Numerous companies have equipped her, she has rewarded herselves with extended shopping trips. Just as the most of us, shopping is (or was) a true soul comforter. Until Marie became too much. The quantity of clothes in the usual shops have scared her somehow. The awareness that something in the fast-fashion concepts of the XL chains can not be right, had been around for a while with Marie Nasemann, but she successfully replaced this uncomfortable idea.
Bad conscience can be replaced if necessary
But then in 2013 came the terrible events of Rana Plaza. Looking away has stopped working for her. More than 1000 people lost their lives in Bangladesh. For people who still feel happy when carrying countless plastic bags filled with cheap textiles home. For people who still cling to the ever-changing trends and enthusiastically join them. She questioned her consumption, launched her Instagram account Fairknallt in 2016 and launched a blog of the same name in the same year.
Marie Nasemann shows on her blog that eco-fashion can be sexy
On Fairknallt Marie shows how sexy fair fashion can be. And she definitely has all the necessary requirements. Professional support in matters of sustainability is provided by Norian Schneider, who has a corresponding university degree. Better safe than sorry. I met Marie, who has just finished her acting education and moved from Hamburg to Berlin, in her old home town Munich. Marie was booked as an ambassador for the Cologne-based label ARMEDANGELS, which presented its Organic Wool offensive to a broad audience in the traditional Ludwig Beck shop. But more on that later.
Fair fashion, good wool – a conversation with Marie Nasemann
my-GREENstyle: From a model to fair-fashion blogger: You have over 50,000 followers on Instagram. How did your fans react to the issue of fair fashion?
Marie Nasemann: I have to admit that I was a bit scared of it. Once you get a bit critical, opinions sometimes split and many people feel attacked. My followers reacted very positively, but not so many jumped from “Marie Nasemann” to “Fairknallt” because it’s still a niche topic. Many thought the topic was cool and told me they had come up with the topic through me.
my-GREENstyle: And what about your environment on this topic? What do your friends, family, model colleagues say about fair fashion?
Marie Nasemann: Very different. I know that new topics in my family always take a while. Eight years ago, I stopped eating meat. My two brothers laughed at me for a long time. And meanwhile, both of them eat very little meat, have discovered smoothies and sometimes eat vegan food. It’s the same with fair fashion: everybody thought for the first time: eco. But now everyone finds the topic exciting, want to know more and where to buy it. And in my private environment I am constantly advertising. I do not try to actively convert people with a raised index finger. Instead, I try to dress great and then tell, when I’m asked about my clothes, the corresponding background.
When I stopped eating meat, I was laughed at
my-GREENstyle: Getting involved in fair fashion requires an extra-large dose of passion. Who can you best exchange with?
Marie Nasemann: Exciting people in Hamburg introduced me to the topic. The group is called _innen. These are freelance women who meet every two weeks to discuss feminist issues. Of course, fair fashion is also a feminist topic, as most workers and seamstresses are women. That worked just fine.
my-GREENstyle: And when did the moment came when you thought I have to do more?
Marie Nasemann: I have met other fantastic people like the Kleiderei girls, Melodie from Melodie Michelberger PR, which works together with a lot of regional companies. And so I kept getting in touch with the subject. I started looking for labels for my red carpet dresses then I started my Instagram account. And the logical consequence was of course the blog.
I’ve learned a lot about fair fashion from the Kleiderei girls, Melodie Michelberger & Co. [/
my-GREENstyle: An argument that you hear over and over again: “But sustainable fashion is just so expensive.” What do you answer?
Marie Nasemann: Buy less. Targeted purchase. Buy consciously. Do not buy to make yourself happy for a short time or distract from something like heartbroken or because you want to reward yourself for something. It’s just a short kick. If you think carefully before, what you need, what you want and what you have – then you can afford even higher quality things.
my-GREENstyle: What are you doing with garments that you do not wear anymore?
Marie Nasemann: A lot of fair-fashion stuff I give to my girls in the Kleiderei (note from the editor: Here can lend clothes instead of buying). There they are awarded and I think it’s great that they are in a different wardrobe every month and make the owner happy. And otherwise I sell online or go to the flea market.
my-GREENstyle: Your private wardrobe is getting fairer and fairer. As a model you do not live exclusively from green productions. How does this balancing act feel?
Marie Nasemann: It feels right for me. It would be wrong to work only with sustainable brands. I do not specifically exclude the others because I want to make a difference in the companies that are not yet dealing with the topic.
