Stylish sustainability at Treches
By Sarah Luisa Santos . March 11, 2014
I must admit that before studying and working in fashion, whenever I heard “sustainable” or “eco-friendly” in reference to clothing I used to think about those not so nice, sloppy pair of pants or some ragged t-shirt.
Well, since moving to Berlin, my eyes are open and my vision about sustainable fashion completely changed over the years. And, for those who still don’t know how a sustainable brand can work and deliver good outfits, here is Neukölln Shopping Nacht, a fashion event next weekend with sustainable brands and boutiques located in Neukölln. A alternative to mass-production fast fashion brands, with ethical fashion at affordable prices.
This week we are profiling Norwegian self-taught designer Jeanette Bruneau Rossow, founder of Treches, one of the participant shops of Neukölln Shopping Nacht.
The idea of the brand first came when Jeanette felt that there were no labels for “ethical but at the same time eye-catching and fashion-forward street wear”.
With a sustainable philosophy, this Berlin brand highly values human rights on every step in the developmental and production process. This is a tough position whilst working within the fashion-industry, which sometimes does not really care about ethics and social responsibility, mass-producing goods at outrageously low prices, therefore making competition for eco-conscious and sustainable brands even harder.
When I asked Jeanette about how is it to work sustainably and also deliver good products at reasonable prices, she was determined that this is the best way for her to do business. “Yes, keeping everything organic means a smaller variety of fabrics and accessories to work with, but I like the challenge! We also try to create waste-reducing patterns and use recycled materials. Producing in Germany and paying liveable wages does make our clothing a bit more expensive but I don’t really see an alternative. Sure, I want to follow my dream and do what I love, but I can’t let people suffer because of it.”
This gutsy approach seems to have lead her in the right direction. With all collections produced in Germany, using only GOTS-certified organic fabrics such as cotton, hemp and animal-friendly silk, Jeanette believes in a change in people’s conscience when it comes to sustainable clothing.
“The image of sustainability in fashion must be raised to another level. Organic is in trend and does no longer mean potato sack-styles and therapeutic footwear. It is not a luxury product but rather a way to take responsibility and, of course, look good whilst doing so.”
With a minimal graphic style, the designer works with geometric patterns and shapes, playing with details and contrasting colours. The result is an urban aesthetic, with a very laid-back attitude, mixing her straightforward Scandinavian background with Berlin’s relaxed and nonchalant atmosphere.
When I asked what Jeanette thinks about Berlin’s fashion scene, the answer was very quick: “The Berliner fashion scene seems braver than the rest of Germany and not so hung up on big names.” And I agree that this is what makes this city so uncomplicated and open to new talents and perspectives.
Talking some business here, for next summer Treches is betting on wild lily print, and Jeanette definitely will go for this pair of pants above.
To check it out at NSN: Neukölln Shopping Nacht
HQ, Weserstrasse 191, 12045 Berlin Neukölln