Helsinki Fashion Week founder Evelyn Mora has said: “We at Helsinki Fashion Week, with the support of the Nordic Fashion Week Association, are taking an active stand against cruelty to animals and the damaging environmental impacts that the use of animal leather brings with it.”
“By banning leather, Helsinki Fashion Week will become a groundbreaking, cutting-edge presence on the fashion scene,” says PETA Director Elisa Allen. “PETA looks forward to seeing animal- and eco-friendly vegan fabrics take over Helsinki catwalks in 2019 and beyond.”
In its letter, PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to wear” – pointed out that the leather industry subjects more than 1 billion animals every year to intensive confinement, castration without pain relief, extreme crowding, and a terrifying trip to the abattoir. "Leather is a lucrative co-product of the meat industry, which is one of the world’s biggest polluters and contributors to climate change. And tanneries – which use formaldehyde, coal-tar derivatives, cyanide-based dyes, and other dangerous chemicals – are notorious for polluting nearby water and soil" - says the letter.
For these reasons and others, vegan leather – made from pineapple leaves, grapes, mushrooms, cork, and more – is on the rise. Top designers including Stella McCartney, Vika Gazinskaya, and Felder Felder all refuse to use animal leather in their designs, and two-thirds of millennials reportedly would pay more for sustainably made items.
Helsinki Fashion Week continues its pioneering approach on promoting sustainability by also becoming first to apply EcoVillage-concept on fashion week platform. The annual Helsinki Fashion Week took place on 20–25 of July 2018 in Helsinki, Finland showcasing 30 sustainable fashion brands in venues build on recycled and re-usable natural materials.
The programm 2018 included Designers such as Liisa Soolepp,, from Estonia; Saneras (Italy), 2WO +NE:2 (Greece), Carl Jan Cruz (Philippines), Hoh Pabissi (UK), Aito Studios (Finland), N&S Gaia (India), Nathalia Jmag (US), Chain (Argentina), Kata Szegedi (Hungary), The New Normal, (Finland), Unravelau (Netherlands), Fuenf (Germany), Lovia (Finland), Miina Laitsaari (UK), Tiziano Guardini (Italy), Ellinor Brännstroöm (Sweden), Anna Rouhone (France), No/An (Finland), MeM (Finland), Airvei (France), Manström Jewellery (Finland) and Aubergin (Spain).
Besides giving a platform for trendsetters in clean fashion, the five-day fashion week sets to inspire urban development and cultural interaction by re-evaluating the way we consume, adapt and co-exist with our surroundings in the fashion landscape of the future.
Hence, this year’s Helsinki Fashion Week is aiming to zero-waste approach by partnering with Global Networks such as architectual and robotics corporations and sustainable laboratories and universities giving the event an area a form of co-created utopia-like reality.