This year the 6th edition of the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week (DSFW) takes place from the 4th to the 13th of October. Activities are organized throughout the country to show how fun and easy it can be to work on a sustainable and fair wardrobe. Just like last year, I’m going to the edition in The Hague. There is really a lot to do this year. I made an overview of all the activities, so it’s easy for you to see what you can do. Here are some of my recommendations:
1. Discover the best sustainable stores in The Hague
From clothing libraries to second-hand stores to boutiques with sustainably produced clothing: there are many, many sustainable options for shopping in The Hague. During the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week you can take a free tour through the center of The Hague or through the Zeeheldenkwartier to discover the most beautiful sustainable shops.
I went on a trip through the Zeeheldenkwartier last year. The beauty of the trip, apart from the fact that you discover a lot of surprising places, is that the store owners receive you personally and tell you about their vision of sustainability. I really loved this personal touch of the tour. If you want to go this year, these are the options:
- Wednesday 9 October from 3 pm to 5 pm and Saturday 12 October from 11 am to 1 pm: Zeeheldenkwartier. You can register here for the shopping tour in the Zeeheldenkwartier.
- Tuesday 8 October from 3 pm to 5 pm and Thursday 10 October from 7 pm to 9 pm: Center. You can sign up for the shopping tour in The Hague center here.
2. Have your clothes repaired or learn how you can do it yourself
I at least have 10 pieces of clothing in a suitcase that are great to wear, but that are ripped, miss a button, or a zipper no longer closes. And quite honestly, since I have reached the age of 30, I really feel a bit uncomfortable asking my mother to fix my clothes. Sewing on a button is something I am able to do (although it usually falls off again after a few weeks), but I have really no clue when it comes to repairing clothes.
Fortunately, there are – also in The Hague – people who do know how to do that! During the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week you can learn how to repair clothing yourself at different times. Is that going just a step too far for you? Then you can also have your clothes fixed – often for free too – for example during a Repair Café.
- Monday, October 7 at 2 pm: Repair Cafe at the Vadercentrum, Jonckbloetplein 24. Go to the Vadercentrum website for more information.
- Tuesday, October 8 between 10 am and 4 pm: Ludwien is waiting for you at Middin (Weesperstraat 87) to repair your clothes. More information can be found here.
- Sunday, October 13 from 12.00 to 16.00: Re Stitch It: during this Zipper Studio clothing repair workshop you will learn how to repair your clothing yourself. More information can be found here.
3. Make your own sustainable fashion accessories
For those who want to step up their game and do more than than sewin on a botton, there are also (paid) creative workshops during the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week, where you learn how to make your own accessories in a sustainable way, for example by recycling material. I think I am going to take the leap this year!
- Make your own sustainable tote bag: at Studio Zip you will take control of the sewing machine to craft your own sustainable tote bag. You use recycled materials. Materials are available at Studio Zip, but you can also bring your own fabrics. More information can be found here.
- Make a clutch from recycled leather: join Bij Priester to discover how you can turn an old sofa into a clutch. Yes, apparently that is possible! At the end of the workshop you’ll walk out of the door with your own sustainable clutch. More information can be found here.
- Learn how to felt: ok, you are not going home with an accessory here, but you will learn from A to Z how to felt. This workshop is organized by Stichting Vrolijk Werk. More information can be found here.
4. Be inspired by exhibitions and documentaries
I’m a big fan of documentaries. True Cost was an eye opener for me how (un) sustainable fashion can be and the reason that I decided not to buy clothes in 2018 for an entire year. During the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week 2019 there are various exhibitions and documentaries that inform you and inspire to set up a (more) sustainable wardrobe:
- Visit the Reshare Store exhibition at the “Duurzaam Den Haag loket”. The exhibition can be visited during the entire DSFW. On Wednesday 9 October, there will also be a special consultation hour on clothing reuse from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
- Come to Grand Café Utopie on Friday 11 October for an inspiring evening with documentary maker Chanel Trapman. She dove into the world of fast fashion and traveled through the Netherlands for four years to interview sustainable fashion pioneers. This led to the documentary “The Positive Chain of Change”.
- Agnes Esenkbrink worked for 22 years as a designer / stylist in the fast fashion industry. After the collapse of Rana Plaza in 2013, she decided to leave that world behind. In her work as an artist, she shows a different side of the fashion industry. During the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week her studio is open to visitors on Saturday 5 and Sunday 6 October between 12.00 and 18.00.
5. Swap your clothes during the swap party
A clothes swap is actually very simple: you look in your wardrobe for clothes that you no longer wear, but that are still in good condition. Take this to the location of the clothing exchange. There, you can choose new items in exchange for the items you brought. So you actually shop in someone else’s wardrobe!
During the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week Zus`teen organizes a clothing swap in De Hagedis.
For the complete program in The Hague and other cities, you can also visit the official website of the Dutch Sustainable Fashion Week.