The Future of Fashion – Innovation of sustainable production

Seminar and reception at the swedish embassy

  • Eventtype: Seminar
  • Location: Embassy of Sweden
  • Date: 14th of January from 5.30pm
  • Host: Embassy of Sweden, Hessnatur Stiftung, Swedish Institute, Fashion Council Germany, Boras Stad, Swedish Fashion Council

RSVP: Please send your request for accreditation to

On the occasion of Berlin Fashion Week we would like to welcome you to a seminar followed by a networking reception with nice food and funky music.
We will talk about sustainable production and discuss questions such as: How the fashion industry can detox its supply chain, reduce water use in production and preserve traditional craftmanship.


17:00 Doors open for registration, welcome drink
17:30 Words of welcome: Johan Frisell, Minister Councellor/Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Sweden Jenny Bergström, Project Manager, Swedish Institute and Rolf Heimann, CEO, hessnatur Stiftung

PART I – Speeches: Filippa K, Elin Larsson, Senior Advisor Vaude, Jan Lorch, Head of Sustainability/CSR Consulting Service International, Karl Borgschulze, Managing Director We aRe SpinDye®, Micke Magnusson, CEO

Moderator: Marc Sommer, Managing Director, Campus Naturalis GmbH

PART II – Expert Talk: Hugo Boss, Andreas Streubig, Director Global Sustainability Swedish Stockings, Linn Frisinger, CEO and founder
Moderator: Rolf Heimann, CEO, hessnatur Stiftung

PART III – Reception
19:00 – 21:00 Swedish fingerfood and funky music by Niklas Mascher, Nino Ruggeri and Tayfun Schulzke

Fibre Competition Quintal del Inca, Peru

Social Project

  • Date: 07th of October 2016
  • Location: Peru
  • Project Type: Competition
  • Participants: Alpaca breeders and shepherds of the Peruvian highlands
  • Organizer: hessnatur fashion and hessnatur Stiftung

The quintal del Inca Señor Fiber Competition, announced by the hessnatur Stiftung and hessnatur fashion, chose its winner. The Peruvian farmer Señor Días Bustinza convinced the jury with his alpaca fibres and is now looking forward to the construction of the house, donated by clients of hessnatur fashion. This will significantly improve the living conditions of shepherds in the barren highlands of the Peruvian Andes.

The Story: 98 Alpaca shepherds submitted samples of their alpaca wool to attend Peru’s only alpaca fibre competition. What makes the Quintal del Inca so special? While all other competitions are all about the beauty of alpacas bred, the fineness of the fibres is the only criterion here. By this approach the competition encourages the shepherds to be aware of the importance of sustainable husbandry and careful sorting of the fibres: This increases wool quality and the shepherds achieve a higher market price.

Detailed analysis and strict quality control have decided: A total of nine winners were awarded at Quintal del Inca 2017 for their quality of alpaca wool. The lucky winner and new owner of the shepherd’s house is Máximo Odòn Días Bustinza. The 57-year-old father of four children bursts with happiness. Since he took over his parent’s alpacas in 1994, he has been constantly working to improve the wool quality. He is particularly proud of his three daughters, who help to ensure the sustainable animal husbandry. A short interview with Señor Bustinza can be found in the magazine of hessnatur fashion.

With the donations of hessnatur customers, hessnatur fashion will build together with hessnatur Stiftung a self-sufficient Peruvian house.

Thanks to the integration of a greenhouse, passive air conditioning, sanitary facilities and stables, this building will greatly facilitate the lives of its inhabitants. As far as possible, regional building materials and procedures are used. It is also ensured that everything works stable and maintenance-free and repairs are easy to be carry out.

Let’s Change the fashion system


  • Let’s change the fashion system! A competition for a fair fashion industry
  • Competition
  • We are looking for concepts that are suitable to make the fashion industry more fair and social
  • Prize: Participation in the Applied Sustainability Bootcamp of the hessnatur Stiftung
  • Deadline for entries is the 31st of March 2018

The NGO FEMNET e.V. has announced the competition “Let’s change the fashion system!”

The competition is looking for business ideas for a fair fashion industry and the participation is open to students and graduates of universities. Instead of being the symbol for forced labour and exploitation, clothes should rather inspire. How can fair production become a standard in the apparel industry? Which business model is more sustainable and fair? The winners will be invited to participate in the sustainability boot camp organized by the hessnatur Stiftung. The competition is designed to support applicants with concepts that actually have effect on the industry.

