Fair fashion made in Austria, finally a trend that’s sustainable

Sustainability is all the rage these days, making the long overdue transition to conscientious consumption both a necessity and a fashion statement. Whether this stems from a sincere sense of concern or simply joining the trend may differ from person to person, but one thing is certain: the practices that create fair and sustainable products also create superior quality. We’ve never been checking labels as often as we do now. I was sold when a friend offered me a hoodie on a chilly evening. Grey and baggy, it seemed the most common thing in the world – until I put it on. It felt like somebody was hugging me. Somebody I liked. His name was Organic Cotton.

Fast fashion and careless treatment of natural resources is rapidly becoming untenable now that we’ve been made aware of the hidden cost to the planet and workforce. And for good reason. There is a certain comfort in wearing clothing labelled “this organic garment is made under fair conditions and with all our love” instead of hearing of yet another little sweatshop of horrors. While production is still “invisible,” we have developed a new consciousness for it.

Luckily for us, living in one of the greenest cities in the world, the fashion sector has taken notice and more and more sustainable brands have announced their launch in the steadily growing market niche for sustainable wear. Behind most of them are young, idealistic designers, who, apart from caring for the environment, want to create unique collections, a smaller scale version of “limited editions.” The 27-year-old Gregor Baranyai finds inspiration for his brand 12 dag feinste Panier, in analogue photography. He uses his own photos of plants and animals to create the prints he silkscreens in his workshop in the 2nd district. The first t-shirt Gregor printed, around 12 years ago, weighed about 120 grams (or 12 decagrams) and this is how he got the idea for the name of the brand: 12dag feinste Panier meaning 120 grams of finest clothing. The word Panier is a reference to Austrian cuisine’s love affair with breading (think Schnitzel).
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The point seven percenters
Others celebrate typography, like the Viennese brand nullkommasiebenprozent, where Thomas and Cathi play with graphic motives and fonts to create statements. The motifs for their t-shirts are playful yet sophisticated, with slogans like “Death before decaf,” or “No place for homophobia, fascism, sexism, racism” written in delicate typography.

They draw and hand-print every design found on their T-shirts, tank tops, sweatwear and hoodies. Their name (zero point seven percent in English) is a also a reference to sustainability: The allotment of organic cotton produced worldwide is zero point seven percent of the total amount. The name of the label is a reminder that there is still a long way to go until sustainable fashion becomes the norm.

esteem_Summer_1_JKPhotographyBut the capital is not the only place to find clothing made of organic materials. Esteem from Salzburg creates hip streetwear with a bright, summery, Hawaiian and SoCal touch. Think skatewear with a twist.

For the more graphically inclined, ­Pirata del Viento offers fair-wear printed t-shirts, hoodies, tunics and sweaters illustrated with characters from a satirical fantasy world, like Politichio, a pastiche of Pinocchio.

These brands mostly use organic cotton and colors from natural plants or on a water base. But be sure to ask and see yourself at the FESCH’Markt, where they will all be present. Social justice has never been more fashionable.
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Where to buy

 

All four labels and more will be present at FESCH’Markt, Jun 17-19, Ottakringer Brauerei.
If you can’t make it, you can also find them here:

12 dag feinste Panier
2., Schüttelstraße 71/4B, 12dag.at.

Nullkommasiebenprozent (NKSP)
7., Neubaugürtel 4

Esteem
Danklstraße 10, 5020 Salzburg

Pirata del Viento @ DOCK 7
7., Kirchengasse 43

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Doina Boev started as a freelance journalist for Viennese The Gap magazine, writing articles about art, culture and music. She recently graduated from the Biber Academy, where she was active as a blogger and a journalist. She is now writing for METROPOLE, oscillating between music, film and art.