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Design and Architecture

La Mode en Vert at Shanghai Fashion Week


Title: Shanghai Fashion Week
Date: October 8-12, 2021
Venue: Ulio space, 1F Expo Shanghai Mart,No.2299 West Yan’an Road,
Changning district, Shanghai
Theme: La Mode en Vert, Sustainable Fashion of Switzerland
Designers and Brands: FREITAG, YVY, Rafael Kouto, Forbidden Denimeries, Palmagente, NINA YUUN

La Mode en Vert
Sustainable Fashion of Switzerland Debuts at Ulio Space of Shanghai Fashion Week

Switzerland undoubtedly tops Europe in terms of balancing economic development and environmental protection. Even in fashion, sustainability is the first thing that comes to Swiss minds rather than trends. The idea of “sustainable fashion” has impacted researchers, manufacturers, designers, and consumers, changing the industrial landscape bit by bit.

The La Mode en Vert exhibition, supported by Pro Helvetia Shanghai, Swiss Arts Council, will be unveiled in the Ulio Space of the Shanghai Fashion Week from October 8th to 12th, 2021. It intends to boost communication between Chinese and Swiss fashion industries and explore the hot issue of “fashion circulation”.

Ms. Mimi Yan, a Chinese curator, was invited to curate the two-chapter exhibition that will mark the Swiss fashion industry’s debut in China with the advise from Swiss fashion expert Ms. Lilla Wicki. The main display zone features FREITAG and 5 other signature brands – YVY, Rafael Kouto, Forbidden Denimeries, Palmagente, and NINA YUUN – which will make their debuts in China at this exhibition. It is expected their presence will propel more exchanges on sustainable fashion between China and Switzerland.

The other chapter offers a panoramic view of Switzerland’s latest efforts and accomplishments in sustainable fashion development via photos and texts from the four perspectives of researchers, manufacturers, designers, and consumers:

For researchers, the exhibition presents Haelixa’s digital traceability program and the Silk Memory program of the Lucerne University. The former is able to trace fashion raw material from farm to retail, and drives industrial transformation towards a transparent worldwide supply chain of consumer goods. The latter, an online museum, allows the public to gain knowledge of the rise and fall of the Swiss silk industry and its heritage, and advocates more sustainable ways of thinking by reflecting marvelous textile works in the past.

As for manufacturers, the exhibition features Swiss Flax and QWSTION. The former, a 2021 Green Business Award of Switzerland nominee, has tried to cut down carbon emissions by making the logistics chain shorter through bringing manufacturing of textile raw materials back to Switzerland. The latter develops Bananatex®, the world’s first durable, waterproof fabric made purely from Banana trees. This outer material has a wide range of application scenarios in apparel and inner decoration.

For designers, the exhibition presents an array of designer brands like After Work Studio, Jacqueline Loekito and four sustainable trends: Upcycling solution, Re-born craft, sustainable leather, and Seasonless & gender-neutral design. In this way, it shows that young Swiss designers are beginning to see sustainability as more important, and environmental conservation, earth, life and labor as their missions.

For consumers, the exhibition presents topics of concern to the Swiss community and consumers in the field of fashion circulation, such as sustainable logistic services for online shopping, reuse of old clothing, and support for local manufacturers, which are all practices in sustainable consumption worthy of further study.

Designers and Brands


#wastematerials #recylcling


FREITAG is familiar to many Chinese consumers, especially Gen Z. The industrial transformation in Switzerland came to its end in 1990s when the main task was to renovate old industrial bases in cities to attract people who had moved to other places due to transportation and environmental problems. The government started to advocate sustainable lifestyles, infiltrating postindustrial romanticism into the whole society. Under this backdrop, Daniel and Markus Freitag designed and made a messenger bag out of waste materials including the truck’s tarpaulin, the inner tube of a bike, and safety belt of a car, marking the birth of the brand FREITAG. From then on, “recylcling” has been assimilated into the brand philosophy and refers to reuse materials, and more importantly, has become the foremost principle for all strategies and actions, influencing social practices like manufacturing, urban life, and community building.


#sustainableleather #natural


YVY, founded by swiss designer Yvonne Reichmuth, fuses traditional craftsmanship and avant-garde designs. It uses only sustainable leather that uses a byproduct from the food industry due to sympathy and respect for life, making sure that no animal involved is killed for the skin. Most leathers are treated by vegetable tanning, a century-old process that mainly utilizes natural tannins. With only natural oils and pigments, it is safer for workers and the environment. Therefore, YVY clothes have been chosen by many celebrities including Monica Bellucci, Taylor Swift, and Janet Jackson, etc.

Rafael Kouto

#avant-grade#, #experimental#, #slowfashion#


Rafael Kouto, founded in 2017, is an avant-garde, experimental and conceptual fashion brand. In line with sustainable manufacturing and the “slow fashion” idea, it designs creative and affordable good quality clothes through pre-and post-consumption up-cycling technologies, which embody unique and visionary African and Western aesthetics. All collections are elaborately created by local handicraftsmen in the hope of amplifying the textile industry’s influence on environmental sustainability.

Forbidden Denimeries

#denim, #eco-friendly fabric


Forbidden Denimeries is a brand that only reinvents or upcycles sustainable and waste denim, ranging from casual workwear to haute couture.  The brand promises sustainable elegance through innovative finishing techniques such as laser engraving. For example, the cotton used to produce denim is cultivated in the tropics where rich rainfall accounts for 92% of irrigation water. In this way, water resources vital to animals and human beings are conserved, and origin traceability is made possible. This brand employs laser engraving technology to ennoble denim without resorting to a washing process that requires huge quantities of water and chemicals.


#swimwear, #sequin technology


Palmagent, the only swimwear brand at this exhibition, believes that body images start on the inside. Its creations fit women of all sizes, helping them rediscover their inner confidence. Thanks to its exclusive cooperation agreement inked with Jakob Schlaepfer, a premium Swiss fabric manufacturer that has won many awards, the brand has been authorized to use fabric enhanced by unique sequin technology. Jakob Schlaepfer will also participate in this exhibition as a representative manufacturer.


#extendable, #sustainability


NINA YUUN stands for inspiration, sustainability, and aesthetic elegance. The Korean-Swiss womenswear label has its designs created in Switzerland and clothes made in designated factories in Korea that are renowned family-based small studios with decades of expertise. With proper care, a NINA YUUN piece can last for 2 years. To extend the life span of clothes, the brand offers reinventing and upcycling services.


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