Cooperation partners for the competition are the Fair Wear Foundation, the hessnatur Stiftung and the Cum rationeg GmbH. The competition is funded by the Cum rationeg GmbH and Engagement Global on behalf of BMZ (Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development).
A jury consisting of Vera Köppen (Fair Wear Foundation), Rolf Heimann (hessnatur Stiftung), Kerstin Haarmann (cum ratione) and Gisela Burckhardt (FEMNET) will judge the entries.
More information on fairschnitt.

Hessnatur Stiftung Award 2017

Ana Melissa Ortuño de León is winner of the hessnatur Stiftung award 2017. The Mexican student performed and accomplished excellently the sustainable focus of her final project „Denim Footprint“  at ESMOD Berlin. The development guidelines, provides an important foundation and compliances for scientific but also practical orientated sectors and towards a global, sustainable Denim production.

How did you benefit from your educational history and employment experiences?

I studied Bachelor of Arts in Fashion and Textile Design, focusing on ready-to-wear, and experiencing with upcycling, recycling and natural dyeing. My Graduate Collection, was the first formal approach to Sustainability, through the use of Eco-Denim developed by Telas Parras, one of Mexico’s biggest denim mills in 2009.

Seven years working in Fashion Buying, Marketing, Patternmaking and Product Development, made me understand the alarming state of the industry.

In 2015 I obtained a Graduate Specialization in Textile Design and afterwards made the decision to engage formally into sustainability to find solutions to the inhumane and negative impacts present throughout the production of fashion.

When did your interest in sustainable textiles and production start? Who, or what, inspired you to enter the field of sustainable fashion?

Along the way, I’ve got inspired by different people I met both as a student and in my work experience: From Textile engineers, teaching me the technical details of fabric construction, dyeing, processing, and the importance of proper disposing of chemical residue. By working with Mexican textile artisans, that helped me value handicrafts, culture and the use of natural fibers (cotton and wool); and by conversations with seamstresses and factory workers, that made me realize, that not only in Asian countries, but in my own (Mexico), working conditions in garment factories are not decent and should not be tolerated.

Why did you choose to enroll in a program that focusses on sustainability in fashion and is located in Germany?

I started researching about Sustainability degrees four years ago. Through the research I came across to this program, and all the designers, brands and shops focused on sustainability here in Berlin. Since most international brands are based in Europe, I wanted to have a bigger understanding of the industry, the challenges and the way to enable change.

What is your initial idea and personal motivation behind your project “Denim Footprint”?

My motivation came from my vision, that in the future all garments are sustainable, so every consumer, no matter their social status, can afford and wear clothes that make no harm to the people or the environment. Being Jeans, such a ubiquitous garment, I decided to focus on denim to promote the democratization of sustainable fashion.

Melissa, you chose an innovative approach of a life cycle assessment to develop your project. Could you specify the reason for this key approach and how you identified the particular aspects/KPIs?

In the industry, the conventional Life Cycle comprehends from Fiber to Consumer. On the New LCA I propose, the Life of the product (and the impacts that come along) should start in the Design Stage and follows all the steps of the Supply chain, User phase and the End/Beginning of life of the garment. In this way, garments are DESIGNED thinking of their end of life, which should be the Start of a new fiber, garment or nutrient.

Through my research, I was able to identify, for each of this four steps (Design, Production, User and End/Beginning of life) what are the most harmful processes. I identified the use of natural resources, the pollution of waterways, the working conditions, health issues for workers and consumers, and the importance to integrate a circular lifecycle.

Melissa, while undergoing your internship with the hessnatur Stiftung you will continue working on your innovative life cycle assessment. What are your expectations on the collaboration with our experts?

My project, Denim Footprint, and the New Denim LCA, was framed by theoretical research, based on industry reports and academic investigation. In this opportunity I will have in the Hessnatur Stiftung I would like to get insights from industry experts, to move my project forward from theory to praxis, so the Denim Footprint guideline can be adjusted for the industry, and ready to be used!

Do you have any advice for fashion companies that are just getting started with sustainable aspects of the denim production?

My advice is to take it step-by-step. Choose to focus in one single aspect at first.

For example:

In Design: Design collections that are made to last, and promote this longevity.

In Production: Switch from conventional to Organic Cotton.

In User Phase: introduce new business models by providing upcycling or repair services.

