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Aalto University fashion students to reveal their sustainable visions for the future

From recycled materials to Ioncell fabric, Aalto fashion design will light up the Fashion Meets Sustainability event in Paris
Semi Ilmonen Lampinen Aalto University
Anna Semi and Sofia Ilmonen's designs made with Ioncell material (left) and a design from Henna Lampinen's collection. Photos: Juho Huttunen and Diana Luganski

Students from Aalto University’s globally renowned fashion programme will offer a glimpse into what the future has in store for the industry at this month’s Fashion Meets Sustainability event on 16 April. In all, nine collections will be showcased at the Embassy of Finland in Paris.

‘Aalto fashion and our students have become an international phenomenon,’ shares Aalto Fashion Design Professor Pirjo Hirvonen. ‘In Paris we’re celebrating their fashion views and skills, as well as Aalto’s one-of-a-kind collaboration between fashion and materials research.’

With fashion industry influencers and sustainable development experts, at the event all eyes will be on the sustainable visions put forward in the student collections.

‘Students are worried that the fashion industry is not sustainable. But the fact that we can be part of the change emboldens us to think further—and do better,’ says Henna Lampinen, Aalto University fashion student.

Lampinen’s winning collection from January’s Designer’s Nest, the biggest fashion competition in the Nordic countries, will be one of the nine featured at the event. As a trained tailor, she favours hand-made garments; for her collection, she transformed men’s blazers sourced from flea markets into polo shirts, knit skirts and jackets. 

‘The theme of my collection is material use in scarce times, inspired by the great shift in women’s lives in the 1940s and 50s. At that time clothes were repaired a lot more than now. Extending the lifecycle of materials is one of the most vital steps to achieving sustainable fashion,’ Lampinen says.

Designs made with Ioncell, an exciting method developed at Aalto University and the University of Helsinki that produces ecological and high-quality textile fibre from wood and recycled materials, will also be featured.

Student Anna Semi makes use of Ioncell’s sheen and one-of-a-kind feel for her women’s wear collection, placing it equally alongside classic fabrics like cotton and wool.

‘I’m a very material-oriented designer — for me, material choices should always be current. I’m especially interested in knits, which are environmentally friendly because material doesn’t go to waste, and so for this project I used Ioncell down to the very thread.’

She sought inspiration for the colours and structures in her collection from the photography of Sarah Moon and works of Li Yuan-Chia.

‘Sustainability should be such a natural part of our work that it doesn’t even need mentioning,’ says Semi. ‘In the big picture it demands action from consumers as well as researchers and especially big actors. I hope that we will move away from fast fashion towards more individualised and timeless dressing.’

Collections at the event are presented by Emma Saarnio, Tuuli-Tytti Koivula, Hanna Herva, Henna Lampinen, Anna Semi, Christine Valtonen, Anni Salonen, Sofia Ilmonen, as well as a group made up of Idaliina Friman, Eerika Yli-Rahko and Erika Hirsimäki.

The commercialisation of the unique man-made cellulosic fibre Ioncell-FTM and the Fashion Meets Sustainability event are supported by Business Finland.   

For more information and registration for media:

Professor Pirjo Hirvonen
Aalto University
puh. +358 50 363 6011
[email protected]

ioncell.fi

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