Ethical fashion hits big time with German takeover

Green fair-trade fashion looks set to slip out of the closet as one of the world's top trade fair organisers, Germany's Messe Frankfurt, takes over the Paris-based "Ethical Fashion Show."

The absorption of the six-year-old event, one of the highlights of busy Paris Fashion Week, was announced Friday by Messe Frankfurt, the world's third biggest trade fair firm with annual turnover of almost half a billion euros (671 million dollars).

"This demonstrates our commitment to a highly current issue - sustainable development," said Detlef Braun, a director of the firm running almost 100 fairs yearly worldwide, a third of them involving textiles and the textile industry - including some of the biggest in Asia.

"This is also our first venture into fashion," said Braun.

While the market for ethical fashion is far more dynamic in Britain, where there is a fiercer emphasis on dressing different, Paris's Ethical Fashion Show is currently the world's largest event spotlighting eco and fair-trade fashion.

Held once a year, the burgeoning show has grown from 20 designers at its inaugural 2004 edition to 90 last year, from all of the world's continents.

Every one of the designs displayed at the four-day event is made with either environmental or social concerns at heart, the makers committing to a charter to respect working conditions, protect the environment, and preserve traditional skills.

At its origins, said founder Isabelle Quehe, was her encounter with Bangladesh designer Bibi Russel and Senegalese fashion supremo Oumou Sy.

"They made me share their vision that fashion could spur development in poor countries, that there was an elegance spawned by local crafts that must be protected for future generations," she said Friday.

In the world's fashion capital, the growing success of the Ethical show has acted as a catalyst, spurring a bevy of mainstream trade fairs to host eco and fair-trade corners of their own.

Likewise, Messe Frankfurt's own twice-yearly textile shows in Paris now feature eco-labelling - giving the tens of thousands of buyers who pour into the city an instant look at who is offering organic cottons, or fabrics certified under fairtrade practices.

"Sustainable development is a mega social trend," said the company's French director Michael Scherpe. "There is an increasing demand for fashion that respects the environment and fair working practices."

This year's event will take place September 25 to 28 at Paris' new Fashion and Design City at the Docks en Seine.

Arts and Entertainment
filmPoldark production team claims innocence of viewers' ab frenzy
Life and Style
Google marks the 81st anniversary of the Loch Ness Monster's most famous photograph
techIt's the 81st anniversary of THAT iconic photograph
News
Katie Hopkins makes a living out of courting controversy
people
News
General Election
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    Recruitment Genius: Office Administrator

    £14000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Office Administrator is requ...

    Recruitment Genius: Sales Executive - Commercial Vehicles - OTE £40,000

    £12000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion and growth of ...

    Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer - Sheffield - £50,000

    £40000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Senior PHP Developer position with a...

    Recruitment Genius: Operations Leader - Plasma Processing

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: An Operations Leader is required to join a lea...

    Day In a Page

    Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

    Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

    His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
    'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

    Open letter to David Cameron

    Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
    Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

    You don't say!

    Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
    Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

    So what is Mubi?

    Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
    The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

    The hardest job in theatre?

    How to follow Kevin Spacey
    Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

    Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

    To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
    Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

    'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

    The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
    Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

    This human tragedy has been brewing for years

    EU states can't say they were not warned
    Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

    Women's sportswear

    From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
    Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

    Clinton's clothes

    Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
    NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

    Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

    A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

    The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
    How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

    How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

    Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
    From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

    The wars that come back to haunt us

    David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
    Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

    A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders