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Looking to the future

I AMSTERDAM 2019 - 07 - 27

Unfortunately, the world’s issues aren’t going to disappear overnight. But the push for sustainable style isn’t going to vanish, either. Antoinette van den Berg, a trend forecaster and creative director of the RE LOVE Foundation, which promotes reuse, retouch, restyle and repair clothing, believes companies don’t have a choice. "It’s absolutely the most important thing for the future," she says. "We will all have to consume less. People say it’s not good for the economy, but in the end, it’s either that or we don’t exist anymore.” Van den Berg’s words don’t just reflect her personal feelings: They reveal what she believes people want from the fashion industry. "Consumers are not going to buy from companies that behave badly towards the Earth. The ones who don’t care, they are out." She thinks companies should treat the demand for sustainable style the same way they would any other trend – from polka dots to flared jeans – and give people what they crave. She also says minimising the consumption of new clothing is the way forward, whether that means buying secondhand, repurposing old textiles or transforming used pieces into new ones. "Everybody is focusing on sustainable production, which is good, but it still means you can consume as much as you want. The most efficient solution is simply to consume less new stuff. That is the next thing we are going to realise.” Though this sentiment might scare some retailers, it’s unlikely to bother other leaders of Amsterdam’s sustainable style scene. They understand the importance of quality over quantity and know dressing well goes beyond carrying a different bag every day of the week. Consumers are also catching on, looking for pieces they can buy in good conscience. There’s little point in looking pretty, after all, if it leaves you feeling ugly on the inside. Thankfully, Amsterdam’s sustainable designers are paving the way for a wardrobe overhaul for all of us.

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