Back in October 2019 I was invited by the Danish Art Foundation to apply for an art residency at 18th Street Art Center located in Santa Monica in Los Angeles. I was very excited by the invitation and applied, and have now been selected by the committee from the Art Center and will be going to LA for a three months residency in the fall of 2020. I’m proud and feel extremely privileged to be going to spend three months in LA working on my new project.
‘The time is now’ – is the working title of the project and it is about ‘things’. All the stuff we own and surround ourselves with and our relation with these things. One aim of the project is to create awareness about overconsumption, and to start the necessary transition of ‘our relationship’ with stuff. The time is now … for human needs to be fulfilled within our planetary boundaries. That is the challenge I bring to LA, and the background for this project.
I will meet and interview volunteer participants and ask them to choose xx objects that they find important to keep and bring into a future, where we will be living with the consequences of centuries of unchecked growth in industrial production. The time is now … for us to start to relate to the reality that lies ahead and start living according to the knowledge we have, and prepare for the future that is just around the corner! The heart of this project it to try to understand, what is keeping us from acting? – and perhaps to initiate change by touching upon and communicating about it as the subject of an exhibit at the Art Center.
Kom i gang og vend udfordringer til muligheder, – lød invitationen til arrangementet på Børsen, som Dansk Erhverv og WEAR i fællesskab stod for.
Den første der indtog scenen var direktøren fra Neutral Clothing, Lars Bech, som har været igang længere end de fleste. Han beskrev hele Neutrals værdikæde og forklarede detaljeret om konsekvenserne af fx at anvende GMO modificerede bomuldsfrø, samt om de certifikater de selv har måtte opfinde undervejs, fordi de har været first-movere på flere områder. Fx deres vindmølle ikon (se label herover) som signalere at de bruger vedvarende energi. Neutral arbejder med en tilgang de selv har valgt at kalde ‘okay’ … altså okay arbejdsforhold, okay materialer, og okay betaling af deres samarbejdspartnere ude i verden. Dejligt med vidensdeling af en vidende person med rigtigt meget på hjertet.
Dagens friske pust kom fra Veronica fra Carcel. En modevirksomhed der arbejder med flere indsatsområder, for at opnå en mere bæredygtig profil. De arbejder fx. ikke med sæsoner i deres styles, har ikke lager, holder ikke selv udsalg – og accepterer heller ikke, at deres B2B kunder sælger Carcel produkter til nedsat pris. Disse tiltag betyder bl.a. at de minimere affald og overproduktion. De har valgt at få produceret deres første produktlinje i et kvindefængsel i Peru, hvor der arbejdes med alpacauld, som de indsatte kvinder har god erfaring med, da det kommer fra lokalområdet. Spændende at høre både om udfordringer undervejs på rejsen, og også om et inspirerende ‘overmod’ og overraskelsen, da Veronica fandt den peruvianske fængselsdirektørs telefonnummer på nettet og ringede til ham … – og han så tog telefonen … Og hvordan dét blev starten på et samarbejde med de indsatte kvinder. Nu udvider Carcel med produktion på Filippinerne og her med produkter i silke, igen i et materiale der er lokal erfaring med. Tidligere på ugen vandt Carcel Magasin du Nord Fashion Prize 2019 – en fortjent milepæl på en spændende rejse.
When giving lectures and talks in educational and business environments on – how to transit to a greener business or circular economy with more sustainable production the slide above is often requested afterwards. The details of a green transition of cause varies according to main business and the value being created for the receivers. But on a theoretical level I find that there are three important perspectives to look for – and these three levels of approach recur in most cases. My advice is to be aware of the three levels, and also to be aware – on what level you are working.
I got the inspiration to define the three perspectives for designing for more sustainabilityand circular economy from reading work by Professor for Corporate Sustainability at ESCP, Europe Business School in Berlin Florian Lüdeke-Freund. His work on levels for Value Creation in companies pointed at the perspectives. After meeting Lüdeke-Freund I had the pleasure of being part of an expert board on business models and here contributing to work done at the Business School by Sarah Carroux ao. on – 45 patterns to support sustainable business model innovation.
