Sunday, 19 November 2017

Czechs discovering green fashion

By Tereza Nosálková |
HOSPODÁŘSKÉ NOVINY |
14 October 2008

Think green – an environmentally friendly approach has become successful in as frivolous a business as fashion.

Czechs are starting to wear green fashion as well, with clothing made of fibers from PET bottles among their favourite pieces. More daring ones can buy a brooch made of an old vinyl record. Some two years ago, the company Rock Point decided to pay more attention to environmentally friendly fashion. It is not just about "green" marketing, they say, but also about their own approach to doing a business. In their case, is was a logical choice – they manufacture outdoor clothing, so their customers are people with a close relationship to nature.

"In foreign countries, there is a clear trend, and also a greater tradition of environmental education. But Czechs are increasingly interested too. There is a huge demand for example for fleece jackets made of fibres and knitted materials from PET bottles," says Tomáš Skala of Rock Point.

The company also sells products made of "100% recycled rubber" and with "100% recycled aluminium components". What we are talking about here are quite good-looking bags and their clips.

"But from the Czech point of view, these are rather products of the future," he added.

If Czech entrepreneurs decide to try their luck in the green fashion business, they can find a lot of inspiration abroad. Fashion shows presenting environmentally friendly outfits were part of such prestigious events as the Fashion Week in New York and London, which is regarded as the centre of ecological and ethical fashion.

Ethical fashion refers to materials - in particular cotton - from fair-trade programmes. The Czech News Agency reported earlier this year that the sale of environmentally friendly fashion in Great Britain had increased by 300% over the past year.

Czech fashion designer Josef Klír, who is better known for his luxury evening dresses made of fine materials, is also experimenting with recycled materials. For his last fashion show, he selected his materials among garbage – at an electrical appliances dump.

He did this as part of the event Nakrmte svého šrotozemšťana (Feed Your Scrapterrestrial), which took place in Prague a month ago and was to promote waste recycling.

"It was a one-off experience, although it was interesting. Thanks to existing technologies, the quality of synthetic fibers, for example, is almost as good as that of natural materials. But I definitely cannot imagine anybody here in Prague wearing an evening dress made from ventilators and washing machines," said Klír.

By contrast, Eliška Kůrková opts deliberately for slightly bizarre materials for the jewellery that she designs and then sells on the internet.

"My vinyl brooches, for example, sold out quite quickly. People want original jewelry," said Kůrková, adding that she also found inspiration for her products abroad.

Translated with permission by the Prague Daily Monitor.