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Ethical and ecological elegance TEXT: ARNE ADRIAENSSENS  |  PHOTOS: INTI FERREIRA

Looking good usually comes at an environmental cost. In fact, the fashion sector is the second-most-polluting industry in the world. Luckily, some designers create masterpieces which are as sustainable as they are stunning. inti ferreira (the label created by designer Semsa Ferreira) revolutionises the fashion industry, one dress at a time. Its collections are harmless for people and planet, and its production process is as transparent as they come. “Our clients can even visit our ateliers themselves.” Entering the boutique of inti ferreira (settled just off Noordeinde, one of The Hague’s cosiest high streets), you are immediately overwhelmed by elegant 18  |  Issue 73  |  January 2020

cuts, gorgeous colours and intriguing materials. Yet, what makes these pieces truly unique can’t be spotted by the naked eye. “Every piece we sell is ethical and sustainable,” reveals designer Semsa Ferreira, the creative mind behind the Dutch fashion label. “Our materials are certified by reliable ecological labels and are made to last. About 95 per cent of them are even produced in Europe.” When Semsa founded the brand in 2007, it was slim pickings at the ecological fabric market. With the break of the past decennium, all that changed. More designers started focusing on ethical and ecological fashion, and the fabric industry followed. Today, sustainable fabrics are just as beautiful and innovative as ‘conventional’ materials,

but without the mammoth environmental cost. That’s why ethical fashion lures more and more shoppers away from the mass-produced retail giants. “When I talked about ethical clothing 12 years ago, people looked weirdly at me. Today, they find it exciting. It seems that it’s becoming the new avant garde.”

Local production Yet, sustainable fabrics alone do not make your collection ecological. To keep a close eye on the production process itself, the team of inti ferreira creates every piece by hand in its proper ateliers. “Attached to our store in The Hague, I have a small studio where I design the collections. The actual production happens in our other atelier, in the city of Bihać,