Fair Fashion

Everyone needs clothes. The clothing industry is one of the largest industries in the world. But how much is known about it? This year's NonFiction Photo Exhibition explores Fair Fashion, the apparel industry, and ways to improve its impact on the world. The NonFiction Photo Exhibition delves deep into the world of fashion and its effects on the people and places in this world.

door Bill Derrah

It is becoming increasingly clear, between social inequalities, environmental damage and ordinary waste, that today's fashion industry is not all it could be. Enter Fair Fashion – a loose term for a movement of individuals, companies and styles working to solve the problems of the garment industry. How does it work?

NonFiction Photo Exhibition

Curator of the exhibition and founder of NonFiction Photo Andrea Hooymans has learned from the research. "I'm not as optimistic about recycling as I was when I started working on this exhibition... Many people think that if you recycle, you're done with it; you've done your part. But actually that's not true, it's very misleading." She notes several cases where recycled clothing is used as a fuel for heat in poorer countries, a huge waste of resources for little heating value and with negative consequences for the environment. Also, many garments are assembled in such a complex way that it is impossible to recycle them. 

Fair Fashion expositie

"I think a lot of people don't realize that the clothing industry is one of the biggest water consumers in the world." Between these and other insights, she discovered that the general knowledge was not quite right. "I realized it has more to do with the design's flaw in fashion. It's not really the consumers who are causing the problem – although it's true that we 'vote' with the money we spend – but seeking the solution on the consumer's side is like mopping up with the tap open. The solution is more in the way clothes are designed."

NonFiction Photo Exhibition

In keeping with NonFiction Photo's moral orientation, she hopes the audience will "learn something new, get inspired, and rethink the way she looks at fashion.". Practical advice included: the exhibition contains a practical section with useful means to help the public. From small things like where in the city of Groningen you can buy clothes more honestly, to lifestyle tips so that you can keep clothes good for longer, the exhibition has lasting power. "I would like people to realize that fashion should not be a hobby. It's really out of date and doesn't fit with the things we know about what's happening in the world. It's easier and cheaper to shop honestly than you might think... I hope to make people a little more aware and reflective about what they do."

Designer and architect Dries Verbeke (Driever) says that the experience in making this exhibition is like being in a band, where everyone has their own ideas around a shared subject, enriching everyone's experience. He hopes that through these and similar exhibitions, progressive protest, in line with Extinction Rebellion, will remain alive and effective. "The problems are always right under our noses because of such organizations ... I hope for real action, that there will be political action. Of course, we can only hope for the best, but through real actions, such as building an exhibition like this, we can ensure that these problems are at least seen by people."


Production and fashion designer Grystje-Suze Abma joined the team especially for the Fair Fashion Exhibition: "I tried to frame the issue of fair fashion as positively as possible. So don't be too critical about everything we do wrong, but focus on 'what am I already doing?' or 'what kind of things can I do to improve the situation?'. And also to create a more positive awareness, and to add tips and more fun." She hopes the public will "get easy, practical tips and the awareness to implement them in everyday life."


+31 6 306 530 13


Stichting NonFiction Photo
Kerklaan 30, 9751 NN, Haren
ANBI | Algemeen Nut Beogende Instelling


NonFiction Photo Festival Groningen
November – December 2022
Synagoge – Folkingestraat 60


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