European Fashion Heritage Association

Journal EFHA World

Report: New European Bauhaus Festival

European fashionNew European Bauhaussustainability

Bringing Fashion, Sustainability, and Heritage together

The New European Bauhaus Festival, an annual celebration of innovation and creativity, recently took place from the 9th to the 13th of April in Brussels, located in the historic Cinquantenaire Park and the Art and History Museum.

Throughout the festival, attendees engaged in interactive sessions, workshops, demonstrations, and artistic performances, all aimed at highlighting Europe’s innovative spirit in shaping a sustainable future. The theme of fashion and sustainability emerged as a focal point. President Von Der Leyen emphasised the New European Bauhaus’s commitment to ensuring stable funding, diversifying sectors, and promoting competitiveness. Specifically, within the fashion industry, there was a call to expand sustainability initiatives beyond the built environment. A European alliance for a more sustainable fashion industry was formed, with projects like sustainable costumes showcased at the festival, signalling a shift towards climate neutrality and the harmonisation of beauty with sustainability.

The festival provided a moment for reflection on the role of heritage and craftsmanship in fashion. As EFHA, we work on the importance of preserving cultural heritage, particularly in craftsmanship and intangible heritage related to textiles and fashion, and highlight the role of heritage assets in inspiring a more sustainable and equitable future for the fashion sector. Panel Discussions during the festival also delved into pressing issues facing the textile industry, including environmental impact, waste management, and measuring sustainability and durability. With over 1.5 million Europeans employed in the sector, there is a growing urgency to address these challenges while fostering consumer engagement and education.

EFHA’s participation in the festival underlined our commitment to uncovering and sharing fashion heritage assets across Europe. By promoting inclusivity, diversity, and creativity while supporting preservation and valorization, we align with the New European Bauhaus’s vision of empowering communities and building a more vibrant and sustainable future.

These enriching days served as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue and collaboration across various sectors, emphasising the importance of fashion, sustainability, and heritage in shaping Europe’s collective future. As we continue to navigate the challenges of our time, initiatives like the New European Bauhaus will play a vital role in driving positive change and fostering innovation.