A journey that will not burden the future

A journey that will not burden the future

Lifestyle

Sustainability is also a theme for the fashion industry. We start seeing clothes from used fabrics and designers and customers are interested in how their clothes were produced. The world star of sustainable fashion is designer Jiří Kalfař whom we visited in Nice together with a top model and philanthropist Tereza Maxová.

27. 2. 2020

Both are stars of the catwalk, where the high fashion business employs them and has brought them to fame. It sounds a little strange when you hear them talking about second-hand clothes and used fabrics. The top model Tereza Maxová visited the young designer Jiří Kalfař with us. When we sat together in the hybrid ŠKODA SUPERB iV, everything started to make sense.

Tereza Maxová fell in love with southern France where she lives with her husband and three children for several months a year. “We are surrounded by nature,” she says in the garden next to her house on the Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat peninsula. “We really appreciate that. We try to be sensitive to our environment, not to burden the planet unnecessarily and not to be wasteful,” adds the Czech supermodel.

Maybe you would expect to see her in a dress and stilettos, but she prefers to wear comfortable shoes instead of high heels and is wearing loose bell pants and a casual romantic blouse. Her lifestyle also changed her view of fashion. “For a long time, I have been worried about fashion being one of the greatest sinners in terms of pollution. Wasted clothing, chemical production of fabrics, microplastics, bleaching, dyeing… All this is unnecessarily burdening the planet,” she explains.

Her family sorts its waste conscientiously, uses low consumption LED lights, and tries to maximise their use of public transport or bikes when travelling. And they are looking for a sustainable way to dress. “For many years I have not worn real fur. I'm a big fan of second-hand clothing and recycling of clothes. My children often inherit their clothes from each other, and I try to buy things from organic cotton and sustainable materials,” says Tereza Maxová.

On the French Riviera she has an ideal opportunity to expand her wardrobe. The new star of the world fashion scene, designer Jiří Kalfař, has opened his pop-up temporary showroom. He was the first Czech to make his mark in the main program of the New York Fashion Week. He has succeeded in both London and Paris and leading fashion magazines are interested in his designs. His theme is sustainable fashion, for which he received the prestigious Innovation Award 2019 awarded under the auspices of Princess Charlene of Monaco. “I embraced the zero waste concept – I process yard goods so that there are no shreds and I can use everything. I use ecological, but also upcycled or vintage materials,” says the charming thirty-one-year-old.

Up-cycling - the transformation of waste material, unnecessary or used products into new material or articles of value in use. Unlike the re-use approach, a new product tends to have other features or uses compared to the original. Up-cycling also increases (unlike recycling) the original value of the product.

 

Tereza Maxová was interested in his designs, but mainly in his philosophy and approach to fashion. Gradually they became friends. Kalfař does not build a permanent network of stores and does not want to create unnecessary retail outlets. He prefers to use pop-ups to meet his customers in various places and allow them to see and try the pieces he designs. He invited us to a temporary showroom in Cote d’Azur in Nice. “It's just a few kilometres from our house,” Tereza says.

She drives to Nice in the new ŠKODA SUPERB iV, the first-ever Czech car with a plug-in hybrid drive that combines an internal combustion engine with an electric motor. In purely electric mode, it has a range of up to 62 kilometres on a single charge. “That's enough for us, we'll be driving emission-free,” she smiles as she disconnects the car from the wallbox, the home wall charger.

 

A journey that will not burden the future

Recharging - The ŠKODA SUPERB iV offers four charging options. It takes 3.5 hours to charge the battery to 100% capacity with a wallbox of up to 3.6 kW. Recharging the battery from a standard 2.3 kW home outlet using a standard charger takes 5 hours. The car is also able to automatically charge while driving on the internal combustion engine without having to stop or connect the car to the mains. There is always enough energy to cover longer journeys so that driving in urban low-emission zones is locally emission-free.

 

Tereza admits that she drives in the city only if necessary, she enjoys family trips far more. She is cautious at the wheel and drives safely. She even handles sharp switchbacks on the steep descent with a remark and smile. “At least we can produce some energy for later,” she says and reminds us that the SUPERB iV uses braking energy to recharge its battery.

Recuperation - The ŠKODA SUPERB iV recovers energy during braking. The driver activates mode B by simply changing the position of the transmission selector, and the brake function is taken over by an electric motor, which also recovers braking energy. The car can also recover any braking energy slightly even in normal driving mode D when the driver releases the accelerator pedal and the car glides downhill. The recuperated energy is stored in a traction lithium-ion battery and can be used for subsequent driving in electric mode.

 

 

Jiří Kalfař welcomes Tereza in a simply furnished space and the model immediately looks at new pieces: a non-chemically dyed red tulle skirt, a 60s upcycled vintage lace that the designer discovered at the local market, kapok and Buddhist silk dress.

