| Sustainable Fashion Academy

Big Closets Small Planet with Michael Schragger

FACT OR FICTION: Alden Wicker and Sandra Roos think the fashion industry has a misinformation problem... do you agree?

In this episode we continue to explore the most commonly repeated “factoids” in fashion and sustainability in order to determine whether they are substantive and useful. As a reminder, a “factoid” is information that is reported and repeated so often that it becomes accepted as fact. During Stockholm Fashion Week, Mike spoke with Alden Wicker, freelance journalist and founder of Eco-cult and Sandra Roos, Head of Sustainability at KappAhl and PhD in Environmental Systems Analysis, about commonly used social and environmental statements related to the fashion industry and if they are based on credible research and robust analysis.

September 16th, 2020 40 minutes 40 seconds
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Previous Podcast Episodes

You’ve heard it before: The global environmental challenges we face are daunting and time sensitive. If we want to avoid catastrophic tipping points, we need to move quickly and ambitiously. If we want to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) we need to invest trillions of dollars. And so we scratch our heads and wonder if the actions we are currently taking are meaningful. We wonder if we must choose between economic development, job creation and the environment. And we cannot help but feel that even though our intentions are good, our actions amount to the equivalent of moving the deck chairs on a sinking ship. But what if there is a way to accelerate change at the pace we need, and create benefits for people and the planet? And what if the way to get there is by leveraging our tax system as a tool for transformative change?

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As a listener of Big Closets Small Planet, you are likely interested and engaged in changing the apparel industry. So for those of you who are keen to strengthen your change agent skills, we are introducing a new segment called Leading Change. In this first episode we are joined by Per Espen Stoknes who is that rare combination of thinker and doer. He is a psychologist, economist, politician, and the author of “What We Think About When We Try Not To Think About Global Warming”.

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Experts and practitioners agree that simply improving upon today’s take-make-waste linear business models will not ensure the apparel industry can operate within the planet’s ecological boundaries. Instead, a new circular economy is needed and thus new circular business models. Circular business models, like resale and rental, are not actually new. But up until a few years ago, models like these were marginal, primarily employed by second hand stores and charity shops. How things have changed!

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In this new segment we will explore commonly repeated “factoids” in order to determine whether they are substantive and useful. Perhaps you have heard the statement that the production and use of clothing creates more climate impact than that of flights and shipping combined? A range of organisations - including the United Nations - have referred to this when promoting the need for climate action in the fashion and textiles industry. But is this statement true?

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Do you ever wonder how CEOs from some of our industry’s most influential companies view the big social and environmental challenges we are facing today and the potential of business and innovation to adequately address these? TENCEL is a sponsor of this podcast series, so Michael took the chance and invited Lenzing’s CEO Stefan Doboczky to discuss a wide range of topics in recent interview.

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Dr. Lea Esterhuizen, an expert in gathering sensitive data from scared populations, believes we are unwittingly eating and wearing products that have likely been made or assembled using forced labor. Typically the apparel industry has used the “social audit” to address this problem. But social audits provide an incomplete picture of the situation.

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