In debates about climate change and the necessary actions of change we are facing, I often hear discussions about who should do whatfirst. Here I often get to think of a Danish cartoonist, Anders Morgenthaler who participated in a debate where politicians intensely discussed, who should who do first. He interrupted and said: The kitchen is on fire and you discuss who should fetch water, WE MUST ALL GET WATER NOW.
I made the illustration above to communicate, – how I see the landscabe of action for us all to see – where we can contribute and participate, and not relay on others to do the necessary.
There are ‘top-down’ decisions that countries leading politicians must take to guide citizens in direction of change, along with new laws that need to be drafted, for us all to head for a future of common good. Vote for that change, vote for a new patch. At the same time there are the ‘bottom-up’ everyday choices for me and you and everybody else to take. Some argue that it feels like a drop in the ocean, but I think: what would the oceans be without all the drops? We, as consumers – hold the power to change by ‘voting with our wallet’ every time we buy something. Buy new-old things. Give longer life to the items you have and need in your life by repairing. Pass it on, if you don’t need it any longer. And in the end hand it in for reuse. By becoming a conscious consumer we all take part in this change, and by ‘voting with our wallet’ we choose who to support. We the consumers decide what companies and organisations should grow. That is the operating middel of the landscape. Companies are driving the ‘material’ transition and we consumers are pushing the scaling up by becoming conscious consumers – acting and buying with heads and hearts. Go for it.
After a decade of Copenhagen Fashion Summit’s, the last held in May 2019, finally this summer somebody startede talking about the elephant in the room – the overconsumption of clothes and the underlaying doing business (as usual) model. I would have expected the Fashion Summit to have taken up this issue a longe time ago, but maybe their courage failed them, or their cooperating sponsors didn’t like the messages … and instead it had to be a joint collision, the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, UCRF – that addresses this obviously important issue. What a missed opportunity for the Fashion Summit to be part of addressing real change.
Because, it has to be now, we change course on this giant supertanker. We need to change at a systemic level in an industry, where to much business does not work for our common good. The amount of, and the kind of textiles and clothes being manufactured today is causing scarcity of our common resources, pollution along the value chain where also work conditions are often not acceptable. We can not accept this any longer. This must stop now. Change will come, either because we run of track, or because we decide it is time now.
Concerned Researchers like Kate Fletcher from UK and Danish Else Skjold from KADK are pointing to the fact that talking about the need for change is not enough. ‘Discussing the same ideas that originally originated in the late 80’s and early 90’s is nothing to celebrate. If we look at the trend in sustainability in fashion over the past 30 years, we see that we have not progressed at all,’ the researchers point at this in a critical comment. Here interviewed in a Danish magasin, and here some of the same points in English at ECO-AGE.
The challenges created by overconsumption in the field of fashion in the Global North is in some cases moved to the Global South. E.g. by selling used clothes collected in Denmark and other countries in EU for reuse in for example Ghana, but with a 40 % waste in the bales. The hole system is sick and must come to a stop and be changed. Read what The fashion Revolution has written about this subject here: dead white mens clothes.
VI VIL HAVE KLIMAHANDLING NU! blev der råbt og ja tak, det vil vi nemlig, og NU. TAK til den Grønne Studenterbevægelse, Friday for Future, tak til Greta for at kræve dette. I er for seje. Uafhængigt af min alder – er jeg med og støtter dette vigtige arbejde.
3-days-of-design foregår fra d. 23. -26. maj i København og der særligt to udstillinger, som jeg kan anbefale.
Først: en super fine ADORNO udstilling med kunsthåndværk og designobjekter, som er kurateret af dygtige Pil Bredahl. Den kan ses i Århusgade 120, i Nordhavn. Adorno er etableret i 2017 af to københavnske design-elskere og iværksættere Kristian Snorre Andersen og Martin Clausen, for at give designere rundt om i verden en unik mulighed for at præsentere deres arbejde på det globale marked, samt for at give designelskere mulighed for at opdage og erhverve unikt designarbejde.
Så nåede du ikke til Nordhavn, så tjek meget, meget mere her.
Også under 3-days-of-design viser Lifestyle & Design Cluster udstillingen ”Circular Furniture & Interior Design” i smukke lokaler, der snart skal indrettes som Københavns Museum. Her er alt udstillet inventar skabt med cirkulær økonomi og bæredygtighed i tankerne. Læs mere om den udstilling og som udstillerne her.