Forests for Fashion-Fashion for Forests
21 March 2014
This year’s celebration of the International Day of Forests will focus on innovative forest fibers, and how they contribute to a greener economy while being fashionable and marketable.
The celebration consists of series of events, including an art performance, a conference and an opening of a fashion exhibit.
The message is simple: our choices, even on how we dress, can make a difference and lead us towards a more sustainable world.
Forests for Fashion will show all this is possible. The invitation is available here.
With the support of the Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the World Trade Organization and the European Free Trade Association, the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva and the Permanent Mission of Italy to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
Scientific advice and artistic direction: Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto and its Bio Ethical Fashion Trend (B.E.S.T)
Partners: The Swiss Confederation; Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève; Lenzing AG; Centre de formation professionnelle, nature et environnement; R V R Service AG, Clean Forest Club; Bern University of Applied Sciences with its School of Agricultural, Forest and Food Science (HAFL); the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) International.
- The Concept
- Why forests and why fashion
- The Symbol
- The Conference
- Opening of the exhibit
- Dance Show
- The Press Conference
- The Art Performance
Sustainable development is high on the United Nations agenda, but unfortunately, still a low priority in people’s lives, and very often not a principle driving business. Promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns calls not only for political will and commitment, but also for communication and outreach at every level of society to change priorities, habits and unsustainable practices. Such a change is often not, or not only, a matter of affordability, but more a matter of knowledge and choice.
It is with this in mind that the Italian Permanent Missions to the United Nations in Geneva, the Government of Switzerland and other partners have joined forces with the UNECE-FAO Forestry and Timber Section to organize an event to discuss:
- How sustainable forest management should go hand in hand with sustainable production and consumption, so that sustainability is maintained throughout the whole supply chain, from the forest to the customer;
- How sustainable forest management could support a change of attitude in society leading to a sustainable usage of forest products, like wood fibers for clothing and fashion;
- How the fashion business could embrace this concept, adopt it within the sector by using sustainable raw materials and innovative production technologies and facilitate the change, given its communication power and influence on lifestyles and societal behaviours.
The main message of the event is that there is a need for sustainable development to permeate people’s lives and for business to understand, embrace and support the transition towards what is often referred to as ‘the green economy’: an economy where improved human well- being and social equity are satisfied while respecting and even enhancing our planet natural capital.
To bring this concept to the attention of the wider public, the partners of the “Forests for Fashion ● Fashion for Forests” event have chosen the date of 21 March, the International Day of Forests. This global celebration provides a platform to raise awareness on the importance of forests, the multiple services they provide and the need to sustainably manage them in order to achieve a green economy for sustainable development.
Why forests and why fashion
Forests are crucial ecosystems for our lives and nature. The many essential functions they provide range from preserving biodiversity to storing carbon and mitigating climate change, from providing water catchment and clean air to offering recreation and inspirational places. Forests are also vital to our economy, as they provide us with green jobs and environmentally friendly products. We all know that timber is used to build, furnish and heat our homes. But, the public is often not aware of many other uses of forest products. Thanks to technological innovation, wood is a core material in making both traditional and high-performing products and components in industries like electronics and automotive. And many of the clothes we wear are made from traditional and new types of wood-based textiles.
For such reasons, the conservation, protection and sustainable management of forests is certainly a well understood principle and practice, but it is still little appreciated. It is thus time to spread the message about the value and need for sustainable management to other sectors, which benefit from forests. The fashion world is one of them.
Fashion is not always sustainable. It often promotes excessive and unsustainable consumption, is affordable to the richest parts of society only, frequently uses materials that are not ecological and in many instances flourishes on “indecent” work conditions.
However, the fashion world is also a key sector for changing society, because its messages are spread quickly, its new ideas are followed, its products widely purchased and used. When it comes to the use of materials, for instance, the fashion world could embrace more sustainable patterns and more ecological choices. This is when and where fashion meets forests. And where and when forests can support sustainable fashion.
Many cellulose fibres that are produced from wood pulp, such as lyocell/tencel and rayon are used in the fashion industry because of their valuable properties. They are natural, smooth, and strong and are or can be produced in a more sustainable way, unlike synthetic textiles. For all these reasons, they are also an excellent alternative to other natural textiles such as cotton and wool. Their manufacturing process is often more environmentally friendly and the products easy to recycle. Fortunately, several designers and clothing companies are already increasingly committing to sustainability and extensively using these materials.
The ‘Forest for Fashion’ event is a reminder of this. A reminder that where and when forests meet fashion they can promote sustainable development, starting from the sustainable management of forests up the value chain, to sustainable product production and ending with the consumption of sustainable fashion wear.
The "Third Paradise Tree" was drawn by Maestro Michelangelo Pistoletto to celebrate the International Day of Forests. The art work will be present throughout the ‘forest for fashion’ celebration to remind us about the need for an alliance between forests and fashion that will allow nature to thrive and humankind to live a more balanced life.
The inspiration derives from a symbol developed by Pistoletto representing the rebirth of society - a symbol of the new world which unites the human community.
The Third Paradise is symbolically represented by a reconfiguration of the mathematical infinity sign. In the “New Infinity Sign” three circles are drawn: the two opposite circles signify nature and artifice; the middle one is the conjunction of the two and represents the generative womb of the Third Paradise.
It is the fusion between the first and second paradise. The first is the paradise in which humans were fully integrated into nature. The second is the artificial paradise, developed by humans through a process that has now reached globalizing proportions. The Third Paradise is the new myth that leads everyone to take personal responsibility at this momentous juncture.
To know more about Maestro Michelangelo Pistoletto and his work, please click here.
To know more about the symbol, please click here.
