Uscha Pohl on Turning Green
As Founder of VERY UP & CO, I started publishing the VERY Ecological Cities, part (eco) city guide, part map, part magazine in August 06, followed by VERY-eco.com, the online edition of the VERY city guides.
For me, it wasn’t Al Gore, it wasn’t Michael Moore – it was Orsola de Castro and Filippo Ricci, who brought me onto the sustainable design track. In 2006, their Reclaim To Wear label “From Somewhere” was no longer alone against the odds: a handful of designers had emerged offering ethically produced fashion without a particular political agendas attached. The preparations for the pair to curate the first edition of Estethica – the ethical portion of the exhibition at London Fashion Week – were en route and the idea to make a VERY ecological map of London was born.
My friend Orsola de Castro started her fashion label in 1997: making new and very beautiful – out of “old” and “new and not even used” that would have gone to waste. Today Orsola and Filippo, create Reclaim To Wear upcycled capsule collections in collaboration with the fashion industry – designers, retails and manufacturers. Indeed: how can so much be produced that is destined to become waste without having been put to use in the first place? The fashion industry is a great offender. Thankfully, “Reclaim To Wear” salvages what would be lost, and turns it into delightful dresses for us.
Natural disasters and effects of global warning, CO2 and methane emissions (apparently 21 times worse) make headlines today. Celebrity endorsement is helping the cause. But does it all add up? We see the effects but don’t necessarily understand the cause. There is Al Gore and soon enough an anti Al Gore science professor claiming to prove it all wrong. There are news that don’t make sense and where there’s a trick, there’s a trickster. Offsetting CO2 emissions is a great idea and a whole new market with an ethical edge – but must be done right. It’s a new industry of trading invisibles and one very much vulnerable to potential abuse,
intentional or incidental. To try and sort hay from spray is a daunting task in this suddenly booming market. Yet that’s exactly what we do with VERYeco.com and the VERY ecological style – maps & guides – soon expanding from London, Paris, Berlin and New York to many more cities.
(ph Sarah Shatz)