cultural exchange

local international aims to establish an awareness for sustainability and fair trade in the fashion industry by informing and inspiring the next generation of designers.

We initiate international knowledge exchange, networking and participation with local crafts and industry.

We inspire critical thinking. Our seminars are a place for design discourse in which invited experts offer input and guidance at a high professional level, equipping participants with the necessary tools and knowledge that will enable them to make independent, responsible design decisions in their individual design processes and to develop their own informed and critical voice. local international aims to raise an awareness for the wide range of decisions that fashion designers will face in their future careers and the responsibility that designers incur in their professional role.

The objective of local international is to develop and work in close networks with the fashion industry and textile production globally, in order to inspire and develop new creative design solutions, concepts, products and collections by considering ecological, economic and sustainable aspects.

local international promotes a holistic view: We motivate designers to use materials and labour responsibly in their work and to consider the entire product life in their designs.

local international aims to

  • raise awareness for sustainable design and production strategies
  • raise awareness for working conditions in the garment and textile industry
  • encourage participation within the local industry, trade and crafts
  • initiate a cultural change of perspectives and promote an international dialogue and intercultural competence
  • facilitate local and international networks
  • support co-operation in international tandem partnerships and international co-operations between designers, NGOs and craftspeople
  • research local and international distribution and sustainable production opportunities
  • initiate internationalisation and friendships through an exchange of experiences on a personal level
  • encourage professional development and contacts through cooperations with the fashion industry 
  • provide a professional qualification for designers in the areas of sustainability, participation, fair trade and local production


Although the fashion industry deals in beauty, fashion is said to be the second largest industrial polluter worldwide. This is not only due to the high energy demand, the chemical waste of textile production or the high consumption of fertilizers, pesticides and water in the cultivation and production of cotton.

Above all, it is due to the enormous production volumes of the fashion industry worldwide. The global apparel market accounts for 2% of the world’s gross domestic product. The effects of the constant industrial pollution are here to stay and have only started to show in our habitat. The generation of fashion designers we are training will be the generation that has to come up with solutions to save our nature and environment.
local international inspires designers to use materials and labour responsibly and to consider the entire product life in their designs.


Design is of central importance within the fashion and textile industry and plays a key role in the entire production chain. The design process stands at the beginning of each product’s development and production. In addition to aesthetic choices about shape, colour, material, trends, overall brand direction and corporate Identity, and parameters like usability, wearability, fit and function, designers also influence and make decisions on an economic level, aiming products directly at customers and price targets.

Design plays a significant influence on the sustainability of a product and economic, ecological and social aspects. The majority of all decisions that influence the product life cycle -from production, choice of materials, use, disposal of a product, and recyclability of the remaining material- are made during the design process. Design decisions also influence the working conditions of the workers within the industry at the other end of the textile chain. However its significant position and responsibility in the industry is often overlooked by outsiders.

Designers should aspire to design longer lasting, higher quality products, designers can provide good planning based on customer and market needs, designers can identify new markets and create added value.
local international creates an awareness of the wide range of options open to designers in their future working lives and the responsibility they take on in their work. We encourage designers to take responsibility and to influence the industry they work in by making the right choices. To be able to do this, designers must be appropriately trained.


Parallel to the rapidly advancing industrial development, crafts and their inherent manual knowledge which have developed over centuries are currently vanishing in Bangladesh and all over the world. Artisans are faced with the decision to either abandon their traditional craft or to industrialize their production. Since handicrafts are directly linked to cultural identity and tradition, it is in the interest of many institutions to secure a livelihood for village communities, especially when global changes have had a detrimental effect on previous sources of income such as the agricultural sector.
Development aid organisations and NGOs in Bangladesh have recognised handicraft textile production as an opportunity to offer employment to people in need and to reach markets. Yet, planning often takes place without awareness for the actual design of these products and those time-consuming handcrafted products often find their way to the European market as yet another mass product at extremely low prices. Professional designers are able to design longer lasting products with higher quality, they know how to plan a product based on customer and market needs, and fair production possibilities. They can create added value, giving handcrafted products a quality and a market advantage in order to secure a real financial improvement for all makers involved in these social projects. To be able to do this, designers must be appropriately trained.local international hopes to make a contribution by initiating long-term cooperations between young designers, craftspeople and NGOs.

made in Bangladesh

The label “Made in Bangladesh” can be found everywhere on the labels of high street clothes sold in the Western countries. Almost all western fashion companies – whether officially or unofficially – produce clothes in Bangladesh, where high quality production is offered at low wage levels and sometimes critical working conditions. But Bangladesh is not just a name on a label. Bangladesh is also known to be the land of the golden fiber jute and the land of ‘muslin’. Bangladesh has a rich history of handcrafted textiles and many other types of handicrafts like basketry, leather and metalwork. Along with many types of handloom fabrics, Bangladesh produces natural dyed textiles and various types of embroideries. Jamdani, Nakshi Kantha, and back-strap-loom weaving are some of the traditional textiles Bangladesh is known for. Fashion designers from Germany know Bangladesh, one of the most important international fashion manufacturing countries, from hearsay despite the label “Made in Bangladesh” being ubiquitously placed on western clothing.