In End-Beginning of life: Promote Recycling of post-consumer waste.

By starting solid on one of the areas, this will become stronger and then a different area can be improved over time.

How do you see your future academic and/or professional career evolving?

I want to get expertise in denim production: visiting cotton mills, garment factories, finishing companies. Have insightful industry experience, on different types of companies; small or large scale, that produce locally or worldwide to understand the different needs and explore the different solutions. I consider myself both an educator and a learner. An ‘educator’ because I enjoy sharing knowledge for the benefit of others; and a ‘Learner’ because in this fast changing industry, new information, technologies and processes are coming each day, and I want to keep updated, either learning trough work experience or on an academic setting.

Circular Fashion – How can we close the loop?

Conference of hessnatur Stiftung and Swedish Embassy Berlin

  • Date: 03rd of July 2016
  • Venue: Nordic Embassies Felleshus
  • Type of event: Conference with speakers and panel discussion
  • Participants: Experts and pioneers of the textile and fashion industry for the development of circular fashion
  • Referents/panelists: Adrian Zethraeus (Re: textile), Jesper Danielsson (Houdini Sportswear), Ina Budde (ESMOD Berlin), Prof. Friederike von Wedel-Parlow (Beneficial Design Institute), Achim Lohrie (Tchibo GmbH), Jan Borghardt (Eton AB)
  • Moderation: Rolf Heimann (CEO, hessnatur Stiftung)

To kick-off Berlin fashion week hessnatur Stiftung and the Swedish Embassy hosted a conference about “Circular Fashion”. More than 130 guests from the textile and fashion industry accepted the invitation to Felleshus at the Nordic embassies to get answers to the question “How can we close the loop?”. After a short welcome by Carl Michael Gräns, adviser for media, communication and business development of the Swedish Embassy, and Anna Liberg, business commissioner of Business Sweden, moderator Rolf Heimann introduced the topic of the evening with the “Holistic Circular Fashion Concept”.

Adrian Zethraeus, project manager of Re.textile, talked about new approaches to closing the loop of fashion. As a practical example he presented a collection made of upcycled denim, that Re: textile created in cooperation with Swedish Brand Lindex.

Jesper Daniellson, Head of Design at Houdini Sportswear impressed the audience with his presentation of the „Houdini Menu“. He provided insights about the brand’s standards they had to introduce in order to develop a 100% biodegradable and even edible (!) collection.

In the subsequent panel discussion, industry experts discussed further aspects and approaches to close the loop. They pointed out that there is not one solution, but many different steps that must be taken to achieve a holistic solution.

The evening ended with a reception where the participants had the opportunity for networking and exchange of views. While listening to live-music guests gave great feedback for the seminar. They praised the valuable and in-depth contributions as well as the concrete solutions that were presented.

Footage: Josephine Gäbler/Swedish Embassy

German Swedish Exchange on Sustainable Fashion

Seminar with her majesty Silvia of Sweden

  • Date: 07th of October 2016
  • Venue: Bikini Berlin
  • Event Type: Seminar and Exhibition Opening
  • Participants: Company Representatives
  • Speeches/Panelists: Elin Larsson (Filippa K), Hendrik Heuermann (H&M), Professor Rebecca Earley from the University of the Arts in London

Within the time frame of the State visit, her majesty Silvia of Sweden, was invited by the hessnatur Stiftung on the 07th of October 2016 to a German-Swedish exchange pertaining the subject of sustainable fashion. Organized in cooperation with the Swedish Embassy, the Swedish Institute and the Esmod Berlin, the event hosted at Bikini Berlin offered an intriguing discussion platform for experts of the textile industry. While moderation was held by the chairman of the hessnatur Stiftung, Rolf Heimann, the Queen of Sweden announced the agenda for the event. Under the central theme of “Facing the paradigm shift – The relevance of sustainability”, speakers such as Hendrik Heuermann (Sustainability manager H&M), Sustainability Director Elin Larsson from Fillipa K, Professor Rebecca Earley from the University of the Arts in London and Bernd Hinzmann from the Inkota-Netzwerk, who concluded the event with a superb podium discussion. At the succeeding Meet & Greet, one could admire the spectacular Artist Bea Szenfeld exhibiting her Paper creations along with drinks and finger food. Bea Szenfeld’s exhibition “Everything you can imagine is real” went on until the 29th of October 2016.

