Free Shipping Free Shipping
Free returns within 14 days Free returns within 14 days
Made in Austria Made in Austria
19 Fashion Changers Autorinnenfoto c emilie elizabeth

Meet the Female Led Community Demanding Change in the Fashion Industry

Fash­ion Changers are an incred­ible Ber­lin-based organ­iz­a­tion foun­ded in 2017 by three pas­sion­ate women: Vreni Jäckle, Nina Loren­zen and Jana Braumüller. They foun­ded this com­munity with the aim of mak­ing fair fash­ion more vis­ible in the media. Through cre­at­ing inspir­ing con­tent and set sus­tain­ab­il­ity agen­das, they bring media togeth­er, both online and off­line. Through their book, they cur­ate twenty design­ers and labels to show­case how sus­tain­ab­il­ity can be put at the fore­front and fair fash­ion can change the world. For their 2020 edi­tion, they selec­ted none oth­er than neubau eye­wear to be a part of this select group!

To cel­eb­rate the launch of their book and our part in it, we sat down with the ladies behind the scenes to dis­cuss their early days, fash­ion act­iv­ism and a lot more!

Q1) Can you tell us a little about Fashion Changers and how the three of you came together?

Before we met in real life, we met on the inter­net. All three of us used to have blogs and magazines touch­ing on sus­tain­able fash­ion. Vreni set up a Face­book group won­der­ing who else is out there writ­ing on sus­tain­able top­ics — and that’s how we met digit­ally. In 2016, a former col­league of ours organ­ized a get togeth­er for fair fash­ion blog­gers and that’s where we met for the first time in real life. In Janu­ary 2017, we decided to put togeth­er anoth­er com­munity meet-up. From then on, we were insep­ar­able and kept organ­iz­ing com­munity events for con­tent cre­at­ors. From the very begin­ning, the idea was to bring the fair fash­ion com­munity togeth­er, cre­ate syn­er­gies and mobil­ize people for action chal­len­ging the status quo of the fash­ion industry. It was Vreni who even­tu­ally came up with the name Fash­ion Changers” — that’s how we call every­one who wants to change the fash­ion industry for the better. 

19 Fashion Changers Autorinnenfoto c emilie elizabeth
Q2) What is fashion activism and how can one be a fashion activist in their day-to-day lives?

To us, fash­ion act­iv­ism goes bey­ond writ­ing or talk­ing about the issues of the fash­ion industry. We want oth­ers to rethink our des­ig­nated roles as so-called con­sumers and reas­sume our roles as act­ive cit­izens demand­ing a fash­ion industry that puts people and plan­et over profit. We are all part of the prob­lem but we can also all be part of the solu­tion. Use your voice — online and off­line. Online: sign online peti­tions and use your social media wisely. Off­line: talk to your friends and fam­ily and take your demands in the streets (but for now: stick with digit­al protests). Over­all, it’s import­ant to ask your­self: What are my val­ues and how can I make sure I live by those. When we call ourselves fem­in­ists, our clothes should embody exactly that — the belief that all people are equal and that we can’t exploit women in one coun­try to empower them in another. 

07 Fashion Changers Knesebeck Lena Scherer Mode Empowerment 02 Kopie
Q3) Sustainability has recently become a buzzword being used by too many fashion brands—how can one differentiate between an authentic and non-authentic brand?

First of all, it’s great that sus­tain­ab­il­ity can no longer be ignored — neither by polit­ics nor by com­pan­ies. As con­tent cre­at­ors, it’s our job to make sure we ask com­pan­ies the right ques­tions. And that we look out for any gre­en­wash­ing indic­at­ors. If the com­pany doesn’t provide any inform­a­tion on social and envir­on­ment­al stand­ards on its web­site or makes only very vague state­ments, that’s a red flag for us. Also as con­sumers, it’s best to stay away from com­pany-owned cer­ti­fic­ates — always look out for inde­pend­ent tex­tile cer­ti­fic­ates. Com­pan­ies that don’t allow extern­al audits are also sus­pi­cious of gre­en­wash­ing — trans­par­ency is key! What we need con­ven­tion­al com­pan­ies to do, is to change their busi­ness mod­el. Instead of adding so-called sus­tain­able col­lec­tions to their reg­u­lar col­lec­tions and throw­ing tons of money on mar­ket­ing cam­paigns, com­pan­ies should reduce the num­ber of col­lec­tions per year and invest money and resources in improv­ing sup­ply chains. Gre­en­wash­ing is def­in­itely a huge con­cern which is why we included it in our book.

02 Fashion Changers Melanie Hauke Kopie
Q4) Another important aspect of Fashion Changers is the relationship you’re developing between fashion and feminism. Could you explain this connection?

In fash­ion pro­duc­tion over 80 per­cent of work­ers are women. Women, who often are exposed to sexu­al har­ass­ment, unpaid over­time, poor and unsafe work­ing con­di­tions, no sup­port if they are preg­nant, with a wage that isn’t enough to sup­port them­selves or their chil­dren. Those are the women that sew the girl­power’ shirts we can buy in fast fash­ion stores. This is not only prob­lem­at­ic because it is a double stand­ard. We have to become aware that fem­in­ism is not some­thing only we should bene­fit from. Fem­in­ism should always be inter­sec­tion­al. A shirt – with a girl­power’ slo­gan or without should empower both: the woman who wears it and the woman who makes it.

01 Fashion Changers Zusatz Einleitung Lena Scherer
Q5) What are some of your successful projects from the past and what are you working on currently?

Our book just got pub­lished which is super excit­ing and a huge mile­stone for us.We sup­por­ted (and still do!) the #fairbylaw peti­tion that was ini­ti­ated by Lisa Jaspers. We handed over the peti­tion to the Min­istery of Labour and Social Affairs last year. Now we con­tin­ue to work towards a law that would make com­pan­ies respons­ible for their sup­ply chains.Our next big pro­ject is the Fash­ion Changers Con­fer­ence that will take place this fall. We want to cre­ate a space where pro­fes­sion­als from the fash­ion industry can spe­cific­ally learn about sus­tain­ab­il­ity and con­nect with each other.

Q6) What are some obstacles you face in changing legislation/ policies and perhaps even on changing people’s mindsets?

Chan­ging legis­la­tion is a long pro­cess. For the cam­paign #fairbylaw we col­lec­ted over 157.000 sig­na­tures. A lot of com­pan­ies are also in favor of cor­por­ate duty of vigil­ance law. The Fed­er­al Min­istry for Eco­nom­ic Cooper­a­tion and Devel­op­ment has already pre­pared a draft bill, but the Fed­er­al Min­istry for Eco­nom­ic Affairs and Energy and the Chan­cel­lory oppose a law that holds com­pan­ies account­able for their sup­ply chains. Both are try­ing to delay pos­sible legis­la­tion (which is part of the coali­tion agree­ment between CDU/CSU and SPD, in case a ongo­ing mon­it­or­ing shows that com­pan­ies can’t identi­fy their sup­ply chains), which in our opin­ion is a fail of demo­cracy. Our gov­ern­ment shouldn’t pro­tect com­pan­ies, but its people. It is our job to under­stand these power dynam­ics and eco­nom­ic­al interests and dis­mantle them one by one. And we have to keep up the pub­lic pres­sure — bring­ing togeth­er private cit­izens, non-profit organ­iz­a­tions, com­pan­ies and politi­cians and remind­ing policy makers of their responsibility. 

10 Fashion Changers Knesebeck Lena Scherer Interview Folkdays 007 Kopie
Subscribe to our newsletter and get 10% OFF!