June 15th, 2010 by | 6 Comments »


CRADLE TO CRADLE® #Vortrag mit Mona Ohlendorf# 28.06.2010 20 UHR
Common Works
, Pflügerstraße 18, 12047 Berlin

„ Cradle to Cradle® kennt – wie die Natur – keinen Abfall, keinen Verzicht und keine Einschränkungen. Über biologische und technische Nährstoffkreisläufe werden die richtigen Materialien zum richtigen Zeitpunkt am richtigen Ort eingesetzt. Am Ende steht immer eine bessere Qualität. “ ( EPEA)

Durch den Vortrag leitet Mona Ohlendorf, die nicht nur in der Theorie des Cradle to Cradle® Konzeptes zuhause ist, aber bereits auch aus eigenen praktischen Erfahrungen schöpfen kann.
In diesem Jahr lancierte sie erstmals ihre Kollektion aus Cradle to Cradle® optimierter Baumwolle und steht in enger Zusammenarbeit mit dem Forschungsinstitut EPEA, dessen Gründer Prof. Dr. Michael Braungart gleichzeitig auch Erfinder des Cradle to Cradle®-Konzeptes („von der Wiege zur Wiege“) ist.

Im Anschluss bleiben Zeit für Fragen, Diskussionen und Austausch.
Da wie nur eine begrenzte Anzahl von Plätzen für diese Veranstaltung zur Verfügung haben, bitten wir euch im Vorab Bescheid zu geben,  ob ihr an der Veranstaltung teilnehmen möchtet.

Diskussionsplattform mit Marte Hentschel#
CommonWorksLebenskleidung und Maren Bartz , Siebenblau#05.07.2010 #20 UHR
Common Works, Pflügerstraße 18,12047 Berlin

Die Frage auf welche Weise es auch kleineren Designern und Labels ermöglicht werden kann ökologische und fair gehandelte Stoffe problemlos einzukaufen und welche Hindernisse sich ihnen momentan bei der Beschaffung stellen, ist Hauptfokus der Diskussionsplattform. Beleuchtet wird die Thematik von Marte Hentschel, ein Teil von Common Works, der Modeagentur für umweltfreundliche und sozialverträgliche Modeproduktion; Lebenskleidung, die sich dem Vertrieb ökologisch und sozial produzierten Textilien und textilen Produkten aus Indien widmen und Maren Bartz, die in Ihrem Laden in Berlin-Pankow und in ihrem Online Shop öko- faire Stoffe verkauft. Diese Plattform schafft Raum bereits existierende Lösungsmodelle weiter zu entwickeln und Kooperationen zu bilden, die den Weg bereiten um bestehende Hindernisse gemeinsam zu nehmen.

LOKAL UND NACHHALTIG! MODEPRODUKTION IN BERLIN! #mit Akteuren aus der Berliner Textilproduktion# 12.07.2010#20 UHR
Kunstfabrik am Flutgraben, Flutgraben 3, 12435 Berlin

Das Forum bietet den verschiedenen Akteuren aus der Berliner Textilproduktion die Möglichkeit sich und ihre Vision einer nachhaltigen, lokalen Produktion vorzustellen und mit anderen Akteuren und Köpfen aus der Mode- und Textilszene zu teilen.
Der gemeinsame Wunsch; den Erhalt der lokalen Textilproduktion und deren Bedeutung für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung herauszustellen, steht im Vordergrund.

Das Forum bietet den Platz für Austausch zwischen Designern und Produzenten, zwischen Produzenten und Produzenten, Gleichgesinnten, Interessierten, Kreativen und Grünen Köpfen um gemeinsam einen nachhaltige, lokale Entwicklung voranzutreiben und zu neuen fruchtbaren Kooperationen zu inspirieren.


June 7th, 2010 by | 3 Comments »

Grass Routes presents the Green City Tour

Thanks to perfect sunshine and a great mix of people from all over the world we could finally enjoy the first Green City Tour that took place last friday. Excited about what would wait for me I met everybody at the starting point, in front of the 2nd hand store right at Frankfurter Tor. Even though I followed the preparation for the Green City Tour as a project of Grass Routes , I did not exactly know where the Green City Tour would lead us exactly.