Footage of the event

Sustainability Day


  • Date: 30.06.2015
  • Event Location: INNSIDE Melia, Neue Messe München
  • Event Type: Seminar und Workshop
  • Participants: Members of the DTB Dialog Textil Bekleidung
  • Speeches: B. Hinzmann, K. Borgschulze, R. Heimann, P. Kugler

Together with the DTB – Dialog Textil-Bekleidung and Consulting Service International Ltd. Hongkong, the Hessnatur Stiftung created the “Sustainability Day” on the 30th of June 2015. There were more than 60 members participating from the DTB in the Munich INNSIDE Melia Hotel – a spectacular indication, that the subject Sustainability holds importance for companies.

In the afternoon, one of the Keynote speakers, Berndt Hinzmann from INKOTA gave insight into the expectations society has for the Textile industry. Moreover, Karl Borgschulze from the CSI. Ltd Hong Kong reported why the industry requires a Paradigm shift to achieve sustainable business processes as well as how to achieve that paradigm shift. Afterwards, Rolf Heimann introduced to the guests of the event, the background and requirements of the alliance for sustainable textiles of the BMZ (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Entwicklung und Zusammenarbeit). After a lunch break, the guests could participate in workshops and discuss what hurdles the paradigm shift would pose on their companies. These interesting findings would subsequently be shared during a Panel presentation. To conclude the event, Rolf Heimann and Karl Borgschulze presented a project concept, that would simplify the process of fulfilling the requirements the “Bündnis für nachhaltige Textilien” has for companies.

Download Agenda

Download Report

Open Day at BMZ

Panel Discussion

  • Date: 30th of August 2015
  • Venue: Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Berlin
  • Type of event: Open day, Panel discussion
  • Participants: Representatives from the fashion and textile industry, Parliamentary State Secretary
  • Referents: E. Perbandt, F. von Wedel-Parlow, R. Heimann, M. Schaffrin, T. Silberhorn

Every year, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), chaired by Dr. Gerd Müller invites to an Open Day. In addition to international music, dance and cuisine from Africa, a fashion show with fair fashion and a panel discussion on sustainable textiles was presented. In this framework, the CEO of the hessnatur Stiftung Rolf Heimann conducted a constructive discussion with representatives of the fashion industry.

Participants such as Magdalena Schaffrin and the Parliamentary State Secretary Thomas Silberhorn talked about Green Fashion and the Partnership for sustainable Textiles, launched by Dr. Gerd Müller. In the very vibrant discussion, Mr. Heimann and other participants pointed out, that the Partnership for sustainable Textiles, is a very important initiative whose aims and processes are realistic and achievable over a timeline. The Partnership for sustainable Textiles has already more than 150 member companies.

The Open Day venue and the BMZ also provided the opportunity to set up a special stand with further information about the Partnership. In a mobile wardrobe, visitors could experience how development policy and fashion are linked. hessnatur fashion company also presented itself with a stand and was able to show that fair fashion can also be fashionable and up-to-date.

Sustainable Leatherproduction

Webinar for Inkota Network in Asia

  • Date: 14 th of July 2015
  • Event Type: Webinar
  • Participants: Members of INKOTA Network, Asia
  • Speaker: M. Neundorfer

Maren Neundorfer and Rolf Heimann hosted a webinar about sustainability within the leather production for members of the non-profit organisation INKOTA in Asia. The aim was to impart knowledge on the difference between sustainable and conventional leather production. As a result, INKOTA and its partners will be able to campaign for ecological and social responsible aspects within the leather production. Furthermore, they will be able to contribute to improved working conditions in Asian production countries.

Summer School at AMD

  • Date: 26.-29.09.2017
  • Venue: AMD Berlin
  • Type of event: multi-day academy
  • Participants: Students from the fields of fashion management and fashion journalism as well as experts in sustainable fashion in Berlin.
  • Speakers / Panelists: Rolf Heimann, Ariane Piper, Alexandra Woithe, Elisabeth Busse, Dorothea Barth, Ina Budde, Nina Lorenzen, Christina Wille

More and more cross-industry players are becoming aware of the importance of sustainability as a value driver. Students and universities understanding these current issues and responding to relevant trends benefit tremendously: within their particular role as future experts as well as individuals. AMD Berlin has recognized this relevance and offered its students a four-day intensive workshop on the topic of slow fashion, led by the hessnatur Stiftung. 
The slow-life movement as a contrast to fast-paced concepts is increasingly reflected by society. In addition to areas such as food and living, it is also the slow fashion movement that is taking new approaches to the fashion and textile industries.
But this particular flow has nothing in common with slow and old-fashioned. On the contrary, young brands are turning the market upside down with versatile business and product developments. What sounded utopian yesterday is outdated the day after tomorrow. A leather jacket is made of black cork, algae are used for dyeing, 3D printers satisfy individual wishes and transparency within the supply chain becomes a playful educational tool thanks to innovative technology.

