Rausch works as a professor at the TU Darmstadt. His presentation was the first in the series and highlighted a few key figures in advance: 40% of the world’s clothing is made of cotton. To produce 1kg of cotton, 11 000 liters of water are needed. The processing of cotton pollutes 50 billion liters of water every year.
Although Rausch stands behind no brand, he has encouraged the audience to use their power as consumers. It is enough to observe the evolution of the Aral Sea in the last 50 years. With this building block, the following speakers were able to present their relationship to cotton as well as their methods to save water.
The Dutchwoman is the chief designer of her own brand, Kukka, and co-founder of the project “Living Color”, which dyes fabrics using pigment-producing bacteria. Together with Ilfa Siebenhaar, Laura experiments with the natural coloring of natural and synthetic fibers. The coloring by bacteria offers amazing advantages. Bacteria only need room temperature to grow, little water and oxygen. Their diet can be made from waste from the agricultural culture. In the dyeing process, no chemicals are involved, in total up to 70% less water is used than is recommended for the sustainable coloring of fabrics. Above all, Laura emphasizes in her presentation that both natural and synthetic fibers can be dyed. The final result has protective and anti-microbial abilities even against UV rays.
At the moment, Laura is working with other companies to spread her coloring method.
The founder of MUD Jeans has revolutionized the denim world with his leasing concept. For a monthly amount of € 7.50 and a one-time registration fee of € 29 the jeans can be borrowed for a certain period of time and then returned. When they are in poor condition, they are simply cut up and processed into new yarn in Spain. All techniques are available to us, they are just a little more expensive.
Thus, the jeans of the brand consist of 40% recycled denim. In production as well as in the subsequent washing process, plastic is not used in any form. van Son encourages other jeans makers to use his techniques. Effects on the fabrics can be generated by laser and do not necessarily have to be harmful to the environment. In his words: “Sustainable fashion is not an option today but a must.