Bread & Butter KING SIZE and the Latest from the Eco Fashion World

This week we visited the 18th edition of Bread & Butter, the leading international trade show for selected fashion brands, alongside more than 99,500 visitors in Barcelona. It definitely deserved the label King Size as it was the biggest one held so far and resulted in a truly stunning, 3-day experience for both exhibitors and visitors.

Although no special attention was given to the eco labels (and maybe that’s the way it should be, with eco fashion becoming mainstream!) we were very happy to see some of our favourite fashion brands exhibiting their future collections, and even came across a few eco brands that were new to us. If you are curious about what the fashion world has to offer you in the future, keep reading!The very fashionable-looking, shiny red and gold coloured B&B; bags handed out to the thousands of visitors (and that is a lot of bags!) were designed by the BBB creative department and to our surprise, produced by the Danish company Re-Bag. Re-Bag ‘create walking billboards and protect the environment’. How? By creating re-usable shopping bags at very competitive prices, all CO2 neutral by having teamed up with Climate Care. Materials Re-Bag works with include jute, cotton, woven PP (40-60% recycled and fully recyclable), paper and many others. For more information, check out Re-Bag’s online guides to synthetic and natural fibres. ::Re-Bag

Another relatively new brand we came across was U Roads, who make shoe soles from recycled truck tires. The gorgeous collection of men and women shoes are hand crafted, Italian style. However, the shoes left us in doubt about the material for the main part of the shoes since the company isn’t very transparent about their newly introduced materials, but seem to mostly focus on the recycled sole. ::U Raods
Nudie Jeans was another brand briefly mentioned by us previously but deserves more exposure. Nudie Jeans mission is to get the ‘naked truth about denim’ out there. Most of their denim trousers are made of organically grown cotton. Apart from that, the company took on a high social responsibility to ensure a healthy development for people and environment and therefore work closely with Amnesty International. An example is the t-shirt project where for each sold piece, 11€ are donated towards Amnesty’s work. ::Nudie Jeans

More organic and fair traded cotton jeans could be seen at Kuyichi’s stand. Kuyichi used their stand to educate consumers about how to care for their clothes and the environment, and handed out cute little packs of Ecover washing-up liquid. ::Kuyichi

The British brand Komodo wasn’t missing the B&B; show either, and presented their latest collection of fair trade ‘natural style fashion’. We saw lots of organic cotton, hemp and wool clothing. ::Komodo
Globe Hope presented a great collection of fashion items made from recycled old hospital textiles, army wear and work outfits. The Finnish company redesigns everything from recycled t-shirts to comfy jackets made from old sleeping bags. Check out their latest collection of beautiful items that don’t look at all as if they had been somewhere else before. ::Globe Hope
Skunkfunk, the Spanish fashion label, manages to introduce more and more eco-friendly textile into their latest collection. Bamboo, organic cotton and soybean make up their latest 'multi-functional' (reversible and detachable) garments. ::Skunkfunk

Shoes weren’t left out either at Bread& Butter this winter. Amongst them Terra Plana with their fantastic range of recycled shoes and bags labelled Worn Again. Terra Plana also presented the TripClip, that protects your jeans from wearing out around the lower leg part and makes them last longer. An interesting collection named Vivobearfoot makes it possible to wear shoes while enjoying the advantaged of being barefoot, through an ultra thin, puncture resistant sole. Last but not least, they had the Dopie sandals, made from recycled EVA and foam rubber, in all the colours of the rainbow on display, looking forward to the summer months. ::Terra Plana

Spanish label El Naturalista presented their new collection Ambar whilst sticking to the use of natural, recycled and non-toxic materials to make their shoes. This year they will introduce a new recycled sole and have already taken action on a more social level by starting the Year of the Frog with a show by Andy Goldsworthy ( British sculptor, environmentalist and ‘muse’ of El Naturalista) in the Museum Reina Sofia in Madrid. The shoe company is involved in many environmental and social projects like for example supporting the NGO S.O.S.Peru. ::El Naturalista

Since we wrote about TOMS shoes in 2006, 10.000 pairs of shoes have been given to children in Argentina, and 50.000 more pairs are planned to be given out this year in Africa. How does TOMS make that happen? By giving a pair to a child without shoes for very pair purchased. The shoe design has improved as well in the last 2 years, with the shoes having become more resistant and long-lasting whilst staying as comfortable as before. ::TOMS
Simple shoes had a wonderful stand with posters to encourage people to live a greener lifestyle: shop local, plant trees, and shower together to save water. This ‘nice little shoe company’ is committed to making their products 100% sustainable. They method is called ‘Green Toe’ and applies finding materials and processes to make sustainable products. The results are then measured by applying an interesting process called ‘good, better, best’ in order to raise the bar for the best products. Simple shoes use materials such as recycled inner tubes and tires, hemp, certified leather, organic cotton, bamboo, coconut buttons and wool felt. All their products are very clearly labelled with beautiful illustrations. It’s definitely worth visiting their fun web site for more ::Simple Shoes

Finally, we found some companies like Ichi who are slowly but surely introducing organic cotton. Amongst next season’s clothing items, we managed to fish out a few organic denim trousers and a cool organic cotton t-shirt, educating the consumer on its material. Look out for more! ::Ichi

The Japanese company One Green Elephant had us tricked into thinking they were an eco brand. With messages like ‘everyday matters’, and ‘we need more trees’, as well as the word green in their label together with the colour green and a cardboard-like texture, we were lured into their stand, only to find out that they have only just started to introduce a few organic items to their collection, due to the high demands of their clients. The representative admitted that a lot of people think they sell ecological clothing, and so they have started to look into it. Obviously not everything that looks green, is green. ::One Green Elephant

Like in the previous years, Fetish for Charity, the official B&B; shop, sold the B&B; merchandise. Fetish for Charity is a charitable project where different labels have designed a limited number of fashion items, which can be purchased exclusively in the B&B; shop. Amongst the items sold in the shop, is the B&B; recycled bag by Vaho Works, made from recycled B&B; advertising banners from the previous shows. ::Vaho Works

Proceeds from the sale of the exclusive B&B; FETISH FOR CHARITY items benefit the organisation: ‘Casal dels Enfants del Raval’ in Barcelona, a non-profit association that is dedicated to supporting socially disadvantaged kids and youths on a local level and ‘Nestwärme’ in Berlin – a charity which supports children infected with HIV, and their families. ::Fetish for Charity

Last but not least, we noticed a growing trend in using recycled materials to build the stands. Used wooden pallets, old books and car tires made a refreshing difference to other, more common stand designs. ::Bread & Butter KING SIZE

Tags: Barcelona | Spain