Fashion gardening platform

Are you interested in working towards systemic change in the fashion field?

Do you feel powerless in front of the complex challenges of our time and
wish to get clarity where to focus on in sustainable change work?

Would you like to increase hope through creative and collaborative action?

Do you wish to learn gardening skills?

Welcome to the Fashion Gardening Platform, an experimental and creative learning space focused on systemic sustainability change within the fashion field. The platform consists of two levels: gardening new fashion systems based on Earth Logic and actual gardening where we learn systems thinking in practice. Join us as we cultivate both sustainable change and get our hands dirty growing fiber hemp, flax, and natural dye plants such as marigold, dyer’s weed, and safflower.

The platform is supported by the Arts Promotion Centre Finland.



The platform is inspired by the books Earth logic fashion action research plan (2019) and Earth Logic Gardening: A practical guide to growing ecological, social, cultural and economic change (2023) from the sustainable fashion pioneers Kate Fletcher and Mathilda Tham. 

Earth Logic introduces six landscapes, where to ground all actions, including:

  1.  LESS – fitting all activity within Earth’s limits
  2.  LOCAL – scaling and recentring action rooted in place and community
  3.  PLURAL – social justice and diversity of imagination
  4.  LEARNING (and unlearning) – how to educate, research and innovate
  5.  LANGUAGING – how to create mind shifts through words, imaginary and stories
  6.  GOVERNANCE – how to organise, negotiate and regulate

You can find both books on this website:

how does the platform work

We come together to reflect and share our own experiences, create together and craft our own calls for action. 

The platform consists of: Gardening, reading, mini lectures, reflection diary and creative workshops including facilitated conversations, data collection, individual & group tasks and hands-on creative work (e.g. illustration, collage, soft material experimentation, natural dyeing)


tentative topics for the workshops

  • Co-creation and realisation of a garden plan
  • Mapping out local fashion stakeholders, power relations and needs
  • Critical analysis of fashion language
  • Reflections on sustainable livelihoods; inventory of own skills, roles and possibilities
  • How to take care of self, others and other-than-humans in change work
  • From competition to collaboration and community
  • How to create structures, distribute power, and make decisions in a non-authoritarian way
  • Grounded imagination and dreaming of preferred fashion futures 


Sat 25.5 10.00 – 16:00

Sun 26.5 10.00 – 16:00

Tue 28.5 10:00 – 16:00 

Wed 29.5 10:00 – 16:00 

Thu 30.5 10:00 – 16:00

Tue 4.6 10:00 – 16:00

Wed 5.6 10:00 – 16:00

Thu 6.6 10:00 – 16:00

Tue 11.6 10:00 – 16:00

Wed 12.6 10:00 – 16:00

Thu 13.6 10:00 – 16:00

Mon 17.6 10:00 – 16:00

Tue 18.6 10:00 – 16:00

Wed 19.6 10:00 – 16:00

There are no meetings, but if you wish you can take care of the garden with us every week.

Tue 6.8 10:00 – 16:00

Wed 7.8 10:00 – 16:00

Thu 8.8 10:00 – 16:00

Tue 13.8 10:00 – 16:00

Wed 14.8 10:00 – 16:00

Thu 15.8 10:00 – 16:00

Sat 17.8 10:00 – 16:00


general info

Who can apply?
Students, recent graduates, unemployed or professionals working in fashion (design, production, marketing, research, education, retail etc.) or people who are interested in working in the fashion field. No previous experience related to the platform contents is needed. (NOTE: Students: ask your professor if this could be part of your credits)

The studio space is accessible and has an accessible toilet. The garden is located next to a sidewalk, but the pathways in the lot are not accessible. If you have accessibility needs, we can figure out an alternative way for you to participate also in gardening.

Selection process:
The application period ends 12.5.2024 at 23.59. We select the participants by motivation, commitment and diversity. We can take max. 8 participants and the selection is made by 10.5.2024.

Location: Live meetings at Softislab: Ristikkokatu 3, AK 2. 00580 Helsinki and a garden lot at Limingantie in Kumpula

Language: English

Students: 50€ or pay what you can

Unemployed / low-income 50€

Employed 200€

Contact info:


Iiris Herttua
fashion designer with an MA degree in Design for Sustainability. Her expertise spans various areas, including research project and design tool Material Pathways aimed at broadening designers’ comprehension of materials in the context of sustainability, experimental commissions in sustainable design, teaching in design education, and the design and facilitation of both traditional and experimental workshops. Additionally, Herttua is active in the performative arts as a costume designer. Her overarching mission revolves around exploring how creative practices, personal growth, and inner transformations can propel sustainability initiatives, drive systemic change, and foster positive ways of existence in the world.

Mari Nurmenniemi
fashion designer (M.A.) interested in sustainable aesthetics, participatory design and reuse of materials. As a co-founder of Softislab, she believes in kind, caring, and collaborative approach to design and life in general. Nurmenniemi knows her way around practical matters and has experience in feminist leadership, workshop facilitation and event producing. She also works as a costume designer in the field of performing arts. For the past few years, Nurmenniemi has cultivated fiber and dye plants in her garden as a part of her artistic practices


Established in 2020, Softislab is a non-profit association formed by designers who embrace softness: kind, caring and collaborative approach to design and life in general. We believe it is essential to shift focus from consumerism and growth-logic to setting Earth and the planetary boundaries first.  

Our mission is to drive sustainability change in the fashion field by exploring new roles for both designers and consumers and sharing skills and knowledge using a critical yet playful and creative approach. Our ongoing activities include workshops for both professionals and enthusiasts alike, covering topics such as clothes making, natural dyeing, printing, and the sensorial features of textiles. 

In our pilot event in 2021, we approached textiles from a multidisciplinary and sensorial perspective. This event featured an artist residency, a keynote talk, a panel discussion, workshops and an exhibition. Our latest project, Fashion Gardening, is an experimental learning platform focused on systemic sustainability change within the field of fashion.

We have arranged workshops with Sideways festival, Solve the SDGs Hackathon at Aalto University, Startup Sauna, Crust ry, Helsingin Tyttöjen Talo and Helmi ry. Additionally, we have collaborated with The Finnish National Romance Museum, Kalasataman Seripaja, Seams Helsinki and Välitila studios. 

Board: Mira Järvinen, Mari Nurmenniemi and Kristiina Yrjänäinen Current members: Maï Antila, Iina-Alisa Lakea and Maija Järviniemi Past members: Outi Mustonen

Our work has been supported by Arts Promotion Centre Finland and AVEK Audiovisual Centre. 


\ ˈsȯft  


: pleasing or agreeable to the senses : bringing ease, comfort, or quiet  

: smooth or delicate in texture, grain, or fiber  

: marked by a gentleness, kindness, or tenderness  

: based on negotiation, conciliation, or flexibility rather than on force, threats, or intransigence  

contact us

Wish to get involved, be part of our community or host a workshop with us? Drop us a line at
Softislab ry