Marina Testino Talks Fashion’s Sustainable Future

One of fashion’s most responsible, Marina Testino promotes environmental awareness and sustainability through her own everyday projects and brand Point Off View. A Parsons alum, Testino previously worked on two projects: #OneDressToImpress, when she wore a color-block red dress for two months, and #YellowLikeALemon where she wore only sustainable yellow garments to raise awareness to world’s second most polluting industry.

As sustainable living is not only a trend anymore, but a dire necessity, Testino’s projects prove that if everyone bought just one used item a year the industry would already make a huge change. If brands follow through with their sustainable promises by the key year 2021 too, the fashion horizon can change inclusively. At the Copenhagen Fashion Summit for sustainability, where Testino spoke to us from, Kering’s François-Henri Pinault also shared his vision to move his brands in that direction by sharing initiatives with one another. In her campaigns, Testino also shares different brands, small and large, that are working towards that change in a team effort. We caught up with Testino to learn more about her sustainable practices.

Marina Testino yellow campaing #yellowlikealemon

Marina Testino

EH: What are some other small steps people can take to be fashionably responsible?


Marina Testino: I created the “4S’s of Sustainable Fashion: Simplify, Share (or Rent), Secondary Market & Sustainable made”. By following these you can be a more conscious consumer! It’s easier than it looks like!


EH: How have your two campaigns helped you learn about fashion sustainability?


MT: They have both taught me that sustainability resides in our choices. However, I came to the realization that people do not choose sustainable fashion because they do not know where to get it from or because they feel they are giving up color, originality or chicness. That’s the reason why I believe it is essential to raise awareness and share all alternatives out there! That’s the aim for these projects: bring a voice to sustainable fashion!


EH: What has been the hardest part of the project?


MT: The hardest project was #YellowLikeALemon. Sticking to a yellow outfit is harder than one can imagine! I considered myself an introvert and constantly being stared at wasn’t as easy as I thought– but I am very happy with the results. At at the end of the day these projects are personal challenges as well as awareness campaigns.


EH: You’ve chosen quite bright colors for your campaigns — is there a meaning behind these? 


MT: The whole point of these colors is that people notice you and come up to me and comment, take a picture or laugh and that’s when I explain the reasoning behind it. I want to bring awareness to important issues not only by speaking up but also by making an artistic statement that is fun and creative. Sometimes messages don’t go through to people and I believe that we have to have a different approach when speaking about sustainability. I believe this way it’s easier and more entertaining to understand and want to join.


EH: What are some brands and who are some designers that you admire and will continue to support that focus on environmentally friendly fashion?


MT: Throughout my latest project I learned so much about brands and designers that actually pushing boundaries and demanding for change. I had the opportunity to collaborate with some of the major players; however, I want to highlight that there are some other smaller brands doing an amazing job: For Days, Sonia Carrasco, Warp & Weft, Underprotection, Yatay, Kimai, Talia Collins, and Bottle Top, just to name a few. I was also very fortunate to work with Mola Sasa. 


EH: What is one eco-friendly we can all do in regards to the fashion industry, which as we know is the second most polluting? 


MT: One super simple and easy thing is stopping the mentality of “I don’t have anything to wear tonight“. Yes, you do! We, as consumers, need to stop shopping out of compulsion and for the “need” of a new outfit for a certain event. Borrow, rent, re-use, but don’t buy something new for one occasion only.


EH: Are there any practices you think that all designers should adopt?


MT: All designers and brands should learn about the impact of each material and implement more eco-friendly production practices following the Paris Convention. Materials have to be organic- no plastic, no exotic skins, that do not need gallons of water to be produced, etc. There is no planet B. Designers should start a circular economy for their designs/brands by upcycling and recycling their unused materials.


EH: Do you have plans ahead for new projects, perhaps your own sustainable brand and how do you plan on campaigning those?


MT: I am already working on some new secret projects that I hope bring more awareness and willingness for people in the fashion industry to become more sustainable and to rethink their fashion choice. I will balance these projects together with my brand Point Off View and designing new collections, so stay tuned!