Cherie Birkner doesn’t just talk the talk. Convinced that sustainable fashion needed to be accelerated and better communicated she made an abrupt career change and jumped without hesitation into the world of slow, green and ethical fashion.
Cherie is a true creator who builds her own world. As a photographer, she’s mostly known for her portrait work and she is the brain and hands behind the platform Sustainable Fashion Matterz.
An energy ball with a clear agenda and an ever willingness to connect and engage, she’s putting Berlin’s growing sustainable movement on the agenda.
Your morning routine: Oh, gosh. That’s actually something I struggle with a bit. I would love to share my morning routine I have planned for myself, but it would be a bit of a lie if I really let you think I make it out of bed every day without checking my phone. I do have those days where I make the mistake to ‘just shortly’ have a look and the next thing you know I’m still in bed writing emails, editing photos or writing for Sustainable Fashion Matterz at 2 in the afternoon. A good start is when I get up shortly after 7, drink a cup of water, put on tea water and hop in the shower. After i put on location i like to have my tea or coffee in my morning coat and go through what I want to get done that day in my notebook - it’s a silk Fujui morning coat I’ve had for a few years now and it somehow alway makes me feel like I am in a movie when I wear it. I like to save my creative energy for my work, so I’ve curated my wardrobe in a way which doesn’t take up much time or thought for me to pick my outfits. I do some basic makeup, a dash of perfume and head out with a podcast in my ear.
Book on your night table: I was just recently telling a friend about the last book I just read for the fun of it was The First Bad Man by Miranda July. It didn’t say anything about what the book was about on it. The book was black and the title in bold white capital letters, so I really just bought it because of the cover, and title. I had no idea what the book was actually about until I was half way through, but Miranda writes so well, that somehow it doesn’t matter. She has a way of putting you in the perspective of what you may otherwise consider absurd, and it somehow all makes sense. Now my friend gave me another book from Miranda July to read: No one belongs here more than you. So far so good.
Spirit animal: I don’t know if I have a spirit animal. What I like about cats is that they are selective about who they let get close to them and they take what they want. I like the unconditional love of dogs, and the ludicrous style of paradise birds. But I might also be a truffle pig because I love truffles!
Source of inspiration: When I went to visit my father this past winter, one of the first things he told me was that he had seen this ted talk from an old pro skater, and that now he wanted to buy a skateboard and do it himself. My first reaction was “what if you fall and break your arm?” the answer I got from the man in his mid 60’s “people think that when you are old you get weak, but the truth is you get old when you get weak”. He inspires me to leave my fears aside, live a fun life and be true to myself.
A project you would love to work on: At the beginning of this year I thought I would like to do a self portrait every month. Now over half way through I just managed to do about 4 shoots. So it hasn’t exactly been on the top of my priority list. Still I would like to explore this area more in a project, collaborating with sustainable brands and other creatives.
Sustainable fashion, how do you do it? I always look for secondhand items before buying new pieces, I love going to the flea market on the weekends and my friends and I like to do clothing swaps. I haven’t bought anything from a fast fashion retailer in about 3 years and very few new ones from ethical brands. The love for pieces I have had for 6/7 years now is still there. So having a consistent style is something I also find to make being sustainable easier. Hmmm, although right now I am going more for a light toned look. It’s amazing how many smiles you get when you’re dressed all in white in a city known for wearing black.
Favorite way to style a collar: Well, we said we were going to go for light colors in this shoot, and it was really nice putting these outfits together, though I probably won’t be running around outside in my grandmas wedding dress. The collars work really well with my sweaters, which are still mostly black, haha. The asymmetrical one definitely has a nice effect on people and gets a lot of attention as it’s not your average look.