How forests can inspire more sustainable fashion and how the fashion industry can contribute to a more sustainable world
Room XIV, Palais des Nations, from 14.30 to 17.30
This conference gathers all actors involved, from forest managers to clothing producers and retailers. They will discuss challenges and opportunities for sustainable production and use of wood fibres in the fashion industry.
The programme and the list of speakers will be available shortly.
To register, please click here.
Preliminary Programme and Expected Outcomes
The conference will be divided in two roundtables presenting the perspectives of both the forest sector and the fashion sector and exploring the opportunities for cooperation and working together. The event will result in a policy brief on forest fibers in the fashion industry, which will contribute to: 1. a chapter of the UNECE Forest Products Annual Market Review 2013-14 and 2. the launching of a Forest for Fashion initiative for the sustainable production and use of wood fibres in the textile sector and the fashion industry.
Heikki Granholm, Chair of the UNECE Committee on Forests and the Forest Industry
Rob Busink, Chair of the FAO European Forestry Commission
Forests for Fashion Roundtable
Moderator: Dominique Reeb, Deputy Chief of the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section
Ewa Ratajczak, former President, Innovawood
Kit Prins, International Consultant, Former Chief of the UNECE/FAO Joint Section
Lorenz Wied, Chief of Marketing, Lenzing
Martin K. Patel, Professor and Chair of Energy Efficiency, University of Geneva
Sarah Price, Head of Projects and Development, Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC) International
Stefanie Trompetters, Senior Consultant and Performance Service Manager, Made-by
Fashion for Forests Roundtable
Moderator: Paolo Naldini, Managing Director, Citta dell’Arte - Fondazione Pistoletto
Andreas Jank, Managing Director Desigimum Group /Maria Huurinainen, Finland
Jane Reeve, CEO, Italian National Chamber of Fashion
Jeanette Ulfshög, Head of Sustainable Development and Responsible Sourcing Groupe, ETAM
Jonny Kristiansen, Chief Executive Officer, Monocel S.A.
Marceil Yeater, Chief of the Legal Affairs and Trade Policy Unit, Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species
Mario Boselli, President, Italian National Chamber of Fashion
Xenya Cherny-Scanlon, Special Adviser to the Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
Alexander Panfilov, Deputy Head, Federal Forestry Agency, Russian Federation
Christoph Dürr, International Forest Policy Advisor, Federal Office for the Environment, Switzerland
Opening of the exhibit
Opening of the Fashion Exhibit with a Dance Show
Salle des Pas Perdus, Palais des Nations, 21 March 2014, 18.00 to 19.30
18.00 - 18.15: Welcoming and Opening Remarks
Michael Møller, Acting Director-General of the United Nations Office at Geneva (UNOG)
Sven Alkalaj, Under Secretary General of the United Nations and Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE)
Vladimir Rakhmanin, Assistant Director-General for Europe and Central Asia, Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)
18.15 - 18.30: Speeches
Remigi Winzap, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of Switzerland to the World Trade Organization and the European Free Trade Association
Alexey Borodavkin, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the United Nation Office and other international organizations in Geneva
Maurizio Enrico Luigi Serra, Ambassador, Permanent Representative of Italy to the United Nations Office and other international organizations in Geneva
18.30 - 19.00: Forests for Fashion Talk
Maestro Michelangelo Pistoletto, Città dell’Arte Pistoletto Foundation
Mario Boselli, President Italian National Chamber of Fashion
Xenya Cherny-Scanlon, Special Adviser to the Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)
The talk will be moderated by Paola Deda, Chief of the UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section
19.00 – 19.30: Dance show
More information about the dance show is available above on the Forests for Fashion - Fashion for Forests webpage.
19.30 - onwards: Reception
The event will be followed by a reception kindly offered by the Permanent Mission of the Russian Federation to the United Nations in Geneva (Hall XIV, behind the General Assembly Hall)
The exhibit will display sustainable clothes and forest products, created for the event by young international designers. Main partner is Cittadellarte - Fondazione Pistoletto with their initiative Fashion Bio Ethical Sustainable Trend (B.E.S.T). Other designers of clothes and accessories committed to the principle of sustainability will also showcase their oeuvres.
The fashion exhibit will be coordinated by Olga Pirazzi (Fashion B.E.S.T.).
Delegates and visitors will be able to enjoy the exhibit until 15 April 2014.
Join us to Celebrate the International Day of Forests
and Enjoy the Forests for Fashion - Fashion for Forests Dance Show
21 March 2014, 18.00 - 19.30
Salle des pas perdus, Palais des Nations
Coordinator and Choreographer:
The Press Conference
The UNECE/FAO Forestry and Timber Section together with its Forests for Fashion Partners will organize a press conference on 21 March 2014 at Palais des Nations. For further information, please contact Nina Peeva, Communication Officer, at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Art Performance
Performance by Michelangelo Pistoletto: Il Terzo Paradiso - The Third Paradise
21th of March 2014, 11 am, Plaine de Plainpalais, Geneva
On the occasion of the celebration of the 40 years of the Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève with the participation of more than 500 students
In 1984 the Centre organized a solo exhibition of Michelangelo Pistoletto and published a catalogue of his sculptures; the following year the artist took part in the Centre’s outdoor exhibition, Promenades.
In 2014 Michelangelo Pistoletto returns to the Centre in the context of a collaboration between the Città dell’arte-Fondazione Pistoletto and the UN for the event Forests for Fashion.
Pistoletto will present a performance entitled « Il Terzo Paradiso » acted out by students on the Plaine de Plainpalais under the artistic direction of Genevan choregrapher Prisca Harsch (Cie Quivala).
To know more about this event, please contact Laura Györik Costas, Responsable de médiation, Centre d'Art Contemporain Genève email@example.com.