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Sustainability, inclusiveness and diversity: Fashion 2022 from Sweden

In fashion, this comeback has a special flavor. After 18 months of canceled events, digital parades and virtual presentations, the city of Stockholm has reconnected with social contact from August 31 to September 2 by presenting the spring summer 2022 collections. And that’s good, because after several months of withdrawal, fashion has changed. It is no longer a question of thinking about future trends but of seeing the future differently. To produce less, better, to integrate diversity, the mix of genres and to imagine, of course, the clothes that we will wear tomorrow.

For this Swedish fashion week, no models on the catwalks from the outset, but hybrid conferences to discuss the future of one of the most polluting industries in the world. These “Fashion Future Talks” thus addressed the themes of sustainability, technologies and innovation in fashion.

Helena Herlmesson, CEO of the H&M group, accompanied by actress Maisie Williams, ambassador of the brand, thus exchanged with Alice Bah Kuhnke, the former Swedish minister of culture or with the Brazilian artist Oskar Metsavaht, activist environmentalist and founder of the Osklen brand whose credo is “as responsible as possible, as soon as possible”.

Transforming the fast fashion business model

Overproduction, waste, use of toxic products, lack of discernment in the face of consumer expectations but also massive digital pollution garnered by e-commerce… there is no shortage of concerns. It remains to find the right answers. All the speakers agreed on the importance of putting in place more rigorous legislation and finding funding in order to develop production and distribution in a more ecological fashion. Danica KragicJensfelt, professor of “computer science” underlined the possibility of developing the use of plants such as bamboo or eucalyptus as a substitute for synthetic materials.

Linen, this fiber that appeals to fashion designers and appeals to ecologists

For its part, the fast fashion brand H&M has reiterated its desire to gradually transform its economic model. Of which act. While the brand continues to mass produce low-cost fashion, it is also one of the first to introduce recycled materials or organic cotton into its collections. The conference participants implored him to continue his virtuous efforts. If the road to repentance is still long for the Swedish firm, it is necessary to recognize its commitment. H&M finances start-ups like Renewcell, which recycles clothes to create viscose or Lyocell fibers.

Committed entrepreneurs

It will obviously take time, thought and a lot of questioning before the entire industry turns a corner and transforms its model. But Sweden is a pretty good student when it comes to eco-responsibility. At the Sustainable Fashion Hub in Stockholm, a center dedicated to sustainable fashion visited by Princess Victoria of Sweden on August 31, the spotlight was on entrepreneurs committed to sustainability and diversity.

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Like It’s Re: leased, a Scandinavian clothing rental platform, Arkivet, a vintage fashion store that has made recycling its global DNA, and Rerobe, a marketplace dedicated to the sale and exchange of clothing. ‘opportunity.

If the circular economy was at the heart of concerns, Stockholm fashion week was also an opportunity to reward artists engaged on other burning issues, namely inclusiveness, diversity and human rights. Long closed to change, fashion has understood the importance of being inspiring, not only through its creativity but also through its actions.

Diemonde spring-summer 2022

Thus, the site, in partnership with Stockholm fashion week, awarded the “Innovation Driver Brand Award” to the Rodebjer brand for its efforts both on the sustainability of its collections and its social commitment. The “New Talent Award” was awarded to Diemonde. This unisex brand has its own factory in Sweden and participates in the professional integration of Afghan and Syrian refugees.

The revenge of “homewear”

Minimalist collections and innovative textiles

As for the catwalks, these three days of parades provided a foretaste of what awaits us in the months to come. Joggers, sweatshirts and soft knitwear – called homewear – have long marked our daily life as a teleworker, but what is it today? Well, the cuts are ample, the bodies are free, a sign of a desire to maintain clear freedom of movement.

House of Dagmar spring summer 2022

House of Dagmar spring summer 2022

We also note that the collections are often minimalist, no doubt to better remind us that the garment must be precious. In times of crisis, the timeless is a safe haven like the House of Dagmar collection. At Stand Studio, alternative materials to fur, leather and wool demonstrate the rise of innovative textiles such as the Swedish Stockings tights brand, which set itself the challenge several years ago to transform the production of an ultra-polluting fashion accessory with programmed obsolescence using only recycled materials and without producing any waste.

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In a few days, London, Milan then Paris will in turn present a fashion that everyone hopes “post Covid-19”. And even if it is still difficult to predict the economy and the health situation of the coming months, fashion has now understood the interest, if not the necessity, of accepting the constant changes of our societies and the ‘urgent need to preserve our natural resources. Adapt and change to last better, Stockholm fashion week in any case set the tone.

When fashion brings out men in slippers, pajamas and dressing gowns …

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