Sustainable materials are processed and produced with minimal impact on the environment.

During the production of sustainable cotton, genetically modified seeds and pesticides are not used. Above all, it saves water, which consumes thousands of litres per kilogram of fabric in commercial production.

Kapok is made from the fibres of the fruits of giant tropical trees. The fibres resemble cotton but are hollow and have excellent thermoregulatory properties. They are used as a filling of blankets and mattresses, but also in the production of fabric from which functional clothing is made which looks and feels like silk.

In silk production, silkworm larvae (3000 dead larvae per half a kilo of fabric) are killed as they would hatch, break the cocoon and destroy the silk fibre. Buddhist (peaceful) silk is produced by a more demanding but gentler technique only after the larvae hatches and flies out of the cocoon.

 

 

Natural materials are an important part of sustainable fashion. But the most important part of sustainability is that there is no unnecessary overproduction or waste. Large clothing brands normally produce up to a quarter extra for each collection that is not sold. Everything is excessive, producing a lot of waste that is incinerated and consuming unnecessary energy and material. Human labour is undervalued, the situation in factories and workshops outside Europe is undignified. When you think about the damage fashion does, you will understand what a destructive business it is. When I am a part of the business, I try to do it differently,” explains the designer.

He recycles his show collections himself, combining old materials with new ones and imbuing them with new life. He produces only in small quantities. “We got used to excess. We should think more about whether we absolutely need new clothes, whether they really are so worn out that they need to be trashed, or whether they can be repaired or otherwise used. Fast fashion is rather like fast food, it is a choice as to whether you want to consume or to change your habits,” says Jiří Kalfař.

Tereza tries out several combinations - a comfortable Mediterranean style outfit, a shimmering transparent blouse and a deep orange sweater. She listens to the story of each piece. Finally, she chooses a jacket with slits that can be worn as a poncho. “It is made from a recycled fabric that we bought as it was going to be thrown-away as residue. These were a few limited pieces and no more can be produced because there is no more fabric. Exclusivity today cannot be guaranteed by money but a product can be unique in the way it was created. One can have a great feeling that the things you use do not have a negative impact on the planet,” adds the young designer.

Tereza Maxová sits back in her car in her new jacket and she looks great. Even in the afternoon sun, the SUPERB iV is pleasantly chilled and always sufficiently charged to get home – emission-free.

Smart air conditioning - Remote control of the air conditioning system is part of the smart ŠKODA CONNECT application. So you can cool your car using your mobile phone before you hit the road. You can choose whether the air conditioning is activated only when the vehicle is connected to a charging station, if you use renewable energy at home, and you can use clean energy for cooling. Along the route, there is no need to cool the car which also reduces emissions.

“I enjoy looking for a path that connects what I love without burdening the future. Every day I enjoy moments that make sense to our lives,” Tereza says.

Tereza Maxová

In 1997 Tereza Maxová founded her own Foundation through which she helps children in infant homes and supports foster family care (adoption and foster care). She supports non-profit organizations focused on helping disadvantaged children, families and future mothers. This year, the Foundation has awarded the largest grant in its history for the establishment of three regional branches of the Locika organization, which is dedicated to the fight against domestic violence. Tereza’s Foundation organizes a sporting charity event called Teribear Moves Prague and, with Škoda Auto, has been implementing an educational project Let’s rock! for children from foster homes. “Most of the time currently, my husband and I are working on the Kaplankaya project - in a resort in southern Turkey near Bodrum a coastal community has been established which focuses on sustainability in every step – zero waste, water desalination, recycling and 100% recovery of all building materials. Everything we believe in has a place there. On the coast, a protected zone was established where there is a fishing ban and these efforts resulted in a restoration of the seabed during the last 10 years. We use electric cars, we create space for electric public transport, we do not use plastics, we recycle water, we employ people from surrounding villages. The project has also created a series of workshops and lectures on well-being, sustainability, ecology, nature, human body and mind – Harvest Kaplankaya.

 

 

Jiří Kalfař

Jiří Kalfař never studied design. In his youth he devoted himself to ballet and, after finishing his dancing career, he made a living as a model. He settled in New York for a while but returned to Prague determined to try something new - since 2012 he has been building his own fashion brand. As a passionate animal rights and environmental advocate he recognized the downsides of the fashion business, so he decided to go his own way, the way of sustainable design. He produces clothing from ethical sources and sustainable textiles, constantly experimenting with new technologies and materials. As a ballet dancer, he has an innate sense of movement and style that is also reflected in his designs. In the contemporary fashion world, thanks to his philosophy, he gained international attention – he participated in fashion weeks in Paris, Kiev and London and in early 2019 successfully demonstrated his collection as the first Czech in the main program of the prestigious New York fashion week. In May he accepted The Innovation Award 2019 from Princess Charlene for being a designer responsibly fulfilling the principles of sustainable fashion.

 

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