During the summer school at AMD Berlin, the hessnatur Stiftung and 27 students analyzed slow fashion concepts and put them into practice. The huge interest of students in participating in this workshop has shown the relevance and popularity of sustainable issues within the fashion and textiles industry.
To introduce the relevant concepts the Chairman of the hessnatur Stiftung Rolf Heimann, gave a presentation. The paradigm shift in fashion, the holistic approach and sustainability as a value driver laid the theoretical framework for later practical-oriented group work. This didactic approach stands for our practice-oriented method: knowledge building, transformation and application.

In the course of this workshop all students worked in small groups to complete individual topics related to slow fashion and presented their findings. In addition to a lot of time for discussions, the hessnatur Stiftung also held two discussions with experts. Ina Budde presented the idea of circular economy in fashion with her company Design for Circularity. Nina Lorenzen, founder of the green blog Pink & Green and NxM Production, has brought her vision of communication work in the industry and Christina Wille supplemented the round with topics like consumption and trade. Being able to participate and talk to experts encouraged the students. The discussion turned out as dynamic and subject-strong dialogue on an equal level.
A flashlight in which the students explained their point of view brought it to the point. Basics were taught and substantiated in the autumn academy of the hessnatur Stiftung at AMD Berlin. In addition, a working atmosphere of coexistence and a mutual profit situation were created: The students were able to benefit from our practical knowledge. To recap, to achieve our goals we need to emphasize on the communication of sustainable topics with the decision makers of the future.

Hessnatur Stiftung Schoolarship 2017

Sarah Maria Schmidt is the scholarship holder of the hessnatur Stiftung 2017. She emphasizes her affinity to the international sustainability discourse in the textile and clothing industry authentic and self-confident.

What interest has motivated you to apply for a scholarship at the hessnatur Stiftung? Which content of the foundation did attract you especially?

Important was the cooperation of the hessnatur Stiftung with the ESMOD Berlin. This uniquely supports a valuable collaboration with experts right from the start of my studies. In particular, the strategic sustainability consulting and project work of the operational foundation appealed to me. In addition, I feel that the public relations work is very valuable. For example, the exchange with experts is encouraged, and by along the building of new knowledge and thoughts.

How do the content-related focuses and goals of the hessnatur Stiftung fit with your attitudes?

Sustainability is a very complex term, which is and will be interpreted quite differently. You have to accept that this is a process of different stages of change.
The international discourse on sustainability often includes very extreme forms of black and white thinking. This seems very deterrent to me. The goals of the hessnatur Stiftung are therefore very refreshing. Solutions are found from inside the industry. A comprehensive network and a holistic approach are together the base of the foundations work.
The hessnatur Stiftung is looking for new solutions together with interested companies and players. This common and less reproachful way is very valuable. Every step in the direction of sustainability is hard-earned and can be celebrated with pleasure. Only one must not rest on it, but must constantly strive for further changes.

How do you see yourself in your role as a scholarship holder of the hessnatur Stiftung?

I especially think of the terms inspiration and drive. Being chosen out of a group of several students for this scholarship is great. It shows that evryone should believe in oneself. Now I want to prove that I deserve it. That gives me the drive to go deeper, in order to acquire more knowledge. In the future, I would like to actively contribute this to the hessnatur Stiftung and get involved alongside my studies. Being a scholarship holder at the hessnatur Stiftung means responsibility and trust for me. But also the opportunity to critically discuss on equal terms and to experience and bring in different perspectives.

What expectations do you have of the Master’s program “Sustainability in Fashion” at the ESMOD Berlin?

High expectations! I would like to gain comprehensive knowledge about sustainability and gather as much information as possible during my studies. The career offers me the opportunity to test my knowledge and skills in different departments in a safe environment. In a second step to put them with valuable experience into practice and to counter arguments in difficult discussions.
In addition, I find the exchange with international students, who usually have a variety of professional experiences, very valuable. It enables each of us to build a network and make important contacts with experts. We learn with each other and from each other.

