So what can fashion do for the climate? A whole lot as we all know, for instance like this article in The Guardian points out so clearly. But the conversation needs to keep going, more new ideas need to come forward and above all: things need to change.
Tonight, the Swedish banking app Doconomy is hosting a talk about this very subject in Stockholm. The talk will focus on how to take steps towards new sustainable business models, how to help consumers make better choices and all in all achieve a sustainable industry. Participating in the panel are Kristina Dimitrova from Interlaced, Pierre Norberg from Tradera, Johan Graffner from Dedicated, Johanna Norrman from It’s Re:Leased, and Emelie Norberg and Emmeli Harila from Klädbytardagen Sthlm.
The January edition of Fashion Tech Berlin conference started today! This time the conference revolves around how to transform your organisation digitally throughout the value chain, and will focus specifically on four aspects of this transformation: leadership & culture, innovation & technology, customer journey and future of work. Among the speakers you’ll find Rebecca Minkoff CBO Ana Andjelic, founder of Awaytomars Alfredo Orobio, Hyper Island CEO Sofia Wingren och many others.
3D-printed shoes used to mean a printed plastic sole combined with a woven upper. But now, fashion design graduate Ganit Goldstein have collaborated with Stratasys to create a collection of shoes printed in one step, using Stratasys multi material 3D-printing technology, FashNerd reports. The shoe collection is part of Golstein’s graduation collection ”Between the layers” that consists of six pair of shoes and seven outfits, all 3D-printed.
Want to see the shoes in real life? Go to Munich this spring, where the shoes will be displayed at the International Trade Fair for the Skilled Trade between the 13th and 17th of March 2019.
Photo credit: Ganit Goldstein
Founder of Parley for the Oceans, Cyrill Gutsch, was rewarded the Special Recognition Award for Innovation at the British Fashion Council’s annual awards Monday night. He got the award for his work with recycling plastics recovered from the ocean, that has then ended up as new products in brands such as Adidas and Stella McCartney, The Current Daily reports.
“The planet is broken, the oceans are nearly dead and we need a dream of a magic blue universe that is well protected – something that we actually fight for together,” he said when recieving his award.
And Cyrill Gutsch is a firm believer in the power of fashion in the fight against climate change. A couple of weeks ago, he said to Vouge:
“Fashion has the power to change people’s minds in a very quick way. It has a big role to play in environmentalism, because it [speaks to] people on an emotional and instinctual level. It speaks to desire and beauty, and allows us to convey this very serious message about the fragility of the planet in a way that isn’t preachy. It’s positive. And it’s fast.”
Swedish fashion chains Kapp-Ahl and H&M along with Peak Performance, are supporting the UN ”Fashion Industry Charter on Climate Action” with its own local initiative. With ”Swedish Textile Initiative For Climate Action” (STICA) they commit to reducing their climate impact with at least 30 percent by 2030. To reach this goal they are creating a platform for ”knowledge sharing, collaboration and reporting”, as stated in a press release. They also invite other textile companies to join them.
UN’s Fashion Industry Charter on Climate Acton is being launched today at COP24 in Katowice, Poland.
With Stella McCartney Cares Pink, the brand took a stand against breast cancer. Now, the brand is launching Stella McCartney Cares Green, which focuses on supporting and educating the fashion industry in sustainability. With this project they want to sponsor a shift in attitudes and practices on materials innovation, sustainable design, circular economy and animal welfare.
Among the actions planned are an open source information platform to help businesses, students and policy makers fight for change. There will also be scholarships and support to new designers and plans to educate the industry in how technology could help spur sustainability on.
When speaking at Business of Fashion’s Voices conference recently, Stella McCartney also revealed a collaboration between the brand and the UN; namely a charter with 16 commitments to help fashion businesses curb the damage they’re doing to the planet. The full charter will be launched at COP24 in Poland on December 10, The Current Daily reports.
“Everything is at stake. It’s really about bringing everyone together as an industry, and instead of having a few people talk about it, it’s having everyone talk about it and the leaders actually taking responsibility, putting our money where our mouth is and making an amazing change together.”, Stella McCartney said at the conference.
Imagine a shirt that gets passed on from mother to daughter to granddaughter over the course of 20 years. During this process, the garment changes print and colour and ultimately gets back to the brand for reusing in new ways the last decades of its life, first as a jacket lining, then as an accessory.
This thought experiment is part of the Circular Design Speed project conducted this year by Swedish clothing brand Filippa K, research body Mistra Future Fashion and University Of The Arts London (UAL).
“If you can make a garment last through the process of reinvention in reasonable, commercially available and viable ways, you replace the purchase of a new product. The lifecycle assessment of the service shirt against a standard polyester blouse showed significant climate change savings.”, project lead, prof. Becky Earley, Co-Director, CCD, says to FashNerd.
I think this kind of thinking is exactly the industry needs right now. What if we could reimagine the whole idea of what fashion is supposed to be? What if we could rethink the whole set of attitudes surrounding it, keeping the idea of fashion as something living and constantly changing, while still managing to apply this to considerably fewer items? Applying the concept of change to the item itself instead of constantly changing the item?
It’s an exciting idea.
Personally I’m very excited to see in what ways digital technologies could help enable this change. AI is already being used by some as a tool in the design process, maybe it could be of assistance in this context as well, reimagining the next phase in the item’s life cycle? Not to mention AR, with its ability to let us enhance reality.