Back to basics has always been key at the house of Elsien Gringhuis - the young designer from Arnhem / Holland is known for her simple elegance and blending clean cuts with strong appeal by playing with unusual print techniques, silhouette and fabric interest.

Her new collection for Spring / Summer 2015 influenced by reigning principles of function and form which showcased at GreenShowroom's lush venue Hotel Adlon was no different.  Under the visionary title Elementary Elegance she takes fundamental pattern cutting to another level where garments adapt geometric shapes of circles and squares, erasing side seams on the way. The results are stunning, sculpture-like, coat dresses and angular tops made in fluidly silks with a strong & continuous focus on innovative print.  Long time collaborator and resourceful print designer Aliki van der Kruijs presented her method using ink sourced from printer waste, applying strong detail to sleeve and hem details.

Focusing on the timeless good looks of modern separates which can be layered up suiting changing climate conditions and combined with existing wardrobe pieces, the label clearly distances itself from the antiquated four-seasons-in-fashion model and puts emphasis on aesthetics, quality & practicality rather than trend.  Promoting a transparent production line, minimum waste & the use of organic fibers at the same time, Elsien Gringhuis gives us a strong outlook of hope how fashion can be consumed in future.

photos top & bottom:
photography: Sabrina Bongiovanni,  hair & make up: Charlotte Niketic @ House of Orange,  model: Anastassia @ Paparazzi Model Management,  prints: Aliki van der Kruijs


Isabell de Hillerin has a powerful vision:  to integrate modern silhouettes with values of handcrafted and slow fashion. The idea to look outside perceived limitations and rather concentrate on what she sees as fundamental principles like using handmade textiles by local artisans in Romania and Moldova to add to her gorgeous designs has been her signature since the start of her label back in 2009.

With her new collection Beyond the designer invites you to take some time to reflect on the essential in our fast moving environment and translates her inspiration into a strong & extremely wearable collection for S/S 2015. Sheer layers give way to beautiful clean cut silky tops and dresses in whites, muted greys and powdered neutrals.  Hidden tucks and pleats on below knee length culottes and draped blouses redefine an effortless elegance with an urban twist.  My absolute favourite pieces were the grey cape layered shirt and the white patent brogues - top of my personal wish list!

I'm thrilled to see a great designer whose production line is as transparent as the beautiful layers on the girls she sends out on the catwalk.  But what I love most about this collection is that the garments are investment pieces rather than seasonal fads - Isabell de Hillerin is here to stay!


Newcomer upcyclist Ramona Huppert brought a breeze of fresh air and diversity to the Lavera Showfloor stage with her catwalk presentation last week.  Under the name Urban Mountain Journey the designer explored ways of modern nomads and our emotional attachment to the things we surround ourselves with.  What is home - is it a place or the things we own? I've contemplated this as long as I can remember especially because I get bored in one place very quickly and have a habit of changing post codes almost every couple of years.  

Huppert has come up with a clever solution for everyone who loves taking their personal things with them at all times - even furniture!   With a touch of avant garde her experimental creations serve more than one purpose. The boxy jumper made from an old leather arm chair folds up to be a stool - providing the user with familiar cosiness of home when travelling. The backpack transforms into a messenger bag, saving you having to take to many bags on hols - the fact that it's made from leather left overs is an absolute bonus!  The entire collection is a great example for resourceful choice of material, innovative cut and exceptional design – giving us a vision of a bright future!


A fanatastic example for promoting upcycling on an industrial scale is Estonian designer Reet Aus who showcased the new collection of her label UpMade at the lush Hotel Adlon, venue of GreenShowroom Berlin.

"Our goal," she says, "is to influence consumer awareness and to aim for upcycling to be implemented into a regular production process."  To make this happen the label teamed up with partner Beximco, one of Bangladesh's biggest garment producing factories, using pre-consumer waste as source material for its accessories, gear and apparel. This way it manages to save on average 70% of water and create 88% less CO2 emission for each new garment in this collection. I was totally thrilled by Reet's conscious approach and clever way of combining textile left over with commercial design - the new collection include cut - about blouses and denim dresses, relaxed unisex boyfriend jeans from 100% recycled denim and gorgeous snug pencil skirts. One of my favourite pieces is the white arrow UpShirt featuring some great pattern cutting skills for the arrow centre piece - the only way is up, I reckon!

Photography: @ Reet Aus


It's the time of the year again!! This being my 4th season of Ethical Fashion Show at E-Werk Berlin I was absolutely thrilled to be back - seeing many familiar faces as well as meeting new ones.  First thing though I rushed to see the Safia Minney talk at the venue's spacy control room! After that I just had enough time to browse through the two massive exhibition halls of the fair until the upcycling fashion roadmap guided tour started at UFS.
The two labels that stood out for me this season were Lisa D's eco line and Päälä.  The latter proving to be a great alternative to your ordinary high street brand using only water based inks and 100% sustainable materials like organic cottons & Tencel for their graphic printed Tees & sweaters which were looking amazing and extremely soft. For Summer 2015 Annelot & Harm, the duo behind Päälä, extended their Tshirt-Only collection by introducing a few accessories like beach towels and printed totes.  Just like their Tshirts each product is screen printed by hand in their Amsterdam based studio.
The fab denim shift dresses at Lisa D mark the launch of her eco line for S/S2015 and are upcycled from old jeans and trousers decorated with vintage trims. You can even bring your own worn out pair to the Berlin based studio to give it a new second life!

