w/ Anna & Esther @Kunskinder Mag
Tell us a short biography about you both. Where do you know each other from?
Esther: Me and Anna basically know each other since elementary school. As we grew up in a little town close to Hamburg we’ve always been drawn between the big city and the country side – that’s probably how we got to love aspects of both: the creative potential of the city and the environmental awareness of the village.
Anna: Esther holds a B.A in Communication Design and has been working as a freelance designer until she started studying Ecological Environmental Sciences. She is definitely the brain behind our projects when it comes to environmental knowledge, whereas I stuck to the Fine Arts and Photography, currently studying for my masters degree in art theory.
Together you work for your own German blog Kunstkinder Mag. What´s the message behind your platform?
Anna: Until last year our most important premise was to publish own content: photographs we took while traveling, snapshots from our city strolls and so on. But as we watched the blogosphere change from something you could call a »DIY« cultural phenomenon into a grown up and rather professional fashion and lifestyle business promoting an incredibly fast fashion we decided to either stop being a part of that community or rethinking our whole concept of blogging. We decided for the latter and started to blog about »Slow Fashion«, that is to say: alternative and ethical ways of shopping, a timeless style and and supporting local businesses or artisans.
Shortly you opened a Slow Fashion Pop-Up Store in Hamburg Wilhelmsburg called “Slow Fashion Room”. What motivates you to campaign for slow fashion and what does slow fashion mean to you?
Anna: Yes, our very first Pop-Up Store “the Slow Fashion Room” was a quite spontaneous project which took a lot more time and effort than we had expected – but left us with a pool of inspiring people, projects and ideas from around Hamburg. It was nice campaigning for Slow Fashion in such a haptic manner – actually meeting the inspiring designers and openminded customers instead of just virtually connecting with them via the Blog.
Esther: Why we initially started to share our experiences, latest eco fashion crushes and thrift finds to a virtual public? I guess to inspire like minded people to hang on with a more conscious consumerism, and to also inspire young people who haven’t thought about ethical fashion alternatives yet to try out new ways of consuming – without making amends to your own personal style.
Do you think sustainability and fashion trends are compatible?
Anna: That’s one of the questions we have thought about a lot, recently. I guess it depends on how you define the tricky word »trend«. Is it something purely aesthetic? Then I guess Slow Fashion defines it own trends, parallel to the conventional fashion scene. Amongst the common eco fashion brands you see a lot more minimalism (let’s call it reductionism, I guess thats even more to the point), long lasting basics and lots of street wear. Then there also is the option of looking for »trendy« pieces like that seventies skirt in thrift stores and deciding for a more sustainable vintage alternative. So, yes, they can be compatible. But, looking at todays incredibly fast fashion production which constantly produces new aesthetic needs, I think it is important to also redefine our notion of trends.
Your favorite sustainable fashion brands are? And why?
Anna: At the moment I’m head over heels in love with the german brand LUXAA. They combine timeless aesthetics and textile innovation in such a beautiful way. And then there’s of course our Hamburg duo Anna und Jula and their brand Jan ’n June. Probably the most stylish and affordable Eco Fashion you’ll find at the moment.
Esther: Well, it’s not a brand in it’s usual sense, but the Kleiderei is one of the most inspiring projects I’ve recently come across. The two Hamburg based girls Pola and Thekla invented a library for clothes which you can rent for just a small amount of money a month. And believe me, it’s a great collection they have put together.
Define your personal Style.
Anna: I guess rather minimalistic with lots of black, grey and white. But then again, I love to combine my rather clean and gallery-compatible clothes with curious thrift finds.
Esther: Since I started studying again I’ve reduced my wardrobe to the very essential: high quality textiles and the right and comfy fit. And, here I agree with Anna, the fun comes in when finding vintage treasures you probably wouldn’t have ended up with at a conventional fashion store.
What is your must-have for the upcoming summer season?
Anna: I’m still looking for the perfect white tee. The occasional times I go shopping I find something else more interesting and somehow always miss out on the most essential parts of an outfit: the basics.
Esther: I’m really looking forward to the Jan ‚n June Spring/Summer 2016 Collection we already peeked at during the Green Fashion Show Room this year. They named it „Super Girls“. That says all, doesn’t it?
What kind of shopping behaviors do you both have in common?
Esther: We love to thrift! At flea markets, vintage stores, kilo shops. On a sunday you’ll definitely find us somewhere, looking through piles of old clothes, hunting for treasures.
You never leave the house without…
Anna: I’m not the carrying-much-around-type. But I guess at the moment it is the Und Gretel »Tagarot« lipstick in copper. Oh, and my reading glasses.
Esther: My favorite organic lip balm.
Your goal for the future is…
Anna: Thrifting/swapping/buying ethical and still being able to create a distinct personal style, which I find quite challenging at the moment. To say it shortly: Bringing the fun back into (Slow) Fashion.
Esther: I would add: buy less, also at flea markets – and swap your clothes more often!
Photos: Antonia Böhlke