Making Swedish slow fashion and sustainability envogue  

4 December 2019

Celebrated Swedish Costume designer Nina Sandström showcased new work at the ground-breaking arts and fashion festival Arte Botanica at Nirox Sculpture Park this past November.

Manthe Ribane, artistic director for Arte Botanica talks about the initiative:
“It’s about nature being the catalyst for synthesizing and recognising the exuberance of diversity in the arts – in particular giving fashion its place amongst the arts, beyond its commodification at the hands of profits.
In future we will look to address more about sustainability in the way we live and enjoy nature.  It’s not a question of science or human preservation for future generations. That’s how it is usually presented, but for us its more about living in nature because we are a part of it, not its master and not something separate from it. Humans over-estimate themselves.  We will also want to introduce poetry, the spoken word and literature as an integral part of fashion, music and the way Africans enjoy life.”



The day, in addition to displays of works by some 20 of South Africa's foremost young designers, included talks about sustainable fashion, how nature influences people's longing to adorn themselves and the importance of working for the environment. Nina Sandström’s participation at Arte Botanica is part of the Swedish Embassy's work on sustainability and fashion and will be followed up with a symposium in Johannesburg in December 2019 for the textile and fashion industry. The work is supported by the Swedish Institute, Volvo and HM.

Slow Fashion Fairy Tales is Nina Sandström's upcoming project where she marries and celebrates recycling and craftsmanship.
As the only international guest at the inauguration of Arte Botanica, Nina brought her first creations on the theme, created from 100 percent recycled textiles.

The Slow Fashion Fairy Tales project will be launched in Sweden in 2020, hopefully in partnership with South African creators.

Text: Hedda Krausz Sjögren
Photo: Nina Sandström/ Sara Chitambo