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Sunday, 03 January 2010

What do you do when you want to discover the one country that remains a blank spot on the world map? A country we only hear about when it comes to missile launches and captured journalists rescued by Bill Clinton? What happens when you realize that the best way to get access to this country, is to start manufacturing jeans there? But then, how do you navigate the diplomatic back alleys and the lack of infrastructure and knowledge on how to make jeans?

Saturday, 26 December 2009

'Viva la Boheme' is the slogan of ecofashion store iki-M that I visited just before Christmas. And that is definitely how I felt the whole week, travelling through winter wonder Germany and Austria. While the snow covered Alpine landscape enticed us from the train window, we lost ourselves in Charles Dickens' stories. We feasted on great raw food at Greeny's and admired Alfons Mucha at the Hypo Kunsthalle in downtown München. In the Pinakothek I was happy to discover that museumshops offer the latest in green design books. Even the Christmas markets cater for LOHAS consumers offering bio sausages and yummy organic glühwein.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

If ethical fashion is 'in fashion', then what happens when it's 'out of fashion'? Thorstein Veblen saw (1899) saw fashion as the way to promote conspicuous consumption and contrasted it to valuable productivity. Looking at the amount of emails I receive lately on X-mas sales of ethical fashion brands and boutiques, I can't do else but adhere to this vision.

Sunday, 06 December 2009

Last week the Swiss people voted to ban the building of minarets which caused a huge uprise. My friends´response was to combine their Balkan party with some pro-Islam elements. The pre-party movie screening featured a film on the Balkan war which evolved around religious differences and to release frustration we competed for the title 'Best Minaret Builder' with the free download package of a paper minaret.

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Urbany, maturalism, (f)luxury, profile myning and embedded generosity: terminology that denotes some of the major trends for 2010. Whether you're an enthused entrepreneur, a rhapsodical researcher or a curious con/transumer (or maybe all three?), you'll find this Trendwatching overview a great read.

Monday, 16 November 2009

It’s raining. Again. Funny how rain always makes things look ugly. It makes buildings grey and gruesome. It makes people frown and act grumpy. Only nature looks good when it’s raining: drops are little diamants on leaves that appear fresher and greener than before.

I`m lost in a day-dream, thinking of my sabbatical a few years ago. First I travelled to West-Africa where I worked and lived for one year. I wanted to discover the reality of development cooperation I had a career in. Living in a slum I tried to unravel the mystery of poverty. Of people who buy things and when they break, they just don’t have the money to repair them. Of my neighbour who simply did not eat on the days her husband would not bring money home. Of the border police men who had to bribe me to be able to feed their families. Of the kids in my neighbourhood whom I took to the beach, a five minute drive from where we lived, only to found out they had never seen the ocean. Of the millions of plastic bags that together shaped science-fiction like landscapes sticking out from the dry soil. I felt guilty, I felt powerless and all my ideas on what sustainable development should be about just melted in that hot African sun.

Friday, 06 November 2009

As the leaves are falling, many of us long for some tenderness and warmth. Climate change makes our temperature rise and for those who need other teasers, there is plenty of inspiration nowadays. One could start with watching Angry Green Girls who get fired up by global warming. Some of their tips include save water, energy and money, but I am not sure they save on other resources. Another way to cocoon in an educational way is by viewing videos of former model and actress Isabella Rosselini. Don´t expect cliché pin-ups here, but some sexy hints towards environmentalism. For real life action you could travel to Berlin where Maison D´Envie offers an eco discount for customers who arrive by bicycle instead of car. ´The financial crisis hit us hard and this offer brings us back in business´, one of the ladies of pleasure comments in the Independent.


Monday, 26 October 2009

What inspired me this week?

The oikos students who told me about their ethical fashion projects in Prague and Reims;

The intriguing mural art in Belfast;

The plans to open The Hub in Zürich;

The new Spring/Summer collection by Andrea Crews that looks sexy rebellious;

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