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Fast Fashion
The Dark Sides of Fashion

27.09.2019 to 31.01.2021
Museum Europäischer Kulturen

The special exhibition Fast Fashion: The Dark Sides of Fashion, conceived by the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg, takes a critical look at the consequences of fashion consumption for its producers and the environment. It encourages visitors to rethink their consumer behaviour and to get involved in dealing with its impact. The Museum Europäischer Kulturen (MEK), Staatliche Museen zu Berlin supplements the examination of fast fashion with insights into the Berlin slow fashion world. As the hub of the international fair fashion world, Berlin is a source of numerous innovative ideas about how fashion can be used sustainably while still being fun.

The Global Fast Fashion Industry

The biggest “fashion sins” are committed even before garments reach the stores. The production of a single cotton T-shirt consumes 2700 litres of water, which regularly ends up spreading toxic pollutants into the rivers after being used in chemical dying processes. People living in countries such as Bangladesh suffer from persistent environmental pollution and contaminated ground water. In those countries women mostly earn their living as seamstresses in the clothing industry. Increasing numbers of consumers now classify the women’s working conditions and wages as unfair. How can a T-shirt cost less than a cappuccino? The section of the exhibition examining fast fashion explains how the global fast fashion industry functions and how producers and consumers are interconnected.

Fair and Sustainable: Slow Fashion

Public interest in fair fashion is increasing as a result of the public discourse about the consequences of fast fashion for people and the environment. The section of the exhibition about slow fashion provides information about the Berlin fair fashion scene. Neonyt, the world’s largest fair fashion fair, takes place in Berlin every year. Designers and creative minds set trends and develop innovative approaches and materials while seeking to slow down the fashion cycle. The MEK presents Berlin pioneers of fair and sustainable fashion who explain what they consider to be fair and sustainable – from environmentally friendly upcycling and fair production conditions to garments made out of certified fabrics and clothing exchange parties.

Magalog, Events and Educational Programme Accompanying the Exhibition

Fast Fashion: The Dark Sides of Fashion is an exhibition by the Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg in collaboration with the Museum Europäischer Kulturen – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin. A comprehensive magalog (ISBN 13978-3-923859-82-5) for the exhibition has already been published.

Audio Clips Online

In the Slow Fashion section of the exhibition we present pioneers of fair and sustainable fashion. To make visits to the exhibition as contact-free as possible in the context of the coronavirus pandemic, the listening stations in the exhibition have currently been switched off. Instead you can use your own devices to listen to interview clips from the exhibition, available here. They provide insight into the particular motivations for standing up for fair fashion.

Designer Rut Meyburg on Upcycling

Fashion label founder Verena Paul-Benz on fairly and locally produced fashion

Influencer Alf-Tobias Zahn on minimalism and reducing fashion consumption

Jenna Stein, organiser of clothing swap parties, on the fashion cycle

Arnimallee 25
14195 Berlin

partially wheelchair accessible

U-Bahn: Dahlem-Dorf
Bus: U Dahlem-Dorf, Limonenstraße, Domäne Dahlem

Strollers and wheelchairs can be borrowed from the ticket desk.

Sun 11:00 - 18:00
Mon closed
Tue closed
Wed 10:00 - 17:00
Thu 10:00 - 17:00
Fri 10:00 - 17:00
Sat 11:00 - 18:00

Opening times on public holidays Opening Hours
Last admission and ticket sales 30 minutes before closing time.

Admission ticket Museum Europäischer Kulturen
8,00 EUR Concessions 4,00
Museum Europäischer Kulturen
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Related Links

Museum and the City: "Die Schattenseiten der Mode: „Kultur-Seismologin“ Judith Schühle im Gespräch über Fast Fashion" in the blog of the Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (German only)

360° Tour of the „Fast Fashion” Exhibition

Tour through the exhibition "Fast Fashion. The Dark Sides of Fashion" in the Museum Europäischer Kulturen (German)