What would you like to achieve with the Master’s program at ESMOD?

I want to be able to rediscover my own moral claim on sustainability in the course of my professional development. That’s very important to me personally. Something has to move socially and politically. Or to put it differently: The screws in the system of the fashion industry have to be turned in a more effectively and profitably. The industry has to change.

Have you developed a preference for a particular subject since the beginning of your career?

It has been confirmed that the study contents Sustainable Design Strategies and Sustainable Production & Textiles are very consistent for me personally. Here, for example, the various possibilities of sustainable design and production approaches along the textile chain are taught. I also find the contents of the entire area of textile material, its production and procurement and the possibilities and the limits of ecological textile and clothing production very exciting.

Which previous personal achievements can you build on?

In 2015, I successfully completed my Double Degree in Fashion Design with a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University Angewandte Kunst Schneeberg and a Bachelor of Culture and Arts degree at HAMK in Hämeenlinna. Studying in Finland has made it possible for me to study in an international context. Sustainability was also the focus there. For example, my thesis deals with the very current topic of transparency in the fashion industry. In addition, I already have several years of experience, due to my professional activity with various players in the field of fast fashion.

What significance does the scholarship have for your professional career?

At the end of the first semester, I hope to be allowed to look behind the upcoming scenes of the hessnatur Stiftung. How can companies be advised on their journey towards sustainability? How can projects be communicated and implemented in a targeted and applicable way?

How would you like to contribute to the international discourse on sustainability (in the textile and clothing industry) in future?

In the long term, I strive to be politically active or work as consultant. There is a great need to promptly inform about changes at the political level of the EU. In particular, I am thinking of international standards and certificates, which should not only be implemented locally, but should be made more internationally aware. The textile industry is still lagging behind.

How do you educate yourself about current topics in the field of sustainability?
Sustainability ideas are shared through exchanges with others. Therefore, discussions and talks with students from the ESMOD and friends are the basis for information and inspiration. I find the book “To Die for: Is Fashion Wearing Out the World?” by Lucie Siegle very valuable.

What claim do you have for the sustainable development of the products or the players in the textile and clothing industry?

The process of becoming aware of a need for sustainable development has begun. I am convinced of that. Now they have to recognize their own responsibility in order to actively shape and effect the change. However, it has to be accepted that sustainability is a process and that the transition to sustainable development can only happen in the long term. On the social and entrepreneurial level, decisions and actions should not be dominated by fear of transparency and public criticism. Security, to take this step, in my opinion, can be done in particular at the political level.

What does sustainability mean for you?

In my opinion, sustainability is a very complex concept. Thinking about sustainability in extremes, is not effective. The different requirements which different companies, suppliers and customers encounter on the way towards sustainability, should be displayed more publicly. But only when no damage is left in the world and a positive impression – ecological as well as social – is achieved.
On the one hand, sustainability in fashion for me personally includes your own entrepreneurial responsibility towards the consumer. On the other hand, of course, responsibility towards environment and social compatibility.

Responsible Innovators for Fashion & Textiles Summit


  • Date: 08th of June 2017
  • Location: Kulturbrauerei Palais Atelier
  • Type of event: Conference
  • Participants: Experts of the textiles and fashion industry
  • Speakers/ Panelists: Carolin Bohrke, Chris Doering, Dr. Carolijn Terwindt, Anne Prahl

With the development of innovative Technologies, along come indisputable changes in the future of Fashion and Textiles. For these future opportunities to succeed in the sense of sustainability, numerous obstacles regarding entrepreneurial side must be understood and changed. Besides social and ecological criteria, the future especially concerns new business cultures and possibilities. The summit Responsible Innovators in Fashion & Textiles (RIFT) on the 8th of June 2017 served as an expert forum for the development of responsible lateral thinkers and sustainable strategists.

Experts, creators, multipliers came together at the forum to illustrate different transformation and approaches in the industry. The event was commenced with Keynote presentation of representatives of the ECCHR, the Design Research Lab and the Frauenhofer center for Responsible Research and Innovation, all of which gave insights upon their respective work. As partner of the RIFT-Summit 2017, the hessnatur Stiftung stressed the urgency for a paradigm change in the context of sustainable Fashion and Textiles. Caroline Bohrke held a speech about the importance behind transparency in the Fashion and Textile Industry and the interdisciplinary opportunities through a sustainability strategy for companies. With this thought provocation in mind, the second part of the Event would proceed.

