Elise Ballegeer’s Ethical Slow Fashion Offers Timeless Minimalism

Elise Ballegeer, Autumn/Winter 2014, Fall/Winter 2014, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Berlin, Germany, fair trade, fair-trade fashion, fair-trade clothing, hemp

Faultlines is the stunning new collection from eco-fashion designer Elise Ballegeer who has produced her stylish range using responsibly sourced organic and sustainable fabrics. To make these sleek designs Ballegeer selects eco-textiles such as hemp and cotton from fair-trade projects in India. But her main ethical practice, she says, is working with local ateliers and production houses in Berlin, Germany. “I pay my tailors fair wages and support the local economy,” she says, “and I’ve made it a priority to invite them to the shows, so they too can enjoy and take pride in the finished product.” Her respectful attitude to local craftsmanship combined with her commitment to social responsibility is at the heart of her designs.

Elise Ballegeer, Autumn/Winter 2014, Fall/Winter 2014, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, ethical fashion, sustainable style, Berlin, Germany, fair trade, fair-trade fashion, fair-trade clothing, hemp

Ballegeer responsibly sources a variety of sustainable fabrics while making sure they work well with her stylish designs. “This season I also got really into different hemp blends,” she says. “I know hemp has had a rough image in the past, but the new fabric developments are remarkable, with an unbelievably soft hand.” The eco-conscious designer has a real commitment to sustainable values, and takes the time to do her research. “Hemp is usually planted on the borders of organic farms because it acts as a natural herbicide/pesticide for crops,” she notes. “And it replenishes the soil, so it’s a win-win for the farmers, the land, and the apparel.”

The concept behind the contemporary collection takes its inspiration from the literal meaning, the intersecting line between a fault plane and the Earth’s surface. In design this manifests itself as ‘the fault’, an element that creates a break and shift in the garment’s construction. This strategy is employed in women’s staples – blouses, pants, and dressers – as the focal point of the piece. The delicate disruption that ‘the fault’ introduces creates a sense of movement that is contrasted with layering, linear forms and dropped seams.

Ballegeer has worked with some of the world’s top fashion brands including Calvin Klein and Zac Posen. Now working under her own name it is exciting to see how the American designer is putting responsible practices at the heart of her designs.

+ Elise Ballegeer

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