Last week Laura was in Berlin to speak about Water Conscious Fashion on behalf of Living Colour. We were invited by the Dutch embassy in Berlin to tell the public of the Neonyt fashion trade fair and the Fashion Sustain symposium about how to reduce the water footprint of the fashion industry by using our dyeing technique
The Embassy Lab’s focus on water is especially compelling for the Netherlands, for whose existence water is crucial. Thanks to its expertise in water-related issues, the Netherlands is playing a prominent, groundbreaking role in the transition towards ever more sustainable water use across the industry and is thus uniquely positioned to contribute to these topical debates.
The talk was part of Embassy Lab Water Conscious Fashion, organised by Hybrid Space Lab. Embassy Lab Water Conscious Fashion provides a space for an international interdisciplinary dialogue and a creative crossover exchange on a broad range of issues related to water conscious solutions for the fashion and textile industry. It brings together Dutch, German and international experts, business players, pioneers and creative professionals in the creative format of a lab.
How to reduce the water footprint of the fashion industry?
Freshwater makes up only 2.5% of water available on the earth. If world population increases as expected, hitting the 9 billions threshold by 2050, will water resources be sufficient?
Can water-conscious fashion be an ambassador for sustainable development?
Water use within fashion, the second-largest most water-intensive industry after agriculture, is set to rise by 50% by 2030. Textile production in general has such a large water footprint due to highly “thirsty” crops, such as cotton. Water resources depletion, water pollution with toxic chemicals and textile waste – the environmental impact of the textile and fashion industry on water resources worldwide runs deep. It is estimated that the fashion industry causes 20% of the world’s industrial water pollution, with textile dyeing amongst the most severe causes of freshwater pollution worldwide.
Alexis Morgan, Global Water Stewardship Lead at WWF
Natalia Finogenova, Research Associate, Chair of Sustainable Engineering, TU Berlin, on “InoCottonGRoW”, a project which aims at reducing the water footprint of the cotton-textile value chain in Pakistan
Prof. Dr. Randolf Rausch, Hydrogeologist, TU Darmstadt and University of Applied Forest Sciences Rottenburg on “Fashion-Water Nexus: The impact of cotton on water”
Sameer Safaya, CEO of Safaya Consulting, Amsterdam/Hong Kong, Expert at Water Footprint Implementation with a talk informed by the study: “Toward Sustainable Use in the Cotton Supply Chain”
Shane Kleyhorst, Program Manager of the collaborative network organization “Energy & Raw Materials Factory”, fostering a wider societal transition to a circular economy, Dutch Water Authorities
Bert van Son, CEO, MUD Jeans, a sustainable and fair-trade denim brand based in The Netherlands
Laura Luchtman, Designer, “Living Colour: biodyeing with bacteria” project, Rotterdam
Tjeerd Veenhoven, Product Designer, Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven and Wishful Doing Foundation, Groningen
Dr. Lucie Huiskens, Co-founder and Program Coordinator of the Dutch innovation network of the fashion sector CLICKNL|NextFashion and Consultant to the Centre of Expertise Future Makers (FM) at ArtEZ University of the Arts
Urban Living Lounge
Next to the Embassy Lab talk, our Living Colour textiles were displayed at the Neonyt trade fair in the Urban Living Lounge. The Urban Living Lounge – curated by Simon Angel – gave a taster of the thematic focus of the upcoming Techtextil in Frankfurt in May and its special event Urban Living – City of the Future in cooperation with the Dutch creative industries Creative Holland. Next to our Living Colour textiles other products from Atelier NL, Neffa, Veld & Vaas, Studio Tjeerd Veenhoven, Billie van Katwijk and Interface modular flooring.