You work a lot with recycled materials and are very transparent with your material choices on your website, among other things. Why is it so important? Why do you do that?
Transparency and the use of recycled materials can help to reduce the environmental impact of the fashion industry. By using recycled materials, we can reduce the amount of waste that ends up in landfills and minimise the need for new resources. Additionally, transparency about our material choices can help to hold brands accountable for their environmental impact and encourage them to make more sustainable choices. By being transparent about the materials used in our products, we can encourage consumers to make more informed decisions about their purchases and to support brands that prioritise sustainability, says Camilla.
Camilla, can you tell us a little about your customers/consumers. What is the demand from your customers regarding sustainability, circularity, and choice of materials today?
We believe that the transformation of the fashion industry towards more sustainability and circularity must happen regardless of shoppers’ demands. But increased transparency is important and for those who are interested, we strive to provide information about the environmental impact of our products. Looking into the future.
Allan, how do you think the consumer and your customers will think in the future regarding sustainability, circularity, and sustainable materials?
We expect that there won’t be a linear process for everyone. Some will jump on the train immediately; others need more time to adapt. But sustainability isn’t something any of us can avoid in the long run. E.g., we see upcoming legislation that will require behavioural change – not just for companies but for shoppers as well. We must use garments – and other products – for longer, mend them and ultimately recycle them.
BESTSELLER work with Design for Circularity. Camilla, can you tell us more about that and how?
In BESTSELLER, we want to be part of this journey and prepare our products for a circular future. Therefore, we have developed our Circular Design Guide. The guide is an internal document for all designers and product developers across brands on how to design and create with circularity in mind. With our Circular Design Guide, we want to optimise resources throughout the entire value chain and prepare for a circular future where recycling is the standard.
For BESTSELLER, this entails considering all decisions made at each stage of the value cycle – from raw material, over production, through use and until recycling. When choosing raw materials, the advice is to use materials with a lower environmental impact than conventional ones. For the production stage, it is recommended that resources are optimised by amongst others minimising cut-off waste, while design processes should be digitised to limit the need for physical samples. Longevity of a product in the use phase is equally important and tangible strategies such as designing for physical or aesthetic durability are described in detail.
Lastly, the Circular Design Guide explains how to design for recyclability. To find the best ‘recipes for recycling’ we have reached out to recyclers within our scope and asked them about their preferred material composition, layering and trims. The ultimate goal of the Circular Design Guide is to make sure that the products that BESTELLER brands produce are fit for a circular future where all resources continuously flow in a closed loop – it being within the textile industry or in other industries where used textile can be a valuable resource. To do this we need our entire supply chain on board.
What do you think about the future of fashion, Camilla?
In BESTSELLER we believe that the future of fashion lies in sustainability. The fashion industry has long been associated with negative environmental and social impacts, and this cannot continue. NGOs, Governments, and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of the environmental impact of the fashion industry and are asking for more sustainable options. As a result, we are seeing more and more brands prioritise sustainability and take steps to reduce their environmental footprint. This includes using recycled, lower impact next gen materials, reducing waste and emissions, and implementing ethical labour practices.
I believe that in the future, so-called ‘sustainable fashion’ will become the norm rather than the exception. Brands that do not prioritise sustainability will struggle to remain relevant and may even face backlash from consumers. However, there is still much work to be done within the fashion industry to support this development. We need to continue to innovate and find new ways to reduce our environmental impact. These innovative solutions need support from brands and suppliers, so they can reach a commercial scale where tangible lower impact can be achieved.
Overall, I am optimistic about the future of fashion. While there are still many challenges to overcome, I believe that the industry is moving in the right direction and with innovation, investments and dedication we will find the solutions that are needed.