Monthly Archives: oktober 2019

What, how – and who

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 sustainability and 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 what first. 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.

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Filed under Bæredygtige løsninger, Cirkulær Økonomi, Ikke kategoriseret, Vidensdeling

The Fashion Elephant

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 overproduction and -consumption 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. Therefore use your wallet then you shop – buy quality garments and only things that you need and will love – and therefore take care of … forever. And if you decide to get rid of a piece of clothing, then give it to a friend or a 2.hand shop.

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.

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Filed under Ikke kategoriseret