I got  very surprised by initiatives and projects that I had  never heard about before and I again felt Berlin’s routes as a city for many creative sustainable spirits.

The right place to have a Green City Tour like this.

We cycled along places in Friedrichshain, Kreuzberg and Prenzlauer Berg and next to exploring the diversity of sustainable places in Berlin, we also went pass historical sights watching them like many Berliner’s do on bikes.

To me the tour was a great inspiration and motivation on how there is always a way to improve things moving towards a more sustainable society and that all we need is creativity that is alive in each of us.

One of my favourites stops was Prinzessinnengarten, a concept of urban mobile agriculture. I got really inspired by the social business that has the vision of a future where every available space in big cities is used to let new green spaces bloom.

And soon neigbors might wonder about the radish embellishing my windows and .. I will be happy  to share it with them ,… !

Explore sustainable Berlin and join one of the next Green City Tours.

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June 4th, 2010 by | 5 Comments »

Grass Routes Presents: The THEKEY.TO ACADEMY

THEKEY.TO and Grass Routes proudly present the THEKEY.TO ACADEMY, offering an in-depth, six day training program in sustainable fashion during Berlin Fashion Week. Key experts and opinion leaders in sustainable fashion will share their experience and provide profound knowledge and inspiration to keep up with and contribute to the momentum of green and sustainable fashion.

The advance training for industry professionals covers the topics of sourcing, production, certifications, CSR, branding, design, retail and social business. The ACADEMY is directed specifically at designers working independently, product managers, supply chain and CSR managers, marketing and communication teams and newcomers to the green fashion business. The 6-day program will be held in English language and has a focus on facilitating discussion and exchange between expert speakers and participants in small international groups.

Running alongside of THEKEY.TO, the international event for green fashion, sustainable lifestyle and culture, the ACADEMY is an opportunity for networking and grants access to the trade fair venue and its exciting side program.

Speakers include Peter Ingwersen [Noir, Denmark], Ulrike Möslinger [Galeries Lafayette, Germany], Dr. Otto von Bush [Göteborg University, Sweden], Ulrike Wollenschläger [Textil Wirtschaft, Germany], Rolf Heimann [Hessnatur, Germany], Simone Seisl [MADE-BY, Germany], Jens Soth [Helvetas, Switzerland], Jana Kern [Kernkommunikation, Germany], Tony Tonnaer [former CEO of Kuyichi, Netherlands], Claudia Helming [Dawanda, Germany], Satish Chukkapalli [Zameen, India], Bernd Hausmann [Glore, Germany], Noel Klein-Reesink [Karmakonsum, Germany], Kirsten Brodde [Author, Germany].

Limited places available. Apply now HERE to reserve your place!


May 25th, 2010 by | 2 Comments »

How To Turn Waste Into Something Beautiful

According to the British Department for Environment (Defra) 2 million tonnes of textiles are consumed in the UK each year with approximately 50% destined for landfill. Of this over 1 million tonnes is clothing and 0.5 million tonnes is collected for reuse or recycling. Similar figures are true for Germany; the German organisation FairWertung estimates that German households dispose of approximately 1.5 million tonnes of textiles and clothing each year. This is a huge amount and doesn’t even include pre consumer waste, off-cuts and damaged fabrics that go to waste even before the new collections hit the stores.

Go Green Bag by Ecoist

But there is an increasing number of brands out there who utilise exactly this problem as the starting point for their collections. They give new life to unwanted clothing, disposed plastics and production leftovers. Among them are recycling pioneers From Somewhere and Junky Styling but also younger brands like Dirtball who make eco-friendly apparel for action sports, claiming that for every 100,000 pieces they produce they keep 700,000 water bottles out of landfills. English Retreads repurposes inner tubes collected from local truck stopps and turns them into eco-chic handbags and accessories. Ecoist works with major companies, such as Coca-Cola and Disney, and fashion and industrial designers to make handbags and other products from post-industrial waste, thereby preventing millions of candy wrappers from ending up in landfills. Mia fuses recycled second-hand clothing, that is imported from Europe and the US to be sold on Malawian street markets, with traditional Malawian textiles.

