„We have to convince people that sometimes a solution is simply to buy less but better“, said Ursula von der Leyen in her opening speech at the online conference The New European Bauhaus – Werkstatt der Zukunft on 6 July 2021. The President of the European Commission shared her views on the New European Bauhaus movement and the importance of the creative industries. If you have missed it, then read on, here is the transcription:
The conference was organized by German Fashion Council in cooperation with Frankfurt Fashion Week.
Ursula von der Leyen: „(…) Over the last few months I have given quite a few speeches on the New European Bauhaus. But this is the first time that my speech will be about fashion / and how refreshing and how important, because the European Green Deal is not just about one sector, one profashion; and the New European Bauhaus is not only about how we build tomorrow, it is about how we want to live together while protecting our planet. The New European Bauhaus is about a new lifestyle. A lifestyle that is at the same time sustainable and beautiful.
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And that’s why we are very grateful to German Fashion Council for this conference but also for your all engagement in the New European Bauhaus. We need your prospectives, we need your ideas. It is a project that stimulates creativity and provides a vision beyond the pandemic. We have deliberately chosen the New European Bauhaus as interdisciplinary as possible. Just as the historical Bauhaus, we want to bring together architects, designers and also scientists, students, creatives, you name it … The New European Bauhaus wants to bridge culture crafts and technology. It aims to match innovation with art. The new alliance you just created, K3D is the perfect example of this approach. Only if we all work and create together we will be able to achieve the overall goal of the New European Bauhaus, a transformation of the built environment and of our lifestyle.
Just as the historical Bauhaus, we want to bring together architects, designers and also scientists, students, creatives, you name it … The New European Bauhaus wants to bridge culture crafts and technology.Ursula Von der Leyen, President European Commission
As you know, our aim is to make Europe the first climate neutral continent bei 2050 and to achieve this, all member states have agreed to reduce our C02 emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030. We can only get there if all sectors contribute. And therefore I am counting on the fashion industry as well. But how can this work? Fashion must always set a trend, it has to be attracting and up to date. Ecological precision is not necessarily the topic-only priority for consumers. So I am specially delighted that you are taking up this challenge. That you are taking on the task of translating the new attitude of an entire generation into sustainable, quality and good design.
Ecological precision is not necessarily the topic-only priority for consumers. So I am specially delighted that you are taking up this challenge.Ursula Von der Leyen, President European Commission
In fact a lot of good examples of beautiful and sustainable fashion already exist. I’m impressed by the work of Natascha von Hirschhausen for example. She’s aiming towards zero-waste design and she manages to reduce fabric waste in the design process from 20 percent to less than one percent. Or take the impressive work of the german/italian brand working title or Julia Leifert. They all create clothes with a minimal impact on the environment and this shows the way forward for an entire industry. I want to encourage all of you to explore further how we can match sustainablity with style. The New European Bauhaus will create a framework to facilitate this transformation it creates networks and also supports innovation financially.
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But that is not enough. We also need to cater for consumers. Sustainable products need to become affordable for all. We have to convince people that sometimes a solution is simply to buy less but better. Fast fashion is poison for our planet. It should be replaced by slow fashion that is circular. In other words, by well designs that create less waste and last longer. And I am aware that we have a long way to go. But I‘m very happy to know you at my side. Let me conclude with one last important aspect. The European dimension!
We have to convince people that sometimes a solution is simply to buy less but better.Ursula Von der Leyen, president, European Commission
The historical Bauhaus started in Germany and very quickly became a global movement. The New European Bauhaus has a clear European spirit. And therefore I am very glad to see that for the first time ever you have invited the fashion councils from other European countries to join you today. And I hope that you will intensify your collaboration in the future. If we want to succeed, we need to work together beyond disciplines and beyond borders in Europe, but also globally.
From the very beginning of our project we wanted to keep a spirit of openness of the New European Bauhaus Community. We want to continue with all of you. A New European Bauhaus allows us to experiment with how politics, industry and society can work together, how cultural actors and creative industry can play a driving role in moving towards a more sustainable economy. And we are delighted to have the German Fashion Council as an official partner of the New European Bauhaus. You are the experts we need your input and your feedback. And I am sure that your discussions today will be inspiring so thank you very much for having me with you.“
Here you can find the video of the speech: https://www.neweuropeanbauhaus.fashion/results/the-new-european-bauhaus
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