In our ongoing pursuit of sustainability, creating a network of professionals is of paramount importance. Together, we can indeed go far and to share information, knowledge and points of view enriches us as individuals and as a system. This is why we are so pleased to have met Dan Pontarlier, a professional with fifteen years of experience in the hotel and fashion industry, who is devoted, in his career but also his private life, to the cause of sustainability.
His strength, in addition to a great passion, lies in his wide background, which led him to get to know the fashion world from the inside, thus giving him first-hand knowledge on the subject. For years he was the Head of Corporate Social and Environmental Responsibility at the Barcelona Hotels Association, which deals with more than 450 hotels in the area. In 2017, in collaboration with the Barcelona City Council, he drafted the Strategic Sustainability Plan of the city contributing to an efficient implementation of sustainable and green practices in the urban landscape.
From there, things evolved quickly and, after launching his blog, he soon began collaborating with brands and companies in the fashion industry (Vestiaire Collective and re/Make among others), lending his voice and his image to the causes.
There are countless things to say about him. However, as anticipated, at LATEST what matters is communication, and because of it, we have met Dan for an interview, which will be published in the upcoming issue for Spring Summer 2021. It was a lighthearted conversation, which left us with plenty of ideas and inputs: Dan shared with us the process that led him to his latest big project, the book From Trash To Runway. It is not a novel and it is not an essay, but a real manual, which we would like to recommend to all of you, to lay the foundations for change.
Whatever your knowledge on sustainability and derivatives may be, From Trash To Runway turns the subject into a trip of pleasure, in which enthusiasm is palpable. This psychological aspect is perhaps what we liked most: now and then sustainable development can be a burden to which we must submit, an obligatory path that will benefit the planet but that makes us grow certain anxiety inside (never heard of Climate-related anxiety ?).
Dan Pontarlier shows us the psychophysical well-being that a more conscious lifestyle and fashion brings to all of us individually. One among the others? The incentive for creativity. One of the main themes of the book is indeed upcycling, one of the most talked-about practices today, used by individuals as well as by large fashion houses. Upcycling requires used fabrics and a great desire to learn, but above all a good dose of creativity, because only with this will you be able to get the best out of what you already have in the closet.
Contrary to popular belief, creativity is even more important than technical skills when it comes to upcycling: the good news is that both qualities can be trained, and an infinite sea of possibilities lies ahead of us.
If you are curious to find out more on the subject, do not miss the upcoming issue, and hurry up to grab a copy of From Trash To Runway. It is a small gesture that will have a huge impact, also because the book is involved in a larger social project in Haiti. We don’t want to spoil you more, for now. Meanwhile, find Dan on all social media channels and his blog. Stay tuned!