Beyond Green Symposium

Biomimicry: Garments inspired by nature adapting to the surrounding.

A day of inspiring, big & small ideas, joining forces and having fun saving the planet in a creative way organized by the Amsterdam Fashion Institute for the fifth time.

Being sustainable in a competitive, capitalist and ruthless business, which has profits at heart solely since the industrial revolution, is more than hard. At times it seems basically impossible. The Beyond Green Symposium gives hope that a seemingly impossible task can be accomplished and inspires the future of fashion big time.

Who would have thought that biologically simple plant like the algae could contribute majorly to safe the planet? Creative British minds have accomplished not only to make aesthetically pleasing air fresheners with this multicellular organism, they were also able to mess with its DNA programming to the point where the plant grows itself into lovely lace. A simple start of a big idea, which could lead the way to, modified plants growing garments by themselves.

Nature can and should serve as the mainspring of inspiration for solutions in the matter of saving the planet. Nature never destroys itself. It works in circles. So should we. By taking natures principles and turn them into design. The magical word is biomimicry. In Carole Collets speech, a French mind set free at Central Saint Martins, it became clear that designers of the future will not only work in ateliers but more so in laboratories. By making se of the intelligence of nature growing haute couture accessories on and with your own skin does not seem to be a loony’s dream so much.

Amazig lace: Algae growing itself into lace

Strolling down the street, promenading your fabulous wardrobe and make the world a cleaner place. A striking thought! The collaboration of a designer and a scientist will make this possible in only a few years. A special treatment of your garments will turn them into air cleansers without altering their appearance. Cities could have fresh air, clean streets and no more of the urinal scent that usually and unfortunately is one of their characteristics.

Not only lies sustainability in the big, it starts with the small things. Amazingly enough by simply wearing weather according clothes and give up on the folly of wearing your summer wardrobe in December a large amount of heating energy can be saved, namely up to 40%.

How is this utopia of a sustainable industry reachable though? It seems like an impossible undertaking, but by taking all the parts of the supply chain into account, pay attention to the small and the big, provoke a shift in profit oriented thinking and most importantly educating the future of the industry, it can be done.

Text by Thomas Lindenmann
Imagery by Marije Rottier

A small injection and your skin grows haute couture accessories.