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  • ARTE.M Association

Madeira: Leading the Charge in Sustainable Fashion destination

Updated: Mar 20

As the devastating environmental impact of the global clothing industry becomes increasingly evident, with textiles contributing to nearly 10% of carbon emissions and over 20% of water pollution, Madeira is taking a stand.

Now in the limelight for a different reason—pioneering sustainable fashion practices in Europe—the island of Madeira has been selected as an experimental location and laboratory for new solutions to these issues

"ReColour. Anti-Voque" a collaborative project spanning two years and involving NGO EineWelt from Germany, IMKA from Latvia, and the ARTE.M artistic and cultural association from Madeira.

Co-funded by the Erasmus Plus program of the European Union, "ReColour. Anti-Voque" aims to revolutionize the fashion industry by promoting sustainable fashion education and empowering young individuals to make eco-conscious choices in their clothing purchases.

One of the key findings of recent research conducted in Madeira is the reluctance towards second-hand shopping and clothes upcycling. Despite the growing global trend towards vintage and recycled fashion, Madeira stands out for its lack of popularity in clothes recycling and second-hand practices. However, this presents an opportunity for change.

Open Upcycling Work Shop at Oficina Solidaria of SocioHabita Funchal

To address this, ReColour. Anti-Voque is organizing a series of environmental events aimed at promoting green eco-practices in fashion. These events will include workshops on upcycling techniques, swap parties, and even a fashion show featuring upcycled clothes.

Why ?

Second hand practices and sustainable ideas in fashion are not popular in Portugal, so our recent research in Madeira has shown that out of all three countries, Madeira is the leader in terms of unpopularity of clothes recycling and second hand practices.

We asked If you don't buy second-hand clothes, why not?

 "I don't know where these stores are" - 37%

"Don’t like the environment of those stores - 2%

“The clothes in these stores are ugly" – 12 %

"There aren’t second-hand shops in Madeira. Actually I did visit one but everything smells moldy, dont know where the clothes have been, prejudice, perhaps"

Results of a study in Madeira on sustainability practices in fashion

Today, the idea of clothes re-tailoring, the transformation of old into new, is very popular in the world, undoubtedly leading in USA and northern European countries and remaining almost invisible in the southern part of Europe.

However, our last event "Open Upcycling Work Shop at SocioHabita Funchal oficina solidaria" together with vintage shop "Botão Solidario" revealed a huge interest in green upcycling tecniques and made us think about preparing a training programme on recycling work shops.

As the project continues to gain momentum, "ReColour. Anti-Voque" is calling for volunteers to join their cause. Whether it's participating in events, spreading the word, or getting involved in the project directly, there are numerous opportunities for individuals to make a difference.

Additionally, ReColour is partnering with local organizations such as SociohabitaFunchal, vintage shop "Botão Solidario" Digitalnomads Madeira islands, Madeira friends International Community and Greener Act to host monthly swap parties, where participants can exchange clothes instead of buying new ones. The first trial event is scheduled for March 30th, with more details to follow.

Upcycling art collection from vintage shop "Botão Solidario",Funchal

Together, we can reshape the future of fashion.  

We encourage all those interested in volunteering in our project this spring and summer to contact us and we will be happy to meet you. We would be happy to co-operate with schools



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