SHE’S MERCEDES × MBFW: »SUSTAINABILITY: THE LUXURY OF OUR FUTURE« // AW22
Mercedes Benz started its initiative „She’s Mercedes“ in order to support women, connect them with each other and offer a room to exchange ideas, discuss new perspectives and learn from each other. In order to do so, She’s Mercedes organizes networking events and its own magazine, where women from the Mercedes Benz network offer insight into their path and provide advice.
Today She’s Mercedes invited Jessie Weiß (Entrepreneur and founder of Journelles), Mandie Bieneck (Co-Founder of Press Factory and founding member of Fashion Council Germany), Guya Merkle (Founder and CEO of Vieri Responsible Jewelry) and Julia Leifert (Founder and Designer of the eponymous fashion label) to talk about one of the most important topics of the fashion industry: Sustainability.
During her work as a journalist and fashion blogger Jessie Weiß took a step back from having to buy every it-piece she was exposed to. „Now I really enjoy looking at these designs and writing about it, but I don’t need to own every single piece anymore.“ She continued to state, that she is investing in very classic pieces and enjoys wearing the clothes she bought 10 years ago the same way as the few new garments she buys once in a while.
Julia Leiferts label was founded on the base of sustainability and was not incorporated after its launch. She felt like the fashion industry could not feed her needs regarding sustainability and design which inspired her to found her label.
Guya Merkle inhereted her familys jewelery company. That was the time she started to dig deeper into how gold is mined and was shocked about the circumstances. She founded the Earth Beat foundation to protect the workers as well as the environment during the process of turning gold into beautiful jewelry. Shortly after she started designing her own designs with her label Vieri Fine Jewelry, where she only uses recycled gold and raw materials in order to be more responsible. Guya accented that the change that everybody preaches sustainability and promise change but the change is does not arrive on the ground where the people are still exploited in order to maximize profit.
Made Bieneck, who is one of the founding members of Fashion Council Germany and Co-Founder of Press Factory, and has worked for ages in the fashion industry. She adresses the responsibility lies likewise in the society as well as the politics. A bigger change needs to happen instead of empty promises from marketing offices.
The most important learning was that designs that are made by exceptional craftsmanship need to be appreciated and worshipped again. Most people don’t realize the worth of their clothing anymore and how much time and effort goes into making these garments. Also there needs to be more education about under which circumstances designs are made. The current consume is simply wrong. Wearing a garment just three times is the norm nowadays and needs to change rapidly. Investing into classic staples and opting for sustainable designs would be the first big step into a better future.
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Words by Lea Egerer