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Un-Dress Fashion Awards 2021: Creating an awareness for sustainability in the fashion industry

With their project “Un-Dress”, the university club oikos has for the last ten years shown that sustainability and modern clothing are compatible. The anniversary fashion show was meant to take place on 21 April in St.Gallen. But, like so many other physical events, this too was affected by the current coronavirus measures. The event will now take place online in the form of an award show. By student reporter Anna Kati Schreiter.

31 March 2021. Fast Food, Fast Fashion, Fast Life. We want it soon, sooner, as soon as possible and, in the process, forget how much we’re burdening mother nature with this trend. According to Sina Bucheli, "Un-Dress 2021" project manager, it’s for this reason that the student "Un-Dress" project wants to advance the discussion about sustainability in the fashion industry and demonstrate "that there’s no need to compromise between the latest fashion trends and sustainability".

The Un-Dress Awards 2021

The annual fashion show was supposed to take place in St.Gallen at the end of April with more than 300 guests. But COVID-19 means that it’s going to be different this year: "We were prepared with a plan B from the outset so that we could broadcast the event online if necessary," says Sina. "In any case, we wanted to offer our community more than just an online fashion show for the ten-year anniversary by also actively involving people to create a unique experience despite the coronavirus." Therefore, the Un-Dress award show will be taking place for the first time on 21 April. Twelve selected sustainable fashion brands from Switzerland are presented using a "lookbook". Guests at the event have the opportunity to experience the items of clothing in St.Gallen museums and parks worn by HSG students. What is special about this show is that viewers have the chance to vote for their favourite fashion brand. Together with the expert opinion of a professional jury, the winning brand is presented with the Un-Dress award. The prize-winner then has the opportunity to display their fashion on the shelves of the Swiss fashion boutique chain PKZ in the Bahnhofstrasse in Zurich.

A second chance for clothes

"Many people unfortunately still don't know how much of a role the trend for fast fashion plays in damaging the environment. This is why we want to create an awareness for sustainability in the fashion industry." As well as the award show, there will be other events by Un-Dress: Before the main event this year, a "clothes swap" has already taken place in St.Gallen. Another clothes swap will likely take place at the start of May. The aim of the series of events is to give clothes a second chance. "Items of clothing which would otherwise be thrown away can be brought to us. Another item of clothing that you fancy can be taken away in return." In addition to this, in May, Un-Dress is inviting people to a podium discussion on the topic of entrepreneurship in the field of "sustainable fashion", an event that, as the name suggests, promotes dialogue around sustainability in the fashion industry.

The Un-Dress seminars in 2021 are open to the public. Links to take part are available on the Un-Dress website.

Anna Kati Schreiter is a sixth semester business administration student at the University of St.Gallen. She is a member of the Un-Dress team 2021.

Photo: Un-Dress 2019; Copyright: Nicolas Kampmann

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