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Trash to Trend participated on an event called ''Culturability BSR''

July 08, 2014
''Culture as a resource for sustainable develoment'' was heard as the opening line by Minister of Culture of Republic of Latvia Mrs.Dace Melbarde in June when more than 50 participants from 9 Baltic Sea Region countries: Poland, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Norway, Germany, Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania, attended a two day event called ''Culturability BSR''.

The aims for the project were building knowledge on culture as a driver for sustainable development as well to build cooperation's between core stakeholders within creative industries, urban development and social innovation on efforts which use culture to integrate the environmental, economic and the social dimension of sustainability. The event was held in a unique floating art gallery called NOASS in Riga, city which currently holds the title of Capital of Culture of Europe 2014 and was carried out in cooperation with The Danish Cultural Institute, support by Riga 2014, with primary funding from the Nordic Council of Ministers.

The event presented many outstanding guest speakers from creative industries including PhD Reet Aus one of the TrashtoTrend designers who was introducing and talking about the concept of upcycling in mass-production and implementing it in the common production processes of Beximco, the largest vertically integrated fabric and garment producer in Bangladesh, with whom Reet Aus has had a cooperation for several years. 

The importance of upcycling, which could be defines as a process of converting leftover materials into something new and beautiful by adapting the processes with the help of design, can be seen by the fact that on average it enabled to save 4000 liters / 80% of water and create 2000 g / 85% less CO2 emission per each new garment not to mention that, for example in Beximco it can potentially reduce at least 65% of waste created by the giant production of 56 million garments a year. Reet Aus also mentioned, that currently they are looking for cooperation's with larger brands and future plans include sending proposals to H&M, Primark and so on, to take the concept further and change the global fashion industry for better even more. 

Comments for the upcycling concept included Michael's Lind (“Uniforms For The Dedicated”, Sweden) who stated that ''tapping into recycling is relevant, a gap needs to be filled, the fashion industry will not go out and find the solutions themselves, they need somebody to present the ideas for them.''

Besides Reet Aus, there were many others, whose concepts could be mentioned, such as Urcycles by Oleg Koefoed, innovation of bicycles to resolve both the car-problem in metropolis as well the way they are produced by using circular economy. Second idea, Greenbox was introduced by Oskars Redbergs and Ints Mengeliswhich helps a network of activists to connect and support each other in wild neighbourhoods. 

To sum up these two days in Riga, the following can be said: there were great people, amazing ideas, great learning, productive and although the event is over for this time, it will continue already in early October in the capital of  Denmark where Imants Gross (the director of Nordisk Council of Ministers in Latvia) believes it to bring whole catalogue of proposals and new ideas. 

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