The President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid's Dress Is a Statement for Sustainability


Last Thursday, on the Estonian Restoration of Independence day, the President of Estonia Kersti Kaljulaid decided to make a clear statement. This time not only through her speech, but through fashion. Simply by choosing to wear a locally upcycled dress - for the planet. The dress is designed by Reet Aus and made entirely out of production residues from the President’s previously worn dresses. 

Our third collaborative dress for the President values upcycling and nature conservation by being made out of production leftovers. The design is inspired by the “Estonian Nature” esquise drawn by the children at Pelguranna kindergarten in Tallinn. The colours express nature - the greenness of the plants, the light blue sky above and the deep blue oceans. Environmentally friendly, the dress works as a reminder that the resources of our planet are limited. 

As you know, we believe the future of fashion to be circular. It is time to rethink how we consume clothing and we are happy to say that the President of Estonia is taking charge of her wardrobe and choosing to be sustainable. And yes, it is possible to do a big favor for the environment even by something seemingly as simple as a dress. In fact, the dress tells even a bigger story by having two sustainability aspects to it - it was upcycled and it was locally made. 

The upcycling method used to create this design is one of the textile waste recovery methods, using an average of 70% less water and 88% less energy compared to if we had made a dress out of completely new material. Through upcycling, we have taken something already considered as waste, but completely unused, and brought it back into the consumption chain and given it new commercial and aesthetical value. The source material moves from the lowest to the highest level of the production cycle and brings about the greatest change with the least amount of energy use. It is a profitable and scalable solution to the problem of textile leftovers, which is scalable to brands of any size. 

Being locally made, the dress was designed, cut, fitted, and sewn in our studio. By supporting local production chains, you can decrease the negative effects transportation causes on the environment and instead support transparency and better quality control. As for the consumer, you have a better chance at buying something unique when it is made locally since the quantity made is almost always smaller compared to mass-produced fast fashion items. At Reet Aus, we do fashion both locally and globally. Globally, we export our innovative UPMADE® method to brands and manufacturers. Whilst traditional clothing manufacturing creates an average of 18% textile leftovers, our method closes the loop by applying upcycling on an industrial scale and reducing the amount of textile leftovers. Thanks to this, that 18% can now be turned from cost into value. Locally, we have made personalised upshirts very now and then and our collections are locally made in our studio, too.