Talking About Sustainability at Stockholm Fashion Week AW19

Stockholm Fashion Week AW19 was our sustainable muse, and we have the Bioeconomy Talk to thank! Stockholm Fashion Week highlighted a panel of six fashion-forward minds to discuss the future of sustainable fashion. The Panel included – Elin Larsson (Founder/CEO at Elco), Fredrika Klarén (Sustainability Manager at Kappahl), Johan Graffner – (CEO/Founder at Dedicated), Pauline Ström Gunnér (Head of Sustainable Business, Swedish Fashion Council), Ulrika Lilja (Head of Communications at Stora Enso) and Sigrid Barnekow (Sustainable Fashion Consultant)

Hosted in partnership with the Swedish Forest Industries Federation, the bio-economy talk highlighted the challenges and opportunities we see as a possibility. The main topic was how can the Swedish wood be a source of opportunity for sustainable fashion?

 

bioeconomy talk sustainability fashion week stockholm aw19

 

When checking your own clothing label, one material you may find is viscose – Viscose is a cellulose-based material, that uses wood as its’ main source and through a chemical process, turns it into a textile fiber. As a fabric, it is very durable, comfortable and considered to be like artificial silk.

Included in the viscose family is also lyocell, bamboo, Tencel and model. According to recent findings, 64% of all textiles today are made from oil-based fibers, 25% is cotton, 6% is viscose and the remaining is wool or other natural materials. However, With the help of the forestry industry and viscose, sustainability is possible!

According to Irika Lilja – Head of Communications at Stora Enso, “Our wood is an incredible material. It is renewable, fossil fuel free and recyclable. But if we do not take care of it in a good way then we do not have a business. For every tree we take away we plant two to four new trees.” Sweden is considered to be one of the largest producers of timber, after Canada and the USA. So when it comes to wood and sustainability, there is a huge potential for the two industries to merge, and help the planet out.

 

“We have been part of the textile value chain since 2012 when we started the production of resolving pulp. We are producing 430 thousand tones this year. The reason is that this is a growing segment and there is a great demand for different types of viscose fibers. The important question in the future is if it is not only renewable, but also recyclable”. lrika Lilja – Head of Communications, Stora Enso

 

bioeconomy talk sustainability fashion week stockholm aw19

 

When considering fashion, Elin Larsson – CEO and Founder Elco, former sustainability manager at Filippa K adds:

 

“One part of the solution could be to find new sustainable fibers. But, there are some challenges with viscose. First, some parts of the world you have logging of endangered and ancient forests. As a process, it is also very energy and chemically heavy. But if we can implement sustainable forrest management and create a closed looped system, then for sure wood based fibers can be the solution going forward. But it is also not the only solution. We need a mix of different materials in the future, can come from recycled clothes, food waste or other options!”

 

Overall, the entire talk was a thrilling hour, that gave me hope and inspiration for a better fashion industry and sustainable future. What I think is so interesting about the fashion industry today, is that collaboration possibilities are more apparent than ever. As a sustainable fashion enthusiast myself, I can not wait to see what these brands are going to work on next as a result of the current discussions happening, and I want to discover more about how I as a fashion consumer, can achieve a sustainable fashion industry.

You can watch the talk below, and we’d love to know what you’re doing to make more sustainable fashion choices?

 


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