The exhibition A Fashion Odyssey is the result of three young designers’ quest to create garments marrying sustainability and style. The Designhuis in Eindhoven displayed the clothes by Iñiy Sanchez, Elsien Gringhuis and Berber Soepboer and screened a video in which they discussed choices they faced during the design process. Javier Barcala, whose organisation The Believers promotes sustainable fashion, officially opened A Fashion Odyssey on 14 April.
Environmental responsibility has long been a focus of interest in fashion. More and more brands are putting out sustainable lines and outlining on their websites how and where their clothes are produced. Yet the production chain, from fibre to sewing, is so complex that it is not yet possible to define “sustainable” precisely. The industry's rapid cycle means “sustainable fashion” is an irreconcilable paradox. If clothing production is to become responsible in every respect, fashion as a consumer good must be assessed from a cultural-philosophical angle.
Speakers at the related A Fashion Odyssey symposium in June 2011 included André Veneman, AkzoNobel’s director of sustainability; Carlos Teixeira of the design department at Parsons The New School for Design; and Catarina Midby, a trend coordinator and sustainability spokesperson for H&M. David Shah, a trendwatcher and the director of Metropolitan Publishing, acted as moderator. The symposium was a production of the dAcapo supplementary events programme and the fashion design professorship at ArtEZ Institute of the Arts, the certification specialists Control Union World Group, and the Arnhem Mode Biennale.