Päälä is available at Flagshipstore, Oderbergerstrasse, 10435. Berlin from coming February


Safia Minney is an inspiration for anyone who loves clothes but is not prepared to support the fast fashion industry with their hard earned cash for the sake of low quality garments produced in sweat shops and under exhausting working conditions.
Last week the founder & CEO of Fair Trade and award winning fashion label People Tree followed an invitation by Ethical Fashion Week to Berlin's E-Werk. After taking a lift up two floors visitors arrived at the former control room of the venue that looked like one huge dash board with levers and buttons in various shapes & sizes setting the mood for sharing her remarkable story.  We were ready to be switched on to a new chapter in fashion industry.

She told us that when starting her career in advertising she soon realized that her work was to motivate people to buy stuff they really didn't need or want. With a clear understanding of future challenges like constrained resources, climate change, etc and a strong sense for social issues she took matters into her own hands and started her brand People Tree
By employing local farmers & artisans in developing countries the company helps to give back to some of the poorest people in the world whilst at the same time protect the environment by using organic as well as natural materials and craft skills.  
So not only does People Tree invite you to consume fashion consciously it also offers you a great choice to buy gorgeous clothes with a strong high street appeal and a sustainable production line. Double Yay! I'd say  


speckled drapes by INHEELS at UpcyclingFashionStore Berlin

spokes lamp that I so want!
Ethical Fashion Week kicked off with a bang when Upcycling Fashion Store Berlin presented the first ever Upcycling Fashion Roadmap together with visitberlin.de and Heimtextil covering a selection of exclusive Berlin shops, studios & events that offer upcycled products & designs.  For the launch event the store organised a guided tour with the very talented upcycling designer Mariángeles Aguirre showing fashion minded guests a few hi-lites from the map including:

Upcycling Fashion Store 
The cool space at Anklamer Straße in Berlin's up & coming Wedding disctrict is already the second venue since the store first opened its doors only four years ago. Since then their lines and labels have more than doubled and include special treats like From Somewhere & Antiform from the UK as well as the gorgeous draped tops from ecofriendly Tencel or cotton by newcomer Japanese brand INHEELS.
Anklamer Straße 17, 10115. Berlin, 
Mon - Frid 11am - 7pm, Sat 12 - 7pm

El Reinventor
Upcycled furniture at its best - Designer Daniel Carrion Rivas gives old musical instruments, bins and all sorts of other cool junk a second life.  Personal favourite: the spokes lamp, it actually radiates, casting shadows all over the ceiling when you hang it up.
Brunnenstr 26, 10119. Berlin

Bis es mir vom Leibe fällt
is the ideal address for revamping or even rescuing favourite wardrobe pieces. Alternatively you can mix & match any of your preloved clothes and design something completely new with the professional assistance of the superfriendly staff.
Hackeschen Höfe · Hof 4, Rosenthaler Straße 40/41, 10178. Berlin
Mon - Frid 11am - 7pm, Sat 11 - 6pm

Frankenstraße 1, 10781. Berlin
Mon - Frid 10am - 7pm, Sat 11 - 4pm

Water to Wine
The unique Berlin upcycling boutique is located in Berlin - Mitte. Labels include Wilfried PletzingerHá de HaverMargarete HäuslerROHstoffBeliya 
Auguststr. 82, 10117. Berlin
Mon - Frid 11am - 7pm, Sat 12 - 7pm

The creations of design duo Schmidttakahashi are extremely beautiful - their story is equally powerful so I decided to cover it in a seperate post :)
available at OUKAN
Kronenstrasse 71, 10117. Berlin
Mon - Sat 12 - 7pm


Avant Garde has returned to Berlin - well you wouldn't guess by its name that Bikini Berlin is the latest best of the new west.  Apparently the two tiered architecture of the building with a gap in the middle reminded Berliners in the 1950s of the daring new swimwear at the time - the bikini.
I absolutely love the name, the industrial & sleek interior and the concept of combining classy fashion brands of sustainable origin like vegan label UMASAN with pop up store cool.   Most of all I love the new SUPERMARKET Cafe & Shop on the roof top though.  It's deffo my new favourite hang out for Saturday brunches (Sundays they have a limited menu) & weekdays coffee'n'macbook work sessions.  The cool tray tables, ice cream shaded chairs and extremely comfortable cushioned benches overlooking the Berlin Zoo are all available for sale - so you can thoroughly test your new lounge ideas before you commit to anything ;)  The combined shop part resembles an urban art gallery space filled with visually inspiring & carefully picked living accessories as well as fashion.  There are even a few pieces of upcycled furniture like wooden cable spool tables scattered on the outside sun deck next to some wild blow up chesterfield sofas.  Among one of the most stunning pieces is an upcycled vintage street lamp from central Berlin promenade Friedrichstraße - though judging by its price tag its likely to remain in store for a little while longer...

  • BIKINI BERLIN Budapester Str. 38-52, 10787 Berlin, Germany