Berlin: Finally Taking Zero Waste Fashion Seriously

By Kitty Doherty . January 28, 2020

Fires. Turtles caught in plastic bags. A freakishly mild Berlin winter. Environmental initiatives have never been so trendy – or so necessary.

Zero Waste Fashion for Non-Fashionistas is a talk and swap-shop taking place in Kreuzberg on Tuesday the 28th of January. With the fashion industry being one of the most polluting industries in the world, its aim is to teach us how we can make our own clothing choices sustainable. If you’re into the environment, fashion or if you fancy an outing that doesn’t involve a smoky bar, then head on down.

zero waste graphic

Zero Waste Berlin International was founded in May 2019 by Coral Ruz. Coral began the project with the intention of creating an international community in Berlin united by the principles of a Zero Waste lifestyle. Since its inception, the project has held events, gathered together experts and the environmentally-conscious (or simply curious) and spread information about how to live a Zero Waste lifestyle in a practical, inclusive and solution-driven way.

Zero Waste is a concept that is gaining momentum on a global scale. Its goal: to reduce human impact on the environment. Within this, there is a focus on recycling, reusing and fighting back against consumer culture – and the careless way we use and discard materials every day. The end goal is, simply, zero waste.

Demystifying Zero Waste

I spoke to Coral Ruz ahead of the next Zero Waste event (Zero Waste Fashion for Non-Fashionistas – but more on that later…) to get the lowdown on her project’s beginnings and her ambitions for an environmentally-inspired Berlin, and perhaps one day, world takeover (exaggeration noted).

Coral began Zero Waste Berlin International after taking personal steps towards a Zero Waste lifestyle. She realised that she wanted to discover more information and meet like-minded people. Through this search, she found a lack of resources for English speakers interested in the topic.

Her first organised event for ZWBI, which began as a space for people to meet and share their interest in sustainability, received far more attention than she had imagined. Since then, she has held regular events (one every six weeks) which focus on different aspects of a Zero Waste lifestyle: travel, plastic, the film industry, DIY tips and fashion.

zero waste event speaker crowd
Photo by Vic Ramkumar

What’s important, Coral tells me, is that at ZWBI’s events, attendees receive the knowledge and tools to help them live sustainably. People learn about the real and devastating consequences of our consumer-driven culture and what changes they can make in their own lives – that will actually make a difference. Her project is demystifying Zero Waste and responding to the panicked question we all have when it comes to climate change: what can I do?

The truth about the fashion industry.

Did you know that the fashion industry is the second most polluting in the world? Or that 20% of all industrial water pollution comes from textile treatment and dyeing? At Zero Waste Fashion for Non-Fashionistas, attendees will get to hear experts talk about issues within the fashion industry, the problem with those annoying adverts telling us to be in a constant state of shopping (apart from the fact they’re annoying) and how to be more sustainable when it comes to your own closet. There’s more to it than just shopping second-hand!

zero waste groceries in bag

Attendees will hear Coral speak alongside Naek Mejia, founder of Zero Waste Honduras and specialist in sustainable fashion – and networking is encouraged. But, if you need any more persuading, there will also be a clothes swap after the event (fill out this form after registering for your free ticket to join). If (almost) free clothes can’t persuade you to leave the house then, frankly, nothing will.

See you there!

Zero Waste Fashion for Non-Fashionistas

January 28th, 18:00 – 20:30
Attendance is free but you are advised to register for a ticket to ensure a place.

Zero Waste Fashion for Non-Fashionistas Facebook event
Zero Waste Berlin International on Facebook
Zero Waste Berlin International on Meetup

Goodpatch Europe
Oranienstrasse 6


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