Columnist Suzi Christoffersen is founder and owner of Closed Loop, a consultancy company guiding and supporting fashion companies in the implementation of sustainable development strategies. One of Closed Loop’s main focuses is textiles and the company recently took over The Fabric Source, a sustainable textile library.
Did you know that Danes buy 16 kilos of clothing on average per year, but 30% of our wardrobes have not been used in the past year? We buy more clothes than any other country in Scandinavia. We don’t have endless natural resources, so what can we do?
Reduce – lower your level of shopping as much as you can.
Repair – fix what you have or take it to a tailor if something is broken and you can’t fix it on your own.
Reuse – swap clothing with friends, donate to second-hand shops or re-sell.
Recycle – look for shops and organizations where you can hand in your completely worn out items and single socks so they can be recycled into new fibres (and new clothing).
Rethink your wardrobe – Go through your closet and find new combinations. See how many black jeans, for example, you really have. You may not need any more.
When you then go shopping, go for vintage, second-hand or thrift stores first. Invest in high-quality materials with very good fit that you can use for different occasions. If a new item doesn’t work with at least 3 pieces already in your closet, it’s a bad invest for your wallet and for the planet. Look for sustainable brands, certifications and ask questions. Be curious!
Join the movement. Research shows that 66% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product if it comes from a sustainable brand. But the millennials are even more focused on sustainability – 73% say they are willing to pay more for a sustainable brand.