Within a workshop atmosphere, small group discussion occurred that formulated novel principles and objectives on subjects such as “Values”, “Market”, and “Technologies”. Ariane Piper from the hessnatur Stiftung co-moderated the group “Values”. Furthermore, towards the conclusion once again the innovative approach was exhibited. A team on illustration recorded the content through graphical documentation..

Sustainable Denim Bangladesh

Public Private Partnership Project

  • Project Time Frame: 2014 – 2016
  • Location: Bangladesh (Region Ranpur)
  • Subject: Comprehensive optimization of the traditional textile production in consideration of the ecological and social sustainability by setting up a competence centre
  • Project Partners: Classical Handmade Products, BD, CSI (Consulting Service International Ltd.)Responsible Team Member: Marina Chahboune

By optimizing the traditional textile production in consideration of ecological and social sustainability, the following project goals should be achieved:

  • Purposeful building of a decentralized production centre as counter point to the development problem of fast urbanization
  • Reactivation and optimization of traditional weaving and colouring methods for the manufacturing of high quality and ecologically sustainable materials (denim) within the denim production
  • The long-term creation of jobs, especially for women, in one of the least developed areas in Bangladesh

The project deals with the manufacturing of hand-sewn denim fabrics, that are coloured with natural Indigo. The obtaining of natural Indigo occurs in the project site in Rangpur, Bangladesh. After spinning the bio-cotton, the yarn will be treated by, within the project trained CHP (Classical Handmade Products Bangladesh) workers, who use local Indigo to colour the yarn and further on knitted to denim using handlooms. The cultivation of Indigo in the region of Rangpur has been experiencing a “comeback” since a couple of years (enabled through local NGO’s), although until now a secure purchase through a trustworthy producer with high sale volumes does not exist.

An essential measure of the project are educational institutions and group workshops. Only through a single integrated training structure, can the deficiencies in the professional qualification of employees within the middle-management of Bangladesh’s textile industry be countered. The qualification of CHP occurs through the usage of a management system. The goal of the qualification is the complete guarantee of international social and environmental standards regarding the compliance of industry standards like Fair Wear, Fair trade and GOTS, as well as the requirements of the Greenpeace Detox Campaign.


Regional Cultivation Project

  • Project Run-Time: 2005 till
  • PresentProject region: Wetterau
  • Project partner: Ecological farmers in the region

Linen fibres, obtained from the stems of the flax plant, have a long tradition in Europe. However, the triumph of cotton put an end to this, and today hardly any flax is cultivated in Germany. Here, the Hessenleinen project of the hessnatur Stiftung takes place: On about six hectares in the area Marburg – Gießen – Alsfeld flax is today cultivated again in a cooperation with several organic farms, in an environmentally friendly and high quality approach and without chemicals. Since there are almost no linen processing companies in Germany left, the further production steps are carried out in Belgium and Lithuania.

Initiated by hessnatur fashion in 2005, Hessenleinen stands for regional production, the preservation of biodiversity in local agriculture, ecological quality and the revival of traditional cultivation methods. By moderating the project, including the observation of the participating organic farmers and organizing the further processing of the fibres into yarns for the production of clothing and accessories, the hessnatur Stiftung ensures the future of the project. According to the founding visions of the foundation, the project will address new partners and the textile market to continuously be developed further.

Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing, Vietnam

Lecture “Greening the Blues” & Panel Discussion

  • Date: 16th to 18th September 2015
  • Event: Global Conference on Sustainable ManufacturingVenue: Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
  • Speaker: Marina Chahboune

Sustainable alignment of global value chains present challenges for manufacturers worldwide: production processes need to be adapted, new processes and techniques developed, tested and introduced. The annual “Global Conference on Sustainable Manufacturing” offers a platform for knowledge and exchange transfers of information about sustainable production for researchers, researchers and experts, and thus an opportunity to provide solutions directly to the producers. Last year, this also applied to the textile sector, one of the most important sectors in the host country Vietnam.

In the thirty-minute talk entitled “Greening the Blues,” the Foundation’s associate Marina Chahboune presented practical approaches to a sustainable denim production by which problems such as high water consumption, polluting processes or critical working conditions can be addressed. The included lively podium discussion on the topic “Sustainable textile production” provided a deeper insight to these topics.


German Swedish Exchange on Sustainable Fashion

Sustainable Denim Bangladesh

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