Russian Eco Fashion Week held in Moscow for the first time

June 18, 2012 Sofya Raevskaya
The green movement, although only nascent in Russia, is already gaining momentum.

The first Russian Eco Fashion Week was held at Moscow State University’s Botanical Apothecary’s Garden. Source: Elena Pochetova

The first Russian Eco Fashion Week was held at Moscow State University’s Botanical Apothecary’s Garden in the beginning of June. Eco clothing is clothing made of natural materials and produced on the “reuse, reduce, recycle” principle; it is often designed in ethnic styles. Eco Fashion Week was a kind of trade fair, which incorporated master classes in sewing, plaiting and beading with green tea tasting and shows by green designers. 

The idea of an Eco Fashion Week developed about 18 months ago when the Russian environmental movement ECA and its partners held the Eco Fashion Weekend “Go Green!”, which proved very successful.

The new event aims to continue the momentum of eco-friendly awareness in Russia. ECA, one of Eco Fashion Week’s principal organizers, was set up in 2010, and has already expanded into 45 of Russia's regions. Every year, ECA holds special events, such as organizing volunteers to plant millions of trees across Russia.

This year, ECA launched the Eco Fashion Week as a standalone project, managed by group leader Marina Kokorina. “Our plans are to develop the Russian Eco Fashion Week as a separate brand into an important annual event held by our movement. Now that the week is over, we are planning to stage a whole range of other events – workshops, conferences, mini fashion shows as part of other events – during the year running up to the next Eco Fashion Week,” Kokorina said.

During the day, event visitors enjoyed shopping at the eco-friendly trade fair, which featured handmade bijoux, handcrafted glassware, and eco friendly footwear and clothing, including designer items. Designer Ekaterina Shchukina brought along her collection of felt fur clothing – very fine fur imitating animal skin. Wool felting is a very ancient method of making non-woven fabrics. In her work, Shchukina uses only undyed and uncombed sheep’s wool that has not been processed in anyway. This eco-friendly fur, created using soap and water with nothing but handwork involved, helps save animals’ lives while also letting people enjoy beautiful and unusual garments.

Another designer – Alina Belousova – created a unique collection of accessories using components from used computers, radio parts, and obsolete hi-tech materials. Through her work, the metal junk received a second life while the emissions that would have resulted from destroying it never got into the atmosphere.

The highlight of the week, however, consisted of the fashion shows by green designers. The catwalk was mounted in a greenhouse and the audience sat on haystacks. Baskets were along the catwalk provided apples for everyone.

The aim of Eco Fashion Week was to create an unparalleled platform in Russia to permit designers, both those just starting out and those already known, to demonstrate their take on eco clothing and eco fashion. Additionally, the organizer hope the event will create in Russia a new community of eco-friendly designers, bring the concept of fashion up to date with green trends, and promote and popularize new eco-friendly clothing brands.

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