All of these brands convincingly demonstate that something that most of us would just regard as useless waste can actually be turned into something beautiful. Waste can reveal a huge potential and economic value if we rethink the way we deal with it. This is also the opinion of a research programme called The Waste of the World that examines how rethinking waste impinges on some of the core concerns of contemporary social science.


May 6th, 2010 by | No Comments »

Every Leather Boot kills an Amazon Tree

Leather just a waste product? An interesting report by Greenpeace shuffles up the discussions on Leather. Even among sustainability experts, leather is often regarded as a waste product of the meat industry, and so sustainable shoe designers often work with vegetable tanned leather.

Greenpeace directly attacks the fashion industry, and makes them co-responsible for the immense destruction of Amazon forests for the meat and leather industry. Also, and especially, those that are “Made in Italy”.

In a recent blog post, shoe company Terra Plana states, that “it’s the fashion industry, rather than the meat one, that is driving an increase in cattle farming”. For Terra Plana, known to have a progressive sustainable policy, this is a reason to focus more and more on non-leather alternatives. An interesting standing point that provokes other sustainable footwear companies to take standing as well.

There are some organic leather projects, but most “sustainable leather” isn’t organic, it’s just about the tanning. So, if this is all true, what should be the alternative? Vegan shoes? Salmon leather? Barefoot? Cradle to cradle shoes? Just some less rainforest for your next fashion item?


May 1st, 2010 by | 5 Comments »

Ethical Fashion – what does the future hold?

I met Frans on his recent trip to London, when he visited the Ethical Fashion Forum, that I currently support as a volunteer. And this is my first contribution to the grass routes blog, hope you enjoy it.

Yesterday I went to the Ethical Fashion Forum’s monthly social networking event, which this time focused on ‘Ethical Fashion: What does the future hold?’. It was hosted by the Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) in their lovely ethical fashion pop up shop on Carnaby Street. A perfect location to talk about green fashion surrounded by green fashion!

Almost 80 people – quite an increase from only 12 in January – joined in for this event, which started off with three inspiring presentations. EJF held a passionate speech about their latest campaign on climate refugees. Think Act Vote inspired us to think positively about our future and the votes we cast, and invited everybody to participate in their campaign by telling them what future you choose. And Forum for the Future introduced us to their Fashion Futures 2025 report.

I had already read the Fashion Futures report a month ago, but was again impressed with its thought-provoking scenarios of the world in 2025 and the role of the fashion industry within it. A world where resource shortages, climate change and population increase will challenge companies and consumers to explore new paths. I’d encourage everybody to have a look at the report or watch the animations as they are really inspiring and beautifully-designed.

After that much food for thought, most people treated themselves to a glass of organic wine, which also helped to encourage them to style themselves in ethical fashion and have their picture taken as part of an Ethical Fashion Photo Shoot. A lot of attention was drawn by Goodone’s beautifully designed dresses and tops, made from recycled garments mixed with end of line virgin cloth. I was tempted to buy one of the dresses myself, first because it really looked georgeous, second because I like Goodone’s approach of collaborating with retailers and big brands to create solutions for reusing or minimising their waste by turning it into beautiful clothes.

Whoever plans a trip to London is very welcome to join us at one of the next networking events every last Thursday each month!


April 30th, 2010 by | 9 Comments »

Green Aid: Guerrilla Gardening for Everyone

You’ve just got this irresistible feeling to do some guerrilla gardening but forgot to bring your seed balls? No worries! The green aid project have started to sell them via candy machines so you can easily green up your neighbourhood with a simple grab-and-go.. The life of an gardening guerrilla have never been so easy!

Via Farmblogger