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Natascha von Hirschhausen

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Techniques, materials and processes for construction and design
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NEW EUROPEAN BAUHAUS AWARDS : existing completed examples
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Natascha von Hirschhausen
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Natascha von Hirschhausen
With our zero-waste fashion brand Natascha von Hirschhausen we bring a waste-free garment cutting solution to the market and save around 20% of resources in this process alone. Our zero-waste fashion brand Natascha von Hirschhausen stands for easy, elegant designer fashion produced locally on demand in Berlin in a radically sustainable manner - always aiming to set the benchmark for sustainable fashion.
Where was your project implemented in the EU?
Kiautschoustraße 14
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Has your project benefited from EU programmes or funds?
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Please provide a summary of your project
HOW WE SAVE 20% OF RESOURCES IN THE CUTTING PROCESS: ZERO-WASTE DESIGN Our company Natascha von Hirschhausen stands for radically sustainable fashion. With our innovative pattern-cutting design, the entire fashion collection is produced with less than 1% waste. With this zero-waste production, about 20% of resources can be saved in cutting process alone compared to all conventionally produced garments. In addition, all components of our garments are made of purely natural materials, which are audited annually along the entire value chain for ecological and social sustainability - from the main material to the care-tag and the packaging.  We also focus on waste-free solutions in fashion retail through innovative made-on-demand and pre-order systems with a local production. Design is the key to sustainability. Only garments that are worn with pleasure for a long time can be truly sustainable. That's why we create sophisticated, minimalistic garments with size-fluent tailoring and a unique design.
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of sustainability and how these have been met
Our concept is holistic, but our most unique and innovative technique lies within the cutting process: HOW WE SAVE 20% OF RESOURCES: ZERO-WASTE DESIGN The entire fashion industry causes about 20% material loss per garment due to offcuts in the cutting of clothing alone. These scraps are usually burned or thrown away, which means that one fifth of all resources are wasted in this process alone - even with sustainably produced garments. To avoid this immense waste from the get-go, we developed our innovative zero-waste cutting technology with less than 1% waste. Thanks to this innovation, the production of our items saves around 20% of resources per cut and causes less than 1% of waste. Beyond production, the key to sustainability lies in design, as only garments that are worn long, often and with pleasure can be truly sustainable. That's why we pay special attention to a perfect fit, which we guarantee by working with curves in our zero-waste patterns in a complex way. This innovation sets new standards and shows how fashion design and sustainability go hand in hand - for a wasteless future. HOW WE AUDIT THE SUPPLY CHAIN FOR ALL COMPONENTS: MATERIALS In the textile industry, over 60% of the materials used are oil-based. Less than 1% of cotton is organically grown. We use 100% organically grown and fair materials for our entire collection. All components are sustainable, fair, plastic-free and biodegradable. Strictest certificates, such as GOTS and IVN Best, as well as additional Fairtrade agreements ensure the environmental and social sustainability of our materials along the entire value chain - from the main fabric to the care-tag.
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of aesthetics and quality of experience beyond functionality and how these have been met
WHY DESIGN IS THE KEY TO SUSTAINABILITY Beyond production, the key to sustainability lies within the design, as only garments that are worn long, often and with pleasure can be truly sustainable. Therefor our collection stands for minimalist, versatile design with a unique and long-lasting form. The whole collection ist handmade locally without causing waste in the production or the retail and created using organic and fair materials only, which adds additional value to our sophisticated design. In true tradition of the Bauhaus we search for the "Gute Form“ meaning for well-designed items, that are true to their purpose. Our fashion is created to be used for a long time and to empower the people and their active lifestyles. Our new rationalism combines high-end sustainable materials, with a local zero-waste handcraft production and timeless minimalist design. Our garments come to life on the body and are created in a size-fluent way, meaning it will fit even if the body changes - for a wasteless future.  Our fashion embraces the people, who wear them, not the other way around.
Please give information about the key objectives of your project in terms of inclusion and how these have been met
HOW WE EMBRACE EVERY BODY We stand for body positivity and size-inclusiveness. Our size-fluent design embraces every body. No one has to fit into a number or has to worry about not having the „right“ size anymore. With our collection we aim to end this stigmatization. Even more our garments are created to grow with you, no matter how your body changes: One dress, for example, will fit all body types from size 34-48. Some people feel stigmatized by having to buy a bigger size. Some worry, if their carefully chosen clothes might not fit anymore if they gain or loose weight. This focus on weight is not healthy. Feeling good in your own body is the key to feel welcomed within society. This focus on weight has to end. For us it means the focus on the numbers and sizes has to end. Size-fluent design is our answer to well-being and inclusive fashion design. We go beyond offering every size. We lift the emotional weight off by neglecting sizes wherever possible to embrace all different body types and for a wasteless future.