It would be wrong to work only with sustainable brands
my-GREENstyle: Do you have the opportunity to talk about the production methods of these labels in your conventional model jobs?
Marie Nasemann: These jobs and events often give me the opportunity to talk to the bosses. The other day I met Mango Commited and asked the marketing boss with questions about their sustainability plan. This gives me the opportunity to do something that would not otherwise be the case.
my-GREENstyle: There are quite a few labels on the topic of sustainability. Sounds good and is posited positively. Did you ever have to reject cooperation requests?
Marie Nasemann: Definitely. Especially with my blog, we are very strict and consistent. Since May, I have an employee with Norian Schneider, who has a Bachelor and Master in Sustainability Sciences. He examines all the brands very well, because I also like to be tempted, if something looks great and the story sounds good. There were already some who were not as sustainable as we should think. We have radically deleted them from the list.
my-GREENstyle: The other day was Black Friday. And because not enough is consumed on this one day, many companies have extended their sale campaigns for days. Do you have a statement on this topic?
Marie Nasemann: No one needs a Black Friday. I also posted that in my stories. I think that you should just abolish Sale as well as the constantly changing collections. Four collections a year are okay for the different seasons. But some chains have 32 collections a year and one wonders who should come after them. I’m for for slow it down.
Sale should be abolished just like the ever-changing collections
my-GREENstyle: Other GNTM participants like Barbara Meyer and Sara Nuru are also involved in the topic of sustainability. Do you work together in any way?
Marie Nasemann: Sara Nuru has the same management – we often meet at events. She was also at my blog launch party in Hamburg. Since I have presented her to some labels and I provide her with links when I discover great red-carpet looks. I find that exciting, what she did with her NuruCoffee. We have already thought about a cooperation. Before Christmas, she has a pop-up store in Berlin, so of course I’ll come by. She comes to my blog events. That’s a great give and take.
my-GREENstyle: You come around a lot. Which country can we take a look at when it comes to fair fashion?
Marie Nasemann: Since I’m doing the blog I’m not so much abroad, because the blog is German, of course, it is also focused on Germany. But there are some very exciting labels from the USA. I have the feeling that the topic is getting bigger and bigger there as well as in Australia. And of course the Nordic countries. You just have to be careful that you do not confuse the typical Scandinavian minimalism with sustainability. Many websites let us believe that, but when you investigate, you find out they are not that sustainable. You really have to take a closer look …
Fair Fashion shopping with Marie Nasemann
my-GREENstyle: Do you remember which part was your first fair-fashion piece you bought?
Marie Nasemann: The first sustainable things I bought were vintage garments. I’ve been a big vintage fan for years and loved it when I found individual parts with history. The stuff off the shelf I always found a bit boring. Mass products are indeed worn by everyone else.
my-GREENstyle: The last fair piece of clothing you bought was …?
Marie Nasemann: Last week I ordered at The Reformation in the US – unfortunately they do not equip me yet. They are great for events because they have a lot of chic clothes.
my-GREENstyle: What tip do you have for someone who wants to make her wardrobe more fair?
Marie Nasemann: Reduce consumption. That means avoiding spontaneous purchases and sleeping on it for one night. The next day you realize that you do not need it. Instead, invest in fair and sustainable basics. There are such great basics and jeans from labels like ARMEDANGELS and at a price that is absolutely affordable.
My tip: Avoid spontaneous purchases and sleep on it for one night
my-GREENstyle: Online Shopping vs. stationary trade?
Marie Nasemann: When I shop, I shop in stores because I like to touch the materials and know how it feels on the skin. Absolutely in smaller shops, where you feel like to support someone. In addition, you save by local purchases so many shipping routes. Of course, this only works with labels that are available in Germany …
my-GREENstyle: Berlin already has so many green shopping hotspots: 3 Fair Fashion tips from the expert?
Marie Nasemann: In Berlin I did not have much time to look around, but there is a lot going on in Munich right now: Iki M, Lemoni Store, Deargoods …
my-GREENstyle: I’m always looking for new, exciting labels – will you tell me the coolest fair-fashion label you’ve discovered in the recent past?
Marie Nasemann: Souldaze, they’re doing pretty great swimwear, King Louie, they have great, colorful patterns. Of course Black Velvet Circus from Hamburg. And Jan’n’June, I recommend that to many, because they are great and affordable. And of course My Sleeping Gypsy with the fantastic ethnic blouses and gowns.
Marie Nasemann x ARMEDANGELS Organic Wool
my-GREENstyle: Unfortunately, wool is one of the materials that – if produced cheaply – are anything but fair. Why is not wool always wonderful?
