Ambassador Hester got to know vzw Verzamelwoede and tells more about it
What happens to our discarded clothes? With a bit of luck it ends up in a second-hand shop, but unfortunately it is often different. VZW Verzamelwoede, founded in the summer of 2020 by Lennert Goessens and Sumit Bunthanon, wants to change this. They recognise the great challenge that exists, but are determined to help make the clothing industry circular, step by step.
For Lennert and Sumit, as for many other young people, clothing plays an important role in expressing themselves. However, their passion for fashion went hand in hand with a growing concern about the negative impact the clothing industry has. On the one hand, they wanted to start their own brand, but on the other, they realised that there is no need for another new clothing brand. What the market needs are new ways of designing and producing/consuming clothes.
Setting up a non-profit organisation meant the least financial risk for them, while it gave them the prestige they needed to realise various projects. These include organising workshops that are open to everyone. The first one took place recently in Ghent and taught a group of eight enthusiasts the “Tatakizome” technique.
Tatakizome is a traditional Japanese technique in which you use flowers and plants to make prints on textiles. By hitting freshly picked plants with a hammer, the juices are released, which then transfer their colours to the textile. Gradually, the shape appears and you can create colourful motifs. Then you fix the print so that it is washable and the colours do not fade. This simple technique offers endless possibilities for giving old garments a new life, hiding stains or personalising a simple fabric. Moreover, it also brings you in touch with nature in your own environment.