Circulaire Fashion mbo symposium

Circular Fashion Albeda


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Circular Fashion

Titled "The Eyes on Fashion!", Albeda organized an event that took place on October 10, 2022, on the first day of Sustainability Week. Eyes on Fashion appeals not only to the beautiful and expressive aspects of Fashion, but also to the enormous piles of textile waste. On an annual basis, as much as 235 million pounds of clothing end up in the clothing pile. This requires a different mindset, a different way of thinking: from linear to circular, the central theme that took place on the morning of October 10, 2022.

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There is a change going on in fashion. What? How about that? What is upcycling of fashion? On the Day of Sustainability, three professionals from the fashion and textile world and many students from Fashion programs, came together to inspire each other about circular fashion. Program Leader Sustainability, Rob Ketelaar, was the moderator of this inspiring event. In the video clip during the intro it became clear that something is going on in fashion, a change in mindset is needed to reduce the many textile piles. As much as 235 million pounds of clothing a year end up in the clothing pile to be thrown away.

Inez Naomi Correa Alves, designer and owner of Versatile Forever is a great example on how upcycling can be the new norm in fashion design and making. Designing clothes from existing fabrics and made locally, show that a smaller footprint is possible. Inez worked in fast fashion after college, but saw and felt this was not going well. Based on her mission, she founded her own company to make upcycling the norm in many ways. For example, in collaboration with the Bijenkorf, she created a collection of leftover and damaged clothing from various brands.

Remi Veldhoven, textile researcher and innovator of textiles working for Wolkat, textile recycling company and Eigendraads, was the second speaker. Her business card reads "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recreate," something Remi firmly believes in. "Buy less, repair more clothes, take good care and exchange clothes, revalue old textiles." A student also wondered: how can you "stay fashionable" with your clothes if you no longer have to buy fast fashion? Both speakers gave their views on this. Develop your own style and decide if you really do throw away garments after 1 wear. Think of other options: entertain it, swap it with others, Fast fashion is not the norm, your own style is.

During the break, students from the baking program had provided a sustainable chocolate muffin.

Supergoods is a successful fair fashion store with a high-quality look in Ghent. The place is always busy and the assortment is very surprising. What is their secret? Especially for Albeda Fashion a report was made in which Rob Ketelaar, the owner of Supergoods asks about her success formula. The report is full of tips and tricks for anyone who wants to make a difference in Fashion. The students listened attentively to the reportage in which they were told about sustainable clothing but also care products and sustainable cleaning products. After the reportage, student Katja from CEO gave her analysis of the company Supergoods. The versatility of products and proper target group profiling contribute to the success of Supergoods. The inspiring morning ended with some contests for the students.

We will look at the Supergoods store formula from the marketing and/or fashion angle (case study and work format).

Supergoods is primarily a fashion store in a beautiful shopping street in the center of Ghent. The capital of fair trade Benelux. Besides clothes, they have cosmetics, gifts and maintenance items for clothes. They have a wide assortment. This is smart because if people start thinking about how, where and by whom clothes are made then they also start thinking about soap, for example, or other things they consume. The store points out to people how they can easily reduce their ecological impact. Maintenance of clothing has a huge impact. Not production, but maintenance! Washing less costs no money, no effort. Besides the product itself, the story behind it. What exactly is it made of. What are we putting on our skin. Most of the products we use in the bathroom is just petroleum that we put on our skin. They work with a partner who uses fair trade ingredients from Nepal to replace all that petroleum. The retail formula is clearly catching on. It is indeed a hit

The use of labels to show where a product comes from. Unfortunately, the end consumer sometimes cannot see the wood for the trees because many brands are going to create their own label Marketing driven, while it is not transparent at all for the end consumer. And then, unfortunately, you end up with greenwashing. Supergoods urges the fashion industry to keep those labels transparent. Transparency is one of the biggest challenges in Fashion.

Jeans are a durable product in our closet. Lasts a long time, everyone has it, is worn a whole year. Unfortunately the impact of the production of jeans is huge. This is because of the cotton, pesticides and color washes of the jeans. The jeans are great for circular treatment. Our customers bring back their old broken jeans, Supergoods sends them back to the brand and they start making new ones out of them. For 50%, the jeans are made from old jeans. The buttons can totally be used on new pants.

Golden tips for students who want to be entrepreneurs are: 1) Do long-term customer loyalty try not to sell something quickly here and now, that you have good sales that day but the customer is not happy with it anyway (impulse buy). Listen well, and sell nothing today, but then next time. With customer loyalty, your business becomes more profitable and sustainable. And 2) Establish yourself in a nice shopping street with a nice big window display. That way you show people that you can also be among the top with sustainable fashion in terms of style and price.

Some reactions from students afterwards: very inspiring, nice to participate in this morning with all the fashion students. Curious about sustainable fabrics, where is it for sale? Can we watch the movie of textile recycling again?

In addition, from the event "The Eyes on Fashion!" a video available of several minutes. In it, all parts of the document are explained with images and interviews. Students, students and speakers talk about how they experienced the event.

This good practice was awarded 1st place at the mbo symposium ' Sustainable Thinking & Doing' for SDG 13!
View the entire good practice in this document!


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