The Rumbling Fashion Reformation
conscious travel series - Antwerp
It can be easy to find a city with great style, but when it comes to dominating the fashion landscape in particular, I believe any person will straightforwardly point out the Big Four- Paris, New York, London, Milan. If you are a little more immersed in the universe of fashion, this special city may conceal a certain importance and meaning to you- Antwerp.
The legacy of Antwerp’s fashion and contemporary culture takes us back to the 1980s, when this city started to be recognized as one of the fashion epicenters. With its distinct, radical design led by the Antwerp Six- Dries Van Noten, Anne Demeulemeester, Dirk Van Saene and their contemporaries- their creative perspectives clearly demonstrated the qualities of this city’s artistic reputation: rebellious culture traits and ultra modern galleries.
What about nowadays?
The question came to mind as I was packing the night before for Amsterdam. If Brussels, for me, was an exploration of its newfound focus on sustainable culinary practices and organic food development, then what would be Antwerp’s main international vocabulary? While huge waves of sustainable lifestyle practices flow around neighboring cities and nations- is there not something moving through Antwerp as well?
This curiosity dropped my feet off a train from Brussels into Amsterdam. My overall ambition was to find out: could there be another fashionable reformation happening here as well, in my dream place of avant-garde fashion!?
New Antwerpian Fashion
My Antwerp adventure starts from the House of Sweets and Things- HOST. Although located in the outer area of Antwerp center, it has quickly become one of the top searched profiles for sustainable stores in Antwerp. HOST has not only become the locals’ go-to checkpoint for a nice cup of organic coffee and sweets but, with its cozy decor surrounded by plants, a place to find responsible stories- carefully selected lifestyle products made with the lowest environmental impact, and consciously made pieces from local artists.
To learn more about this new, increasingly popular Antwerpian lifestyle destination, you might look forward to my next interview story with HOST founders, Eva & Laura. See this passionate sister duo put their all into creating this vivacious and fashionable community classroom that paints a splash of green and sweetness into the stereotypical,
super-modern impression Antwerp has in the fashion world.
With HOST as one of the small examples among all these developments of conscious fashion in Antwerp, we can tell the message is clear: Reaching past their boundaries of their epic heritage in fashion, the forward-thinking qualities of Antwerpian culture has not only always existed, but is also actively operating a new, innovative and experimental fashion standard, filled with attention to emotional and environmental balance.
Here you’ve got my premium list of the coolest fashion places from this 36H adventure in Antwerp. They are definitely destinations that you wouldn’t want to miss for your next trip to Antwerp. Go visit and say hello to them,and if not, keep an eye out for the Douce Journal, there’s more to come. ;-)
Froy & Dind- A Belgian fashion brand for adults, children and newborns with high ecological and social standards.
FAAM Store- The new address in town, founded by the same pioneer from Froy & Dind, an ethical and sustainable fashion spot for men and women.
Rewind Ecodesign- Stylish lifestyle items designed in only environmentally-friendly ways.
HoHM interiors- Upcycling, reusing, locally-made, are the principles of Sophie and HoHM interiors.
Honest by- A fully authentic, honest and transparent fashion brand and store. They not only take the lead in fashion with their extraordinary designs, but foreground them through a manifesto of conscious fashion.
Graanmarkt 13- Probably the first and only high-end sustainable concept store in Europe. Showcasing sustainability in 360 degrees -with a floor dedicated to fashion, another for lifestyle, and another for its restaurant.
Stanley/Stella- 100% personalized. Walking into this “factory shop”, every procedure of fashion industry becomes transparent. Made-by-order outwear is their unique way of operating and spreading the word of sustainability.
St. Vincents- With carefully selected artisan objects and slow fashion, they create the best example of how a conscious, authentic life can be. Of which anyone would love to dive into!
As I am writing this article, I just heard of some exciting news:
Honest by’s founder and CEO, Bruno Pieters, announced Fashion Fast- an event starting this year from February through October, where they encourage and invite everyone concerned about the environment and social issues to take a look at their wardrobe and ask themselves: “do I really need more clothing?” The brand will not produce any new collections or release new collaborations for the next 9 months.
With this article, Plant/a/douce would love to rejoin Honest By and the #fashionfast. Challenge ourselves to go on a Fashion Fast together, for one week, one month, one season, maybe even one year...
As said and inspired through Honest By’s public statement " The light of the world will illuminate within you when you fast and purify yourself." —Mahatma Gandhi
Until then, love from KC.