology to design and produce new types of leather-like materials made from fungal mycelium. During the exhibition, VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland and Fashion For Good focus on scaling sustainable innovations to envision a world where all fashion is good.

The Bio-Playground in collaboration with the Ministry of Environment of Finland will have a 360-degree approach by demonstrating the connectivity between all raw bio material sourcing by introducing digital platforms and concepts to facilitate knowledge-sharing and to promote reinvention together with Stora Enso, Metsä Wood and Aalto University.

Helsinki Fashion Week takes place in a self-sustaining ecosystem, exhibiting the prototypic future urban settlement. Challenges regarding everyday pillars of clothing, food, energy, water, and waste are brought together and demonstrated within the parameters of sustainability. The main location of Helsinki Fashion Week, the Palace of the Nobility, will be covered by the “urban curtain”: a surface that captures CO2 and air pollutants from the atmosphere to be stored by algae and grown into biomass. The process results in freshly photosynthesized oxygen being released into the urban microclimate.

The SS’20 edition will once again dedicate its runway to sustainable designers and brands from across the globe who are selected based on their resource efficiency and innovative material sourcing. To up the stakes, we have decided to only invite ecological collections made from non-animal-derived leather – a decision which recently sparked a wide-reaching and long-needed dialogue across the global fashion industry.

Patrick McDowell from the UK is premiering his second collection with the use of waste fabrics from Burberry, LVMH and Kering. Ka Wa Key by the creative duo Jarno Leppänen from Finland and Key Chow from Hong Kong is known for self-crafting their own fabrics with organic and natural fibers from up-cycled materials. Australian brand A.BCH by Courtney Holm is presenting her collection with full disclosure from fiber to finish. The house of Mandali Mendrilla from Belgium will be reflecting the cyclical nature of time by exploring, in the design process, the Eastern science of Vastu architecture and its intuitive application to the crafting of sculptural couture garments. The City of Helsinki Education Division along with Finnish designer Riina Salmi will be showcasing a collection made with the principles of ‘fusion learning’ working together with the kids from local elementary schools and local artists.

Zaha Hadid Architects will be engaging us with a panel discussion covering the synchronicity of space by using the power of sustainable materials and innovative design in “Connecting Fashion, Waste & Architecture”. About A Worker will present a keynote talk on the ability to communicate and collaborate within the fashion supply chain using design as a universal language. The conversation will discuss ways of achieving transparency and dissolving hierarchy in the industry to avoid exploitation.

In case of a Plan B, Helsinki Fashion Week has partnered with European Space Agency to explore alternative possibilities. ESA will have a keynote on their research around settling on another planet within the next 20-30 years. The partnership aims to create an ongoing interdisciplinary dialog supporting cross-industry collaboration to advance material innovations on the Moon and the planet Earth.

Helsinki Fashion Week remains unique because it is a mindset. We don’t see fashion as an isolated entity, but rather as a key part in the balance of the greater human experience. The potential of fashion is infinite – it is a viable industry that connects individuals across the globe in the most effortless way. Helsinki Fashion Week will always choose to test, to experiment and to accept the risk of failure because we recognize that we cannot let fear define our courses of action and hinder progress.

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