Events

Blue Fashion Challenge 2017 Brings Sustainable Fashion to the Faroe Islands

Blue Fashion Challenge 2017 Brings Sustainable Fashion to the Faroe Islands
Written by Jennifer Nini

The Faroe Islands will play host to the Blue Fashion Challenge which will run from August 22 to 28. This sustainable fashion challenge will see 11 established fashion designers from the Nordics and North Atlantic region come together to create innovative sustainable designs using marine bio-materials available on the Islands such as algae and fish scales.

The fish industry plays a crucial role in Nordic countries. In the Faroes for example, it represents about 97 percent of total exports. Since the industry inherently farms ocean resources, maximising use of these commodities – including byproduct and leftover waste – makes sense from a sustainability viewpoint.

Blue Fashion Challenge Held at the Faroe Islands

And this is where the Blue Fashion Challenge comes in.

Organised by  Nordic Atlantic Cooperation (NORA), an intergovernmental organization funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers, the main aim of this challenge is to encourage fashion innovation and create potential new markets for goods produced from these natural materials.

“The philosophy of the Blue Fashion Challenge builds on a number of fundamentals from the field of sustainable fashion: designing for longevity, promoting the use of eco-materials, ensuring their responsible production, firing-up collaboration across regional supply chains to create ‘closed-loops’,” states its press release.

Blue Fashion Challenge-fish leather accessories 3 (1)

Picture of fish leather accessories taken at the Blue Fashion talk and fashion show in August 2016 in Malmo, Sweden. Photo credit: Julie Malmstrøm, Green Exchange

About the challenge

Eleven fashion designers will have just four days to finalise their sustainable design and present it to a judging panel made up of industry professionals and media commentators including Ethical Fashion Forum Ambassador Baroness Lola Young and Fashion Revolution’s Head of Policy Sarah Ditty. It will be chaired by renowned Canadian fashion photographer Tommy Ton.

The designers participating in the Blue Fashion Challenge are: KOLBRUN, Milla Snorrason, Nuuk Couture, Lizette S. Karrento, Marianne Mørck, Iben Bergstrøm, Freya Dalsjø, Shisa Brand, Lissi B. Andreassen and Frida Poulsen.

The judges will rate each design based on a pre-defined set of criteria connected with the event’s mission and overall philosophy.

Fashionable Bioeconomy. Models wore fashion from bio materials such as fish skin & raw milk

At the Fashionable Bioeconomy in the Baltic Sea Region, models wore fashion from bio materials such as fish skin and raw milk. Photo credit: Julie Malmstrøm, Green Exchange

During the week-long challenge, designers will get the chance to learn valuable skills whilst exchanging ideas that will help them build solid sustainable fashion careers. They will also have the opportunity to participate in inspirational tours and introductory events, and will have access to international fashion media.

Set against the stunning backdrop of the Faroe Islands’ valleys, cliffs and ocean, the Blue Fashion Challenge will help to raise the profile of sustainable fashion and cement the country’s reputation as a must-see eco travel destination.

But only time will tell if this event will help to repair some of the damage caused by the Faroes’ long tradition of commercial whaling.

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About the author

Jennifer Nini

Jennifer Nini is a writer, activist and the founding editor of Eco Warrior Princess. In 2010, after studying Fashion Business, she launched Eco Warrior Princess to explore her interests in fashion, politics, social justice and sustainability. Jennifer is also the founder of The Social Copywriter, a digital agency harnessing the power of copywriting and content marketing to help mindful businesses reach more people. When she’s not perfecting a sentence or coaching business clients, you will find her at her certified organic farm reconnecting with nature.

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