Please give information on the results/impacts achieved by your project in relation to the category you apply for
ZERO-WASTE SAVES VALUABLE RESOURCES Our production innovation in zero-waste cutting technology proves potential for immense savings in resource consumption and waste avoidance. With significantly less than 1% waste in the cutting of the garments, we can produce our entire collection with virtually no waste. Using our pantsuit as an example, we illustrate the clear advantages of our innovation: We need 3.80 m2 of cotton fabric for our zero-waste pantsuit. A conventional suit, on the other hand, uses about 5.18 m2 of material. In comparison, we thus save about 26% of the material for our suit, which means that 1.29 m2 of fabric are saved for each cut of our zero-waste suit. The waste from conventional cutting corresponds to about 0.31 kg of cotton material per cut. Therefore, at least 0.31 kg less cotton must be grown for our pantsuit. Zero-waste cutting thus saves 2.3 m2 of cultivation area per suit. In addition, 3410 litres less water are consumed for our zero-waste suit. In line with these figures, we also save significant amounts of energy, pesticides, herbicides, dyes and other factors in the further processing of resources per item, which are used to a considerable extent in conventional textile production. We therefore contribute to saving CO2 and avoiding environmental damage. Calculated per 1000 suits, our zero-waste cutting innovation can save more than 310 kg of cotton, 2,272 m2 of cultivation area and 3,410,000 litres of water. To illustrate the strong leverage of our zero-waste cutting technology let us assume that a large fashion company would switch the production of its cotton products to zero-waste cutting. With a production volume of about 1.6 billion garments and a cotton content of about 35%, this would mean a saving of 180,000 tons of cotton, 130,000 ha of arable land and 2 Billion m3 of water.
Please explain the way citizens benefiting from or affected by the project and civil society have been involved in the project and what has been the impact of this involvement on the project
WASTE AND RESOURCES AFFECT US ALL In the last two decades the textile industry has doubled the production and global annual consumption of textiles has doubled from 7 to 13 kg per person and reached to the threshold of 100 million t of textiles consumed per year leading to a massive waste problem. All garments produce about 20% offcuts during the production process. Therefore about 20 million t of waste originate from the cutting of the garments alone. With our innovative zero-waste cutting technique we reduce this waste to less than 1% saving up to one fifth of resources per cut. Unlike minimising the symptoms like many recycling projects do, we tackle the core of the waste problem with our zero-waste designs. Even before the Corona pandemic, at least 230 million unsold textiles per year were burned, shredded or shipped abroad as cheap goods in Germany alone. This is a huge waste of resources and labor. Our garments are made-on-demand, so no piece gets wasted. We produce our collection locally and on demand, this way we can shape the retail of clothes in a future proof manner and add on to our zero-waste concept. Since the disposal of waste as well as a lot of recycling yards are funded by the public, every citizens benefits by avoiding waste in the first place. Furthermore we can not ignore the challenges we will face in the 21st century any longer. We know, that every citizen will benefit, if we reduce waste and the consumption of resources (1-earth!).  Wasteless future means, we are fighting to have one for our children. That concerns everyone!
Please highlight the innovative character of the project
WITH OUR PRODUCTION INNOVATION WE CAN SAVE AROUND 20% OF THE RESSOURCES AND INCREASE MATERIAL EFFICIENCY TO OVER 99% IN THE CUTTING PROCESS The entire fashion industry causes about 20% material loss per garment due to offcuts in the cutting of clothing alone. These scraps are usually burned or thrown away, which means that one fifth of all resources are wasted only in this process - even with sustainably produced materials. To avoid this immense waste, we developed our innovative zero-waste cutting technology with less than 1% waste. This innovation is about 20% more efficient than any other cutting technique in term of saving resources by using over 99% of the fabric to create our collection. With our pattern cutting innovation, the production of our entire collection is virtually waste-free and saves around 20% of valuable resources per garment. To convey in an aesthetically pleasing manner how little waste is generated for example in our pantsuit, we developed an earring from its fabric scraps, which has since become our trademark. So even the last little thread is appreciated as a valuable resource and has a purpose.  In contrast to all recycling concepts, which only address waste as symptoms of the conventional fashion industry we avoid waste all together. We actually tackle the fundamental flaws in the system by saving valuable resources. Rethinking and reshaping the fashion business  - for a wasteless future.          
Please explain how the project led to results or learnings which could be transferred to other interested parties
COLLABORATION AND EDUCATION IS OUR WAY TO A WASTELESS FUTURE We are planning to create a mass-produced zero-waste collection with an internationally renown fashion group next year. Especially in mass production for the market segments of the medium to low price categories, the zero-waste approach has an extremely high potential, as the levers are correspondingly larger and more resources can be saved. In this way, it is also possible to reach more people with the topic of waste-free products. Especially customer groups who are very interested in sustainable textile products but have limited financial resources and cannot afford mid- to high-priced fashion.  We are looking forward to the new challenge of being able to present a sustainably produced and waste-free collection to the mass market. Our vision is for all textile companies to be waste-free, or at least waste-minimized, and to monitor all components of their clothing for high environmental and social standards along the entire value chain.  For this development, we enter into collaborations with industry partners - for a waste-free future. To inspire the designers of tomorrow I lead workshops and give speeches about sustainable fashion, mindful entrepreneurship and zero-waste design at the leading universities and venues in Germany and Europe, like weißensee kunsthochschule berlin, University of Arts Berlin, HTW Berlin, Bauhaus Universität Weimar, Burg Giebichenstein Halle, Green World Tours and Textile University Genth.  We need a mind shift in design education and the society in order to tackle the challenges we will face in the 21st century. We take responsibility - for a wasteless future. "Only those who dare to question everything can work sustainably." - Natascha von Hirschhausen
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