War on Want is a UK based charity that fights poverty in developing countries together with grassroots organisations and people affected by globalisation.  Especially since the Rana Plaza factory collapse the fashion world woke up to the ugly truth of globalisation, I remember I did! Instead of fostering growth through innovation and passing on knowledge to the people & communities in the countries that are manufacturing our cheap clothing, globalisation shifted the power to huge transnational companies who started operating free of any social, economic or environmental concern.

Fast fashion is one big problem of our commercial clothing industry. It exists because of the huge consumer demand for incredibly low priced fashion, which creates a vicious cycle where one feeds the other...  I decided I no longer want to be part of it because at the end of the day we as consumers have the power to choose (wisely;)

To reduce my fashion consumption I set myself a wardrobe challenge to not buy any new clothes and instead either swap, buy vintage or refurbish!  I have to be honest, I do fancy something new to wear every so often and it is only natural that you go off certain shapes after a while!
This summer I started to scan my wardrobe for things that I still like but which I am not wearing for one reason or another.  First thing I chose was this leopard-print top.  I absolutely love animal prints but found the shape slightly unflattering.  To introduce a little fabric interest and translate it into a more drapey silhouette I inserted some metallic black jesrey left overs and fixed my need for new ;)


If you have similar tops or tees you want to fix-up for a new summer look you can follow the step by step upcycle-tutorial.


Friday afternoon upcycling sessions have become a little treat since I rarely find the time - they are incredibly fun and a fab way to get fresh inspiration! 
This time I was in the great company of stylist & sustainable fashion expert Renata Hori.  Renata has recently launched her social accessory label KNOT featuring bags & jewellery made from golden grass that will showcase in next months upcycling show celebrating the 50th anniversary of Waste Management Association AWISTA.
ROHstoff & KNOT collaborated on a small series of dresses upcycled from pre-used mens shirts to underpin the bags on the catwalk.  
The brief was to create garments which would mirror the conceptual and geometric aesthetic of the bags using consciously considered materials.  It was an intense process to deconstruct, re-shape and re-assemble the shirts but absolutely exciting to polish a new look by giving these old garms a new lift!  The impromptu photo shoot afterwards left us with plenty of material to feed our instagram from which we already received amazing feedback and one order!!  

The fashion show wertSTOFF z├╝ndSTOFF – eco fashion, recycling & upcycling in cooporation with Zimt Casting will take place on 19th June 2015 at 7pm at Wertstoffhof, Petersbrunnerstr. 3b, 82319 Starnberg.


So it happens sometimes that life feels suffocating because you have taken on too many tasks (me last month - sorry for the long silence!) and then you step out of the U-bahn one day, the sun shines in your face, there is music in the air and you enter a great space filled with art, knowledge and unreserved people (me last night) and you suddenly get your spark back (ahh :)

Following a spontaneous invitation by textile designer Olga Tiernan, who I interviewed the week before when travelling to Ireland, I found myself at the Irish Embassy in Berlin for the opening of Bungalow Bliss.  For this new exhibition Berlin-based Irish artist Adrian Duncan paired up with Olga to showcase a brief series of works based on a publication of Jack Fritzsimon's catalogue of plans with pre-designed Irish houses that populated the Irish landscape throughout the 1970s until the 1990s.

I was captured by the enthusiasm in which both artists re-interpreted the style of the buildings they grew up with and how components of particular memories translated into new works of art.  Adrian used photographs, collages and video installation to map styling details of the bungalows past which were an authentic expression of what was going on in Ireland at the time and Olga's centrepiece was a hand-printed canvas length with a repeated screen print design representing the cladding used on the outside of the houses.  Having grown up in a bungalow-style house herself Olga felt inspired by the pastel painted rooms of her childhood memories - hues she re-created for her piece and which illustrate how memories shape the cultivation of our aesthetic values and build the framework for creative inspiration.

Back in Dublin Olga co-runs the very successful screen-printing collective PRINT BLOCK, a membership based print studio that offers screen-printing workshops as well as affordable access to a fully equipped professional textile print facility.
PRINT BLOCK is definitely worth a visit should you happen to pass by Dublin and makes for a great & memorable experience... ;)