Marieke Eyskoot on fair fashion and Amsterdam's hidden green gems

Marieke Eyskoot on fair fashion and Amsterdam’s hidden green gems

Jan 23, 2013 |  by  |  Fashion
About the author
I'm Iris, don't know where I'm going, but I love to explore. And though the best things in life are free, some killer heels, a pretty dress and good food can sure make me happy. Contact me at

‘Where can I buy fair fashion?’ ‘Isn’t it very expensive?’ ‘What do I need to keep in mind?’ After getting the same questions over and over again, fair fashion expert Marieke Eyskoot (35) decided it was time to write a book. Named after her company, Talking Dress, it became a guide full of tips, tricks and everything you want to know about fair fashion. In the accompanying free app, you’re able to find an overview of fair (fashion) stores throughout the country. I met up with Marieke at Beter & Leuk -one of her favourite places in town- to hear all about her book, her passion and Amsterdam’s hidden green gems.

Before we start talking about where and how we can buy fair fashion; why should we actually do so?
“Fashion is meant to celebrate life, not to throw away. I compare buying consciously with buying an exclusive piece of pie: you can eat a beautifully crafted and delicious piece of pie or you can eat an entire bag of crisps. Which would make you feel better? The shopping experience is also much nicer, as all fair stores have such a unique character with products that display originality and craftsmanship.”

But isn’t it very expensive? Especially for students or young people who just landed their first job?
“Buying fair doesn’t have to be expensive. Brands such as the Amsterdam-based Studio Jux or People Tree are not more expensive than, say, Mango. Of course you can also be creative and swap your clothes with friends or go to a clothing swap, popping up more and more in Amsterdam. And you should keep in mind that if the price a piece of clothing is a bit higher, but it’s made of a sustainable fabric, it will last so much longer. It’s just a different -and more pleasant- way of thinking about shopping and clothes.”

So, it’s not difficult to go for a fair wardrobe?
“Definitely not! Besides the fact that fair fashion is accessible, it’s also important to realize that you don’t need to do everything ‘right': don’t let the great be the enemy of the good. If everyone changes a few things, it would already be such a big step!”

Nowadays every brand claims to do everything they can to be ethical. How can we determine which brands can really be labelled as such?
“Actually it’s a really good sign that so many brands are conscious of the importance of these issues. There are a number of hallmarks that can help you when you’re looking for fair products. The app and book contain some more information on that and on questions you can ask yourself to check whether a brand is acting ethically.”

Your book and app contain a broad collection of fair fashion stores. What are your personal favourites in Amsterdam?
Charlie + Mary has a nice collection of brands for both men and women in De Pijp. In addition they have some lovely accessories in store. Sukha (Haarlemmerstraat) is a little more expensive, but it’s a beautiful design store offering both fashion and interior design. Their pieces are timeless and a lot of it is actually made in The Netherlands. A hairdresser and store in one is MHOOM in Oost. Mainly focussed on streetwear and really good for younger people. Located in the city centre Fair + Fair is more of an interior design store, with many hand-made products with unique designs.”

In your book you also go into a fair lifestyle in general, of course food plays a major role in this. Can you share some of your favourite food places in town?
Beter & Leuk is s great place to drink a freshly squeezed juice or smoothie and enjoy delicious home-made delights. Kantine is part of Charlie + Mary and feels like an actual canteen. You can grab a plate, pick what you want and work or hang out in a relaxed environment. Coffeebru in Oost serves delicious coffee, snacks & juices, and it’s mostly local.”

Besides fashion and food, in what other ways can we make our lives more sustainable?
“There are sustainable alternatives for nearly everything, take for instance cosmetics. We have a few great salons in our own city. Like Ekelogical, a beauty salon in De Pijp that offers beauty treatments and massages, as well as ecological products. Or C Cosmetics & Care, a store and salon on the canals that sells high-quality, organic cosmetics and has some great treatments.”

To finish off, why should everyone read your book?
“If you want to know what you can do for a fair and fashionable wardrobe (and lifestyle) and discover how easy, inspiring and fun that is, this could be your book!”

Talking Dress

Where: Every major online and offline bookstore and many fair stores (mentioned above).
Price: €19,95
Site: Talking Dress
App: iOS/Android

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