Uniquely Hungary: Help Others By Recycling Your Jeans, By Anne Zwack

  • 30 Apr 2015 1:40 AM
Uniquely Hungary: Help Others By Recycling Your Jeans, By Anne Zwack
Even for someone as unversed in fashion as I am, it has not escaped my attention that denim is the hot item this year. Every leading designer worth his salty prices has come out with a new angle on denim and jeans, including Christopher Kane who embroiders them with what look like matyo flowers.

I am also unversed in statistics but I have discovered that jeans are not at all environment friendly. I kg of jeans requires more than 10.000 litres of water and 0,5 kg of chemicals. The annual global production of denim amounts to 5 billion pieces which involve the use of 25 trillion litres of water.

The technology used to make jeans with a faded, torn, what they call distressed boyfriend look, puts thousands of people’s health at risk because processes like stone washing and sandblasting require the use of chemicals and lasers. It takes one day for three children in China to make a pair of jeans.

They work 12 hours a day and earn about 12 Hungarian forints an hour. Every year approximately one billion jeans are thrown out around the world.

However, the good news is that jeans are becoming greener and greener and the EU has banned a number of these practices, while here in Hungary Eva Reti, the founder of Rethy Fashion is designing denim fashion with recycled jeans.

I am always enormously impressed by people who spend their lives trying to better those of others and Anna Horvath under her umbrella NESsT Foundation is forwarding the work of Eva Reti who employs physically challenged people, or as they say rather better in Italian, the diversely able, in her workshop to strengthen their self esteem and integrate them into society.

She has organized denim collections in schools and set up denim collection points (see rethy-fashion.com/farmergyujtes/#farmeratvetel) while she has a cooperation with another NESsT supported social enterprise, HelloAnyu!, which is a family café and training centre at Csany utca 7, VII which also serves as a recycling point.

Her designs are sold in a number of retail design shops which you can find on her website rethy-fashion.com.

By Anne Marshall Zwack for XpatLoop.com

Anne was born in England in 1946, grew up in Cambridge and was educated in England and in Belgium. She lived and worked for several years in Paris, Rome and Milan where she met Peter Zwack who swept her off her feet and eventually brought her back to Hungary.

During this time she wrote for many important American publications including the Travel Section of the New York Times, Travel + Leisure and Gourmet Magazine. She currently divides her time between Budapest and Tuscany. Peter and Anne Zwack have two children and were married for forty years.

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