Fish leather, sealskins amount maritime fashion award winners

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In Malta, Karen Sissal Kristiansen, founder of Faroe Island’s Shisa fashion brand, has won the Blue Fashion Challenge award for a jacket and handbag made of fish skin.

The award was handed out at the recent Blue Fashion for Blue Growth event, which aims to promote maritime sustainability through fashion. Kristiansen says that fish leather can be more time-consuming to work with than cowhide but is as durable.

Blue Fashion Challenge finalist Kolbrun Yr Gunnarsdottir of Iceland uses sealskins, which can be dyed in a variety of colors and are soft to the touch. Other event participants included Sam Selby, who makes jewelry from sea sediment.

Morten Stemre of the Nordic Atlantic Cooperation says that although some may have objections to using materials such as fish and sealskin in textiles, the creatures are never killed just for their skins.