Publicatie De Stentor
Text en productie by Phaedra Werkhoven
photography by Michel Beskers De Beeldgarage
Trend Forecaster Antoinette van den Berg predicts that wearing new clothing will be just as highly discussed and controversial as commercial flights in the near future. The fashion industry is a large polluter. We need to start recycling more clothing instead of just dumping and incinerating our old clothes.
According to Antoinette van den Berg, with her iconic blue hair, it’s clear. She sees a world in which second hand clothing becomes the standard, and recycled clothes will be fashionable. Originally from Gorssel, van den Berg shows us around in her Amsterdam studio to explain what she means. As a trend forecaster, she travels the entire world to speak at seminars and advise beauty and fashion labels. She recently started ‘Re-Love Fashion’ with a new message.
‘OUR FASHION BECOMES THEIR TRASH’
We can’t stop shopping in clothing stores, fashion by the pound at Primark. Clothing is dirt cheap at shops such as Bershka, Zara, and H&M. When we no longer want something, we give it away to a third world country without a thought. What happens to all the donated clothing? Trend Forecaster Antoinette van den Berg from Gorssel wants to open our eyes to an unsustainable and scandalous system.
“The fashion industry is the second largest polluter in the world. We’ve started to consume four times more weight in clothing than in previous years. It has to stop. Not only the production is polluting, our waste is too. We have to find a solution, together with the fashion labels, to reduce the flow of fashion. Why do we have to buy something new every time?”
The answer is simple: ‘because we can.’ Malls are filled with Primarks, Zaras and H&Ms. It’s fast-fashion, where you can buy t-shirts for a dollar. It all seems too good to be true, and fashion is available for anyone. The price, often too cheap to resist, makes us load up our shopping baskets. We’ve seen a lot of attention to the start of the fast-fashion chain, the working conditions in third world countries, but we must look at the end of the chain as well; the massive pile of garbage it all ends up in. The larger brands like Burberry, and also fast-fashion firms have been hitting controversy for burning their surplus collections.
Antoinette van den Berg will converse with any and all fashion labels. There’s big names like Marcel Wanders and Herman Wijffels in her foundation’s board of advisers. She explains the newest Gucci bag won’t have any significance in the future. “We will go from money dressing to purpose dressing. We will still want Gucci bags, but preferably a second hand one.” Van den Berg wants to make everyone aware of this change in behavior.
Her room is filled with racks of clothing she has collected over the years, from Burberry coats to bridal gowns, a rack full of Ralph Lauren polos, Zara, and all sorts of high end designer clothing. She has designed her own label: elbow patches with ‘Relove’ printed on them. They’re meant for jackets and polos. “I’m convinced it will no longer be accepted to buy new clothing every week to show off at work. In the future, we will make a statement by wearing retouched and reloved fashion. It will become a symbol of your status.” Van den Berg wants to show happy alternatives for the consumption of clothing.