This interview was published in german at Mrs. City magazine
Shopping detox for a whole year!
Trendscout and lifestyle expert Tanja Vieth is conducting a self-experiment in what it feels like to not buy new clothes, shoes or bags for a year. In an interview, the 38-year-old reveals what lies behind the project, what role sustainability plays in her life and why she cares so much about the topic …
Since the 1.12. Are you doing a self experiment, what is it about?
It’s about the consumerism in the fashion world. Our closets are full of clothes and the fashion industry is still producing more and selling them in big discount battles. The clothing is produced in miserable conditions, partly made by children. Fashion is sometimes even worn only once to take a picture with it, post it on Instagram, and then the piece is no longer interesting. I will see how much potential there is in my own wardrobe without buying new clothes, shoes or bags for a year. How does the awareness and appreciation of each piece change? During this time I will write about it on my blog and contact manufacturers who produce fashion in cruelty-free conditions.
What made you think about sustainable fashion?
As part of a research project for the university, I researched the subject of city and fashion. That was the starting inspiration. However, it took me more than two years to reach this point today. Like many others, I was always blinded by the beautiful colorful fabrics so at the point of sale, the origin of the clothing hardly mattered and I only wanted the garment.
The price we pay in the shop does not, as many believe, have anything to do with working conditions and wages. They are almost identical at discounters and designer labels alike and often clothing is made in the same factories. It did not feel good for me to be a clothes rack for these labels. I started to feel ashamed of my behavior and could no longer shut my eyes to the truth.
What does sustainability mean for you?
Sustainability also means thinking outside the box and using our resources responsibly. By this I mean to act today to work to minimize the ecological footprint, which consists of components such as nutrition, housing, mobility and consumption so that tomorrow our world is worth living for as many creatures as possible. Consumption accounts for only about 18% of this impression, but should not be neglected.
What goals are you pursuing with the experiment?
The result of one poll states that every second a piece of clothing is bought on fair terms. However, fair fashion only has a market share of 2 percent. I want this share to be increased. We need new laws and must take responsibility for them. No more excuses.
If we work together for fair conditions, then we can prevent people in the affected countries from being exploited as well as preventing children from having a self-determined future. I want to make more people aware of this topic.
In addition to your blog, you also run your own coaching agency and have a living label “woodUwant”. What would you say is your profession?
After training as a stylist, I completed a bachelor’s degree in a creative field and a master’s degree in science in Los Angeles and Hamburg.
I am one of those people who has deliberated about a suitable job title for several hours, days, and I have to be honest, weeks. My grandparents had a single job, as well as my parents, so what about me? I cannot and will not decide. In psychology, it is called professional ambivalence. Today I know that all my passions include something to do with inspiring people.
How did you come up with the idea to develop your own brand?
I ran an agency for years and did not realize that it was not the agency that was well received but me. At about the same time I talked to a corporate coach and developed my Instagram account, which quickly generated many followers. My coach looked at me and said, “Tanya, that’s you! Not the agency! People like you and want to be personally advised by you.” That was both shock and salvation. At last I knew what fulfilled me and what my job was. I owe the whole structure of my brand to a great team.
This year in September you opened your studio, how was or is this for you?
Every now and then its still unreal! For months, we all worked towards this day, planned and conducted market research. Even though so many minds were involved, in the end something very personal came along and I’m still speechless about how well everything worked and how authentic the result has become.
What can your customers enjoy when they visit you in your studio?
I offer different lifestyles and beauty workshops as well as individual coaching. In addition I offer photo shoots especially developed for women in the business area. In addition, I am founder of the label “woodUwant”, which produces individual home accessories. I live and research alternately in Hamburg and Los Angeles. Among other things, my subjects relate to job satisfaction and the interplay of city and fashion, which I also give lectures on. My customers love the fresh wind, which I bring time and time again, and I like to be inspired. I have an open ear and it is important to me that customers go out of their appointments more confident and happier.