My name is Dörte, I am 39 years old and I am based in Berlin. In spring 2016, I founded the online magazine and creative agency Lissome that shares insights about a progressive and ethical approach to fashion and lifestyle and elevates the notion of sustainability in fashion with high-quality fashion photography and writing. We celebrate the groundbreaking work of innovative designers, artisans and sustainability pioneers, shine a light on how to make responsible choices, and work towards an inclusive and diverse future of fashion that makes us thrive as human beings. To me, aesthetics and good design (that is equally functional, responsible, and beautiful) play an important part in this process as they can teach us about paying attention, being mindful in the moment and cultivating skillfulness over time.
2. Who or what inspires you?
In recent years, I have read so many great books that inspired me greatly: Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari, Donut Economics by Kate Raworth, The Doors of Perception by Aldous Huxley - and currently I am reading Earth is Hiring by Peta Kelly and The Green Imperative by Victor Papanek. Every day, I try to make space for reading. Reading gives me access to new intellectual and spiritual worlds and a deeper understanding of our world’s history and humanity.
3. What is something you have loved for a long time?
I have always loved good food, and I think over time, my love affair with high-quality and healthy food has been growing stronger and stronger. I love food that is flavoursome and nourishing. There is nothing better.
4. What is something you have recently rediscovered?
For a few weeks now, I have been meditating every morning and it feels very special. Mostly my meditations are short and I meditate for ten to fifteen minutes right after getting up. Accompanied by quiet meditation music, I listen within myself, breathe and observe how I am feeling, physically and mentally. Through this journey inward, I am getting better at grounding myself and building up an inner field of energy that keeps me balanced in the bustle of everyday life and helps me to encounter other people and situations with more positive energy, empathy and serenity.
5. What is your favorite object and what makes it special?
This year I got married and Paolo, my partner, designed our wedding rings. They are very precious to me.
6. What is something you are looking forward to?
In 2019, I am planning to design and implement a yearly Lissome print publication.
7. What does sustainability mean to you?
To me sustainability is a holistic term that encompasses both an ethical and environmental approach and awareness. When we look at the production and consumption of clothes, we can see that fashion has a huge impact on human and environmental well-being at all the stages of its lifecycle - from the growing and production of raw materials, to the processing and cut & sew stages, to global transportation, to the usage and the end of life of a garment. To me, ‘sustainable fashion’ means to increase the well-being of people and planet by paying fair wages, providing safe working conditions, by producing in an environmentally-friendly way and by creating well-made clothes that are beautiful, functional, comfortable, and can be repaired and recycled.
My personal approach to ‘ethical fashion’ is constantly evolving but, in general, I aim to dress in a way that reflects my values. These days, I buy very little and I choose carefully. This also allows me to invest in higher priced items and in good and lasting quality. When I buy a new item of clothing, I want to know where and how it was made and find out about the materials used. I always look at the quality of the making, the seams and the touch and feel of the fabric, and I think about combinations with existing pieces in my wardrobe. Overall, my aim is to circulate my money consciously and in a way that helps to create a world that is aligned with my own values. Therefore I mainly buy my food locally from organic sources and my clothing from conscious, independent designers instead of from global mega brands.
8. What is your relationship with fashion?
I think I’ve always embraced fashion for its magical ability to elevate the everyday and to turn life into a form of art. I believe that aesthetics and good design are highly important and should not be seen as a trivial matter. They give meaning to our lives by connecting us with our own creativity and the creative power of all being. Fashion is an important tool of cultural expression and, I think, as with all iconography, it is incredibly useful to be able to decipher its social and cultural meanings. Fashion can talk as much about status and power as it can act as a harbinger of new ideas and social changes. And, of course, fashion and fashion photography have great seductive powers. They can make us dream and create desire - an ability that can certainly be used for good and for bad causes alike.
9. Why did you choose this piece of L’Envers?
I love clothing that is over-sized, that I can roam around and feel comfortable in. The Elie sweater has a great voluminous cut plus it’s super soft and at the same time very well made and durable. It’s the cosiest and most high-quality jumper that I have ever worn.