Consumers are more interested than ever in sustainable fashion and remodelling, says fashion designer Sia Rosenberg.
"I think people feel we have somehow lost our connection with nature, and many of them are trying to reconnect through awareness about the use of natural materials, redesign and upcycling."
Rosenberg organises redesign workshops at MAD Brussels, a publicly funded creative hub dedicated to promoting creative companies in the Belgian capital. At these workshops, people learn how to transform and renew their old wardrobe together with basic sewing lessons.
"During the first workshop it got a little crowded, so I need to have a maximum of five people for a session. Consumers are really trying to change their behaviour; to reuse and reduce - men and women, people from all ages are coming."
The workshops will continue in her new atelier in Brussels from July. Sia Rosenberg will join forces with a tailor and merge sewing and redesign courses to engage with more people. The desire to adopt more sustainable fashion habits is not only limited to remodelling and redesign. An increasing number of people are getting into the use of natural materials and better quality, she says reflects.
"All these reports about microplastics are shocking people, and they want to opt for natural, renewable materials that don't pile up on landfill or shed plastics into oceans."
The Brussels-based designer mainly works with leather, wool, silk and linen but she is also drawn to fur for its remodelling abilities and long lifespan. Her interest in the materials started when she was a design student and worked on a project in which students were provided with old furs for remodelling. To Sia Rosenberg that was the beginning of her affection for seal skins sourced from Greenland.
"You can really do anything – you can even play directly with the direction of the hair," says she while pointing at one of her favourite designs – a corset blazer made of wool and seal.
"The magic here was to use a mixture of baking powder and water to soften the skin and then create this shape. Once it dries, it keeps the form, and you get these beautiful curves that match a women's body."