GREEN WASHED GOOD WILL

Still addressing the recycling mania that awesomely enough is taking a bigger and bigger part of our every day lives; the H&M World Recycle Week – any opinions?

Me and Maja went to Juno PR:s event Recycled Links Live this Friday where a panel discussed sustainable fashion and the complexity around it. A garment can be sustainable in the way that it lasts forever and doesn’t lose its value over time. And a garment can be sustainable due to the way it’s produced. The second part is what this week originally was about: Fashion Revolution Week. It’s a huge thing over the world right now, but in Sweden in particular, or at least in Stockholm, I experience that H&M:s look-alike event is completely stealing the show. The collaboration with M.I.A. called World Recycle Week. Bring garments to the store and you get 50 SEK extra off additional purchases. Happy consumerism. Lol.

But it got us thinking: people still need incentives to get involved. To take that extra effort and recycle. Helpers High isn’t (always) enough.

But come on H&M, choose another week. Don’t just try to hide your sucky production behind discussions about something else. Be transparent and stand for it. I believe this could (hopefully soon?) give you a tougher backlash than if you simply admitted you haven’t solved the production issue yet, and used another side of the company to start this good initiative for recycling. And what’s more important: Let there be a movement fighting for better working conditions in fashion! Movements are inspiring and opening people’s eyes all over the world. Let people understand that they can have an impact on the way things are produced.

Who-made-my-clothes

What comforted me – well, what was welcoming considering things always feel so black and white and that we all are eventually gonna die because humans suck – was something Lisa Corneliusson, co-founder of Make it last said. She talked about her realisation that all initiatives are good. It’s so difficult for companies to make everything correct and we must welcome every effort instead of pointing out everything done wrong. Highlight the positive struggle; let them get credit for trying. It inspires more to dare to do something. But in the manner media today tends to depict companies, the ones who are actually trying to create a positive impact often get shit for missing details. While the ones who keep on doing nothing stay safe in the shadows.

Except for when companies do good in order to silent something bad *cough cough*.

xLinn

ITS A FIRE, ME OR THE WARDROBE?

Talk with Sara Hasselqvist, Beckmans College Of Design
Sara is a first-year student at Beckmans design program and has the last month created new products out of recycled clothes for Fashion Transformation Day hosted by H&M. Yesterday at brunch between pancakes and mimosas I took the opportunity to pick her brain on the subject of sustainability and recycling.

Sara Hasselqvist

What are your thoughts about the project?
Well, I just think it’s amazing that it happens. H&M is such a large brand and has the opportunity to reach out to so many people with this message which is incredible.

Has your own lifestyle changed or been affected by this?
No, not really. This is something that has been close to my heart for such a long time. For me sustainability aspects are old. But I think it´s new for other people to think along these lines.

I have had the benefit of growing up with these ideas from the start. Westerns are privileged in many ways and having sustainability as one of our core values is one of the things we benefit. This was clear at Beckmans; as a homogeneous group of people with similar backgrounds the topic didn’t spur any debates since thinking from a sustainable point of view comes naturally to all of us. As a group, we don’t really represent the society.

(Alma Yttergren, a sports journalist, jumps into the conversation)

You mention that you are a homogeneous group of people at Beckmans, in what way will this influence fashion and design of the future? (Alma asked)
I believe the future will have an increased focus on sustainability such as choice of materials and techniques. It’s important that future designers take this responsibility.

This is something I struggle with a lot. We designers are to create new products with the aim to sell (of course) but from the sustainability aspect, to influence people to buy “new” is not a good economy for the planet. We have to unite social and environmental aspects as well as economic viability when making new products. There are big shoes to fill.

Back to the project, the weirdest item in it?
A frog costume in fleece material that we sewed pears out of! But mostly it was socks and underwear. We cut and sewed from the garments as they were, we didn’t for example dyed or coloured anything since it is environmentally unfriendly.

At last, do you have any private recycling tips?
Tradera and Blocket! (Maria Claesson calls out over the table)

(Sara) I never buy clothes to buy “new” clothes, I love the clothes I have. My boyfriend asked me the other day who I would save in a fire, him or the wardrobe? (hahaha) and I couldn’t choose. My best tip is to buy clothes that you really love!

Thanks a lot, Sara, really inspiring! Now I know what I’m gonna dedicate my Sunday to – clear out my wardrobe separating my loved once from the others. And to see what kind of recycling project they can become a part of!

xMaja

Brunch_Just-wow

Photo cred: Maria Claesson

RECYCLING THERAPY

When meeting your peers sorting glass and plastics at the recycle centre, you feel connected with each other. We all believe in recycling for a better world. Prior the walk to the recycling centre, it feels like a duty. Boring. But afterwards, I fly high on the streets feeling like a superhero! I care about the earth and I’m making it better!

I know for a fact that it isn’t just me who gets these rushes when recycling or doing good. As Joey in Friends puts it “There are no selfless good deeds”. The reason behind the rush of doing good, also called altruism, is explained by our amazing brain. By the way (to be correct) the definition of altruism is actually more about “people caring about other people” but hey, isn’t the planet a kind of friend aka a person? Anyway, there is a phenomenon called “Helpers high” which is the effect produced by our brain when doing good. The brain releases endorphins (feeling of happiness) which explains why I almost flit back from the recycling centre, feeling invincible.

In my opinion, this is a good thing. To be selfish and do stuff only for yourself is natural and human. But knowing that you can get the same rush from recycling your old wardrobe as you get when running a mile is amazing! Doctors are already recommending exercise as a part of recovery for different kinds of health issues, for example depression. And I say – add recycling and good deeds to that recommendation. Call it “Recycle therapy” (patent pending) if you may. There is science that indicates that volunteers live longer than “non-volunteers”, but I think the research in this area is in its embryo so I stop at that note. But that’s just incredible, to live a longer healthier life by helping others (and our beautiful earth) is a real win-win situation.

I have gathered some cool recycling projects to be inspired by for future recycle therapy sessions.

Wow #1 Pistol Lake makes sports wear out of eucalyptus and water bottles. Great way to recycle and it must smell awesome!

Wow #2 Liam – the recycling iPhone robot who dismantles your iPhone into all its different pieces and materials for recycling purposes.

Wow #3 At last, I have to mention H&M world recycle week. You can have a lot of opinions about H&M but creds for making the whole world talk about such an important subject. Looking forward to seeing what the students of Beckmans create for their pop-up store Remake since my awesome creative friend Sara is a part of the project.

xMaja

World-Recylce-Week

Be selfish and save the world!