LOCAL INTERNATIONAL is an international cultural exchange program between Bangladesh and Germany focusing on sustainability and fair production methods within the textile industry.
Bangladesh is one of the most important fashion manufacturing countries worldwide. Nearly all Western fashion brands, whether officially or unofficially, produce clothing in Bangladesh, where high production quality is on offer at an extremely low wage level. In Germany, the label "Made in Bangladesh" on clothes is ubiquitous. However, currently most of the clothing made in Bangladesh is not yet designed in Bangladesh. But this is changing. Current students of fashion design in Bangladesh will produce for markets in the US, Asia and Europe later in their career, while during their studies and their work life they have only limited access to information about current international fashion trends. On the other hand, fashion designers from Berlin only know Bangladesh, one of the most important countries of garment production, by hearsay.
With LOCAL INTERNATIONAL, Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, weißensee kunsthochschule berlin and Universität der Künste Berlin initiate an encounter for fashion designers from Dhaka and Berlin.
LOCAL INTERNATIONAL was initiated by Goethe-Institut Bangladesh, weißensee kunsthochschule berlin and Universität der Künste Berlin in 2014.
Since 2015, 48 fashion designers and fashion students from Berlin and Dhaka have been selected to participate in this international design project. In lectures and specialized workshops, our participants were given an insight into the topics of sustainability, fairtrade and sustainable design methods, in order to develop their own creative approaches, concepts, products and collections, in cooperation with cooperation partners and NGOs.
The project results have been presented in two exhibitions: local international I in the designtransfer gallery of the UdK, during Berlin Fashion Week 2015 and local international II in the Kunsthalle at weißensee kunsthochschule berlin in April 2016.
LOCAL INTERNATIONAL is led by Prof. Heike Selmer, Professor of Fashion Design at weißensee kunsthochschule berlin and founding member of greenlab, and Prof. Valeska Schmidt-Thomsen, Professor of Fashion Design at Universität der Künste Berlin and director of the Institute of Experimental Garment and Textile Design.