My initiation to ethical fashion was thanks to an eye-opening adventure together with conscious and creative folks all over Europe. Have you ever heard of the European Union education programs? Programs like Erasmus+ and Grundtvig, for instance? That’s what “Chic & Ethic” was all about.
Grundtvig is part of the Life Long Learning programme funded by the EU. It aims “to provide adults with ways to improve their knowledge and skills, keeping them mentally fit and potentially more employable”, according to the official description on the EU Commission website. You should check it out, if you live in Europe, there are plenty of opportunities for learning.
What about Chic & Ethic? It had a two-year span and it was coordinated by seven partners, i.e. non profit organisations, based in Bucharest, Lublin, Athens, Liverpool, Pesaro, Izmir, Kaunas. It run from November 2009 to June 2011 and myself I was a member of the Greek team, facilitated by Fair Trade Hellas. The Greek team members were professional and amateur fashion or accessory designers. The amazing journey of training sessions all over Europe started in Italy (for me), and continued in Greece, Poland, UK, Turkey, Lithuania. One designer from each team was attending a different workshop in one of the participating countries .The project culminated in Bucharest, Romania, where all the participants showed the sustainable fashion collections they created during and exchanged insights and best practices.
The official website of the project is now offline, but here’s some impressions (Photography by me, except for the one that I’m featuring in, presenting the team & the project). You can see a selection of the dresses made with the technique of up cycling from the Greek team: we decided to work around the theme of climate change and we used the umbrella as the starting point of creation. It was an inspiring, life-changing experience and here I am now, starting my own sustainable fashion brand! Isn’t it amazing?