A more sustainable fashion industry? Fashion journalist Anna Blom lectures on circular fashion

Anna Blom is one of the interesting guest lecturers that the Fashion program has invited this autumn. Her focus is a more sustainable fashion industry where circular fashion leads to new services and greater creativity within the fashion industry.

Journey became a turning point

Anna Blom has worked as a fashion journalist for more than 13 years and interviewed many of the really big designers within the industry such as Stella McCartney and Burberry's previous head of design, Christopher Bailey, but also global influencers such as Gigi Hadid. Today she combines her writing with raising awareness on circular fashion. 

"Fashion to me represents longing and dreams and is a fantastic way to express identity and build self confidence, but you can't ignore the fact that the fashion industry is a great polluter."

A journey to Shanghai with Global Change Award (awarded by the H&M Foundation) arose Anna's interest in circular fashion.  

"After that trip, I felt that if I were to continue working in fashion, I wanted to better understand the industry's challenges and opportunities."

Attitudes and behaviours a step towards change 

Circular fashion means extending the life of products, for example using recyled materials that become garments that can be composted or recycled when its owner has grown tired of it, or to develop environmentally friendly materials, but also to develop business models that build circularity. 

Today, the most common production method is to produce new fabrics to manufacture garments that are disposed of after a short life cycle. But recycling does not solve the problems of the fashion industry, as only 1% of all recycled textiles become new clothes. In addition, it is no longer possible for the ordinary consumer to assess whether a garment is eco-friendly.

What we can control is instead our attitude and behavior towards fashion - how we use our clothes and our attitude towards ownership. The largest part of a garment's negative climate impact occurs in production and when customers go to and from the store. A garment used twice reduces the negative impact by half. And instead of buying new clothes to the next party or even for everyday needs, there are many companies whose business idea is to rent out garments.

"There is a long way to go towards a more sustainable fashion industry but there are a lot of positive initiatives going on. New innovative materials are developed, circular business models are tested and established, and among young people, sustainability and ethical values become more and more important."

Anna Blom's 3 best tips on becoming a conscious fashion consumer 

  1. Shop in your own wardrobe. How can you restyle, find new style combinations, and reactivate garments that you've grown tired of? 
  2. Try renting clothes or selling and buying second-hand. 
  3. Build a good basic wardrobe that takes you and your needs into account. 

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