Dubai Design Week 2021 | Silent Sustainable Fashion Catwalk

Dubai Design Week took place 8-13 November 2021 at Downtown Design, Dubai Design District, the Middle East’s leading design fair experiencing new innovative sustainable ideas and experiences. It was my first ever to attend.

Entrance for Dubai Design Week was free of charge. I visited twice. On the first day, Monday 8 Nov 2021, I explored high-quality architectural installations, product designs and art exhibitions and the last day, yesterday, 20 Nov 2021, was exceptional. I did something totally new and out of my comfort zone – I participated in a compelling silent slow fashion catwalk in collaboration with Goshopia, sustainable fashion brand in UAE, at the market place of Dubai Design District which took place during the weekend 12-13 November 2021. 

On my first day of Dubai Design Week at the Dubai Design District, I was inspired by live workshops, meeting with innovators and designers that promote emerging ideas centered around sustainability. These are some of the street designs that stunned me!

The Plume Architecure by Muhammad Mazenat made of recycled aluminum and acrylic materials. Inspired by migratory birds, reflecting his educational journey.

Upclose. The monochromatic color scheme of shades of blue inspired d by the Heron and represents the color of the sea that is associated with the city of Ajman, with a hint of orange to bridge a connection with Ajman University.

Swing Park made of 1.5 tonnes of 3D recycled plastics.

‘Refractions’ is an evolution of the ‘Reflections’ installation by Peahead.eco commissioned by ICD Brookfield place. A plastic bottled installation made from 2,700 post consumer plastic bottles, recycled wood and glass infinity mirrors. In partnership with Beyrac Architects. Aiming to raise awareness on the plastic crisis, which increased during the Covid-19 pandemic, contributing to climate change.

Refractions was creatively constructed, installed with mirrors and solar lights which lit up after every few seconds to showcase a clear view of the plastic bottles. Reflections in the mirror makes us literally reflect our consumption choices. Christine Wilson, founder of Peahead.eco, awarded Gulf Sustainable Professional of the Year 2021 and Woman Leader in Innovation & Creativity, also hosted a creative plastic recycling workshop during Dubai Design Week, teaching plastic recycling art techniques as she creates upcycled slow fashion products such as handbags and pouches. It was so lovely meeting Christine.

At Refractions with the lovely Christine, founder of Peahead.eco

In this slideshow, we see behind-the-scenes of Peahead.eco and Beyrac Architects plastic installation design. Collection of plastic waste and installation process. Photo credits: Christina, Peahead.eco.


Pulp Fusion furniture made from recycled paper and organic materials that are biodegradable and helps the propagation of seeds.

The stunning shape of light by Shuster Moseley.

Dubai 2040 Urban Master Plan for a greener sustainable city. That promotes emerging ideas centred around resolving climate change issues and delivering sustainable development.

Experienced captivating pottery art at a live workshop where an Artist, by the name Michael Rice, was demonstrating how the clay pots are made. 

I was extremely impressed by the work of Italian Artist making recycled glass art mosaic, exhibited at D3 by Trend Group Middle East Studio.

A picture that shows the recycled mosaic art process

Market Weekend Silent Slow Fashion Catwalk in Collaboration with Goshopia

The market place weekend created a vibrant outdoor retail experience and entertainment with a pop of culture. Dubai Design Week curated a selection of local and international artisans and creatives that showcased unique sustainable business ideas and products, such as contemporary henna art, exquisite handcrafted jewelry, baskets and accessories, ethical fashion and home decor, and many others. Including organic food and beverage vendors. 

Goshopia sustainable fashion brand stole the show at Dubai Design District with a silent fashion show, of which I took part in the collaboration, together with Julia. It was an interesting and stimulating challenge. Promoting and provoking sustainable fashion, strutting through the Dubai Design District street with signs that depict the importance of sustainable fashion, all created by Araceli Gallego, founder and CEO of Goshopia and styled by Silke Styles, Style Coach and Image Consultant.

Goshopia + Refractions by Peahed.eco x Beyrac Architects installation

Goshopia’s key values revolve around the 3Ss – Slow, Sustainable Fashion and Socially Responsible. Ara exhibits a line of sustainable clothing, beauty, accessories and home decor. A range of dresses, shirts and pants made from organic cotton and other eco-friendly fabrics, handmade hand bags and accessories made from recycled wood, earrings – some hand crocheted, some made from recycled paper and raffia, and jackets madd from coffee bags to mention a few. Below is Goshopia’s collection that Julia and I wore (except for shoes) at the Dubai Dubai Design week in Dubai Design District.

Goshopia’s dress made from organic cotton
handcrafted handbag and earrings

GoShopia’s Shirt and pants made from organic cotton. Pictured at Refractions, Peahead.eco and Beyrac Architects.
Goshopia’s jacket made from repurposed coffee bags
Julia wearing Goshopia’s designs at Refractions, Dubai Design Week.

The fashion and textile industry is among the top 5 polluting industries. According to the UN Environment Program, “the fashion industry is the second-biggest consumer of water and is responsible for 8 – 10% of global carbon emissions.” And according to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, these emissions are expected to skyrocket 60% by 2030. Fast fashion contributes to waste and carbon emissions due to clothing dumped in landfills and raw materials used to produce new clothing, especially those made from toxic fabrics like nylon and polyester among others. Compromise lives of animals, lack employment ethics in their supply chain and treatment of employees and single-use plastic packaging that pollutes the environment, destroying biodiversity and ecosystems. Slow fashion on the other hand is fashion that contributes positively to the planet; eco-friendly fabrics and packaging, recycled and repurposed fashion, high-quality long lasting materials, good employment ethics and socially responsible with fair treatment of employees.

This is why we should choose sustainable brands like Goshopia, that have positive impact to our planet because there is no planet B.

Ara and Julia for sustainable fashion
Meet the lovely Ara, Founder of GoShopia.

In a nutshell, Dubai Design Week was an outstanding fair that introduced me to fascinating ideas, designers, innovators, new friends and artists that add to sustainable development. Providing a platform to collaborate and express our values, whereas both famous and new artists and designers had the opportunity to showcase their projects. It was also great seeing people come together to learn about innovations and designs that can save our planet and work towards it through educative workshops. Thanks to the market weekend, I was happy to discover more sustainable businesses available in UAE.

.. And what’s life without a little (paper) sparkle? ✨

Sparkle & the Sinners Jewelry and accessories store

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