Marie Nasemann: Wool is actually a super-ecological material, because it consumes significantly less water in comparison. And also easy to grow, but you have to be very careful because most wool farms are anything but fair with the animals. We are talking here of massive animal cruelty.
my-GREENstyle: ARMEDANGELS has started this year a big Organic Wool Offensive. What make the Cologne-based better than others?
Marie Nasemann: Labels like ARMEDANGELS are trying to get into this market and make a difference there. Of course you could just let your fingers off, but wool wears so well, does not need much washing – actually, it’s enough to ventilate. A great, sustainable material. The topic just has to be approached differently. That’s why ARMEDANGELS works with Organic Farms who make sure that no pesticides are used. The sheep are allowed to walk around freely for 355 days a year. In Patagonia, there are not even fences, the sheep live there in harmony with nature. When shearing they are treated well. If a cut should really occur in the shearing, they are medically treated decently. There is even a new handle now: Tally Hi. The result is that the sheep stay calm during the two and a half or three minutes during the shearing, do not fight back, have less stress and therefore less injuries happen.
ARMEDANGELS tries to make a difference in the wool market
my-GREENstyle: Have you ever thought about vegan fashion?
Marie Nasemann: I consciously wear not only vegan things, but also leather, if I know that it is a by-product of meat production. Then I think it makes sense to use it. And that’s a bit similar with the sheep. The wool is here.
my-GREENstyle: And your favorite piece from the collection?
Marie Nasemann: I think this combination that I wear today is great. I’m a big fan of two-pieces with the same pattern. Because you can wear them like a dress, but also has many other combinations. (Skirt and sweater)
Behind the scenes: Marie Nasemann personally
my-GREENstyle: You meet your 18-year-old self. What advice would you give yourself?
Marie Nasemann: Dare to go your way. It took a while for me to free myself from what my parents expected of me, which kept asking me if I did not want to study. In retrospect, I would advise to take the self-determined way even earlier.
my-GREENstyle: Assuming the day has 25 hours. How would you use your gifted extra hour?
Marie Nasemann: I would write more for my blog. At the moment I’m doing just one article per week with all the other jobs. Or I would try to do nothing, get new ideas. At the moment this works best in the Deutsche Bahn. If I do not do anything, the best ideas come.
my-GREENstyle: What are you especially proud of?
Marie Nasemann: I’m proud to have been in the model business for eight years. After GNTM, I thought the hype would last a maximum of a year and I would study and go the way I originally had in mind. But I have always worked well, found companies that suit me and I have remained independence.
my-GREENstyle: And which way did you originally want to go?
Marie Nasemann: Actually, I wanted to study fashion management or art history. I would have enjoyed PR as well – that’s when I came to GNTM for an internship in Munich.
PR would have been fun too
my-GREENstyle: Is there someone you really want to meet?
Marie Nasemann: Livia Firth from Eco Age. I met her very briefly at the VoguexZEIT conference at the Fashion Week (note ed., January 2016). That’s when I ran after her and gave her my card with the words “I’m a fair fashion activist too”. She has not reported until today, but with her I would like to have dinner. Likewise with Miroslava Duma, which is developing new technologies and investing in this field. I would like to exchange views with them
my-GREENstyle: What do you see when you look in the mirror?
Marie Nasemann: dark rings under the eyes (laughs), because I’m just a bit overworked. I am very critical of myself. Over the years, this business has been endowed with so many companies. That was a single coming and going in my closet and privately I was also so much shopping – I had a long conscience and looked skeptically in the mirror. Meanwhile, I can look into the eyes with a clear conscience.
Meanwhile I can look in the mirror with a clear conscience
my-GREENstyle: But your conscience was at least bad with the rapid overconsumption. Some people do that completely unreflected.
Marie Nasemann: At that time I consciously ignored my conscience. This is fine until you seriously deal with the topic. From the moment you perceive things differently. That started with me with eating and then came the clothes.
my-GREENstyle: If you close your eyes and think of something beautiful – what do you see?
Marie Nasemann: Lake Garda. This is my second home. I’ve been on vacation there all my life. We have a holiday apartment with a terrace and a view over the whole lake and on the mountain opposite, where most of the time there is still snow. There is no other place where I can relax better. Not even on the Maldives.
my-GREENstyle: And your message to everyone who reads this interview?
Marie Nasemann: Be careful, look what you buy and I promise you, it will feel good and be fun.
Thank you, Marie for the nice interview!