这是北京中心的一条美丽的胡同，Neemic的企划工作室坐落在这里。在这里，我遇到了Hans Martin Galliker。那是今年冬天的一个难得的好天，阳光明媚，万里无云，这座城市偶尔才给予人们一次应得的礼物。
虽然他现在很怀念读书的时光，他感觉生活正在一点点吞噬他，但是他依然原意投入更多的时间和精力在Neemic这个城市有机时尚品牌。2011年他和设计师Amihan Zemp在Beijing Fashion Collective（北京时尚集合）创立了这个品牌；Hans从以生活方式为主的当代纺织品工业入手来达成可持续发展这项任务。
I met Hans Martin Galliker at Neemic's project studio, tucked in a beautiful hutong in the center of Beijing. It was one of those incredibly sunny and clear winter days that from time to time the city gives its people as a much deserved gift.
We sat down in the ecosystem of creativity and sustainability that is Neemic HQ and had a chat over a cup of tea. Hans grew up in Switzerland where he followed his family tradition and became a farmer. Later on, he worked in the IT industry, studied business communication and since 2009 he put his knowledge together and now he works to change the agricultural industry to the better. His dream is that farming will one day become a substantial, valued part of the world economy by producing healthy products in a socially sustainable and environmentally-friendly way. Also, he is looking at improving life conditions for the millions of workers involved in the agricultural system worldwide. And while he is perfectly aware that the project in his mind is a utopic vision, he has it very clear where to start: he is working on a very simple tool to help the farmers to choose the perfect and most available fertilizer to use. In this way he hopes that theycan do the best choice, and economically benefit from it.
Now he misses having time to read a book and to continue his education, and he feels like life is eating him up, but he is willing to invest more time and energy in his urban organic fashion brand Neemic, founded together with designer Amihan Zemp in 2011, and in the Beijing Fashion Collective; Hans approaches the sustainability mission through the textile industry, embedded in lifestyle-oriented contemporary culture.
Beijing Fashion Collective (北京时尚集合) is an organization designed for fashion designers, photographers, bloggers and surrounding artists from East and West to collaborate and share resources, skills and opportunities. From organizing creative events to sourcing together sustainable (e.g. organic or up-cycling) fabrics to offering art exchanges within and beyond China, all this to foster creative exchanges. The general idea is to create a Design Center - a shared workspace with shared facilities, like a bistro for versatile cultural gatherings, photo shooting corner, sewing studio to make fair-trade production more accessible, and sustainable fabric showroom to facilitate group purchase. Beijing Fashion Collective is actually introducing an environmentally-friendly lifestyle global vision: given that we are what we eat, they even thought about having a rooftop organic vegetable garden, for education and to supply the bistro with local and healthy products.
Fashion is at the epicenter of this enterprise because it is a mode that's not only practical, but a constant art medium that suites various lifestyles from all walks of life.
Neemic as a fashion brand was born with three main objectives: creating outstanding fashion, making the industry more environmentally sustainable and building bridges between Europe and Asia.
Currently, Neemic has two collections per year, and, while they already use organic fabrics for around 25% of their pieces, the goal is to get to more than 80% in the next few years. Note that everything more than 95% is for many kinds of textiles hardly possible (think of stretch parts, zippers, buttons); it would be rather easy for simple pieces like T-shirts but really hard for a functional winter jacket. They believe that the world has enough fabric already – this is why they carefully select the finest natural materials from leftovers of fashion industry, recycle used clothing, and strive to order new fabrics from certified organic producers only. The sources of the clothing's fiber they are currently using are free from herbicides, pesticides, or genetically modified seeds. Most of the pieces in their collections are in earthy colours: cream, beige, brown, light yellow. This is a style choice, but also a Hobson's choice, given that at Neemic they try to avoid chemical colouring.
They continuously look for local suppliers of organic fabrics in Beijing, Shanghai, Hangzhou, and unfailingly do research about what's new in the market - right now Hans is actually in HK at InterStoff to meet producers of eco-friendly materials. Very often they are obliged to import from Germany, US, Switzerland as the market in China is way less developed than in India, for example.
But Neemic is more than this. It is extremely beautiful and sophisticated design and style. While recent years have seen more experiments related to environmentally-friendly fashion at the high-end market, Neemic is an attempt at sustainable cutting-edge design for a relatively reasonable price.
Here, it is all about minimal shapes, earthy colours, and comfortable wearability. And yet, extremely feminine and delicate creations. And you can tell how much love they put into what they are doing from the care for details. 'Silky inner layers and organic cotton fleece give a feeling of cocoon-like comfort' it says on Neemic official website. ‘Do it like the butterflies. Go gently with the world. Live in silky clothing and wrap yourself in a soft shell’ is their credo. And I couldn't agree more.
Neemic is also very active in the social scene: as well as partnering with local tailors, it is preparing a trial collaboration with a local NGO supporting fair-trade employment of rural migrants together with other environmentally conscious Beijing designers, and is aiming to pursue a long-term partnership.
It was big pleasure for me to get in contact with Hans, very inspiring dreamer and sophisticated thinker, who is now ready to face the challenges that will arise to make the world a better place. Good job, Hans!
Read more inspiring stories about interesting people on Chiara’s blog. http://www.chiarascoffeetable.com #staytuned