Last week second-year Management students transformed the Kohnstammhuis into a showcase of twenty-five creative stands, constituting the annual Blue Fair. Most consumers don’t know that denim production is one of the most environmentally harmful processes in the industry. The innovative denim concepts boldly revised the stained image of the often abused word sustainability.
After several weeks of concept development, the students were ready to present their circular business models to the public. Through an interactive experience, visitors were invited to learn more about the students’ forward vision on the denim sector, while the teachers analytically questioned each group. Teacher Carolina van Gerven: ‘The enthusiasm, the effort, all the hard work and most of all, the interesting and sometimes even brilliant ideas… it all comes together. Expressing an idea in 3D, which was born on paper, is in fact calibrating each group member’s focus and that makes the concept idea much stronger.’
With their 3D installation, the kids brand Hi Five interpreted their concept in a fun and exciting way, not only attracting the children, but also their parents. Typical denim material such as cotton was replaced by a blend of hemp and Lyocell. This material incorporated the five senses by applying various coatings to the denim, as well as other gimmicks including edible hangtags.
‘Some people feel the rain and others just get wet’ was the slogan of Hiems. After getting inspired by the biological system and materials with self-healing properties, the group of students aimed at the creation of rain protective outerwear with recovery features.
Further innovations were presented by SMUG. The special thing about this women’s brand is its Titanium Dioxide finish that turns smog into oxygen. The stand also breathed sophistication, as it was accessible from the out- as well as the inside, exemplifying the circular shape of the economy.
Dressing characters instead of people was the offbeat philosophy of Fandom Denim (FNDNM). The unisex jeans brand enables people to express their personal style and character in an energetic and positively stubborn way without focusing on age or gender, but with a mindful approach towards nature .
In a nutshell, the Blue Fair emphasized the importance of sustainable development within the denim industry and did not only attract fashion experts, but also the general public. Above all else, the visually inviting stands and professional level of the fair presented a stage for exchange and a flow of information in an enjoyable atmosphere.
Text: Naomi Pire and Enni Mönkediek, second-year International Fashion & Management students.
Photography: Isabel Janssen, second-year Fashion and Branding student.