Opening: Tuesday, 7 July, 7 pm
Exhibition: 8–17 July, Tue–Fri, and the Berlin University of the Arts Rundgang and Weissensee Rundgang open doors weekend, 18–19 July, 10am–6pm
The label „Made in Bangladesh“ is ubiquitous to clothing sold in Germany. The textile industry is an important economic factor for the South Asian country: Almost 80 percent of export earnings stem from the worldwide sale of textiles, its share of the gross domestic product adds up to more than
10 percent. Up to now however, the clothes are rarely designed in Bangladesh.
Under the direction of Prof. Heike Selmer (Berlin Weissensee School of Art) and Prof. Valeska Schmidt-Thomsen (Berlin University of the Arts) six alumni of the fashion design programs of the Berlin University of the Arts and the Berlin Weissensee School of Art travelled to Bangladesh for a research trip in November 2014 at the invitation of the Goethe-Institut Bangladesh. The following January they were visited in Berlin by six alumni from Bangladesh.
In Bangladesh, the participants of the project visited textile factories, designers, NGOs and companies that promote revived traditional craftsmanship and sustainability-oriented production methods. In Berlin they went to fashion trade fairs and visited the Berlin Fashion Week.
In teams of two the twelve designers are now developing new creative approaches to improving sustainability, participation, and fair trade. The results will be exhibited at designtransfer during the Berlin Fashion Week in July.
In their future professional lives, fashion students in Bangladesh will produce for markets in the USA, Asia and Europe, but during their studies and occupational lives they are offered only very limited information on the latest international fashion affairs. Conversely, Berlin fashion designers know Bangladesh, one of the world‘s most important fashion manufacturing countries, only by hearsay.
The project gives fashion designers from Berlin the opportunity to get to know one of the most important fashion manufacturing countries in the world, and to establish contacts and networks with professional colleagues and suppliers from Bangladesh. The participants from Dhaka on the other hand can inform themselves of European fashion trends, get to know fashion designers and markets, visit important fashion events, and establish contacts and networks with colleagues from Germany. Local and sustainable production methods and cooperative work at eye level are at the forefront of the project. At the end of the year, the project will continue with students from Berlin and Dhaka.