Sustainability in fashion- reflections on the possibility of sustainability In fashion, inspired by OpenWear Oleg Koefoed Copenhagen Business School / Cultura21 Presentation for OpenWear conference “Refashioning Fashion” Ljubljana June 2nd 2011
0 Challenge / question How can we understand a project such as OpenWear, so that it will make sense that it would be sustainable? What local actions could be frutiful to make this more probable? What overall changes in the environment/industry would be necessary?
1 status for the fashion industryPublic concern – talk – and some real interest insustainabilityMainly environmental issues and connections to CSRLots of greenwashing (=non-systemic single actions andmore or less pure propaganda)Innovative experiences in micro-processesBUT: need for experiments on a much bigger scaleAND: need for opening up of processes, production,decisions, values
Examples of sustainable (?) practice Sustainable Textile development Slow fashion initiatives Cooperative / co-creative entreprises DIY /DIT etc ECO Brands Political measures, legislation New educational elements Fairs / un-fashion conferences etc
2.1 The pillars / dimensionsEnvironment Sociality Economic CulturalHow does the How does the How does the How does thesystem build system build system create systemresilience social value through facilitate thethrough the coherence by the emergence ofuse of natural forming groups transformation meaningresources and institutions of resources – and does it– and does it – and does it – and does it allow for theallow for other maintain redistribute the transformationsystems to co- dynamic value? and evolutionevolve? openness? of meaning?POWER: the fifth – political - pillar...
2.2 status re: the four pillarsEnvironment Sociality Economy CultureAfter 30 years, Seat of some Most of the Many smallsome progress of the major industry builds alternatives –is being made weaknesses of on exploitation but overall– more the industry – and domination ofexperience lack of obsolescense images of fastneeded, more transparency – new business fashion,investment, need for models obsolescenceneed for new education; and needed – even andparadigm? new new economic consumerism organization foundations + issue of models heritage vs revolutionPOWER: lack of transparency & big-scale responsible experiments
3 Definitions of sustainability Brundtland report (1987) Satisfying our present needs without jeopardizing the needs of future generations BETTER Morin/Kagan (2011) a search process for dynamic balance, that unfolds itself differently according to the specific contexts, allowing the emergence of resilient cultural-natural hypercomplex systems
4 Resilience and Emergence Resilience When open systems learn from their environments, transforming themselves Characterized by diversity and resilience and „autoecopoïetic“ sensibility: creative openness to disturbances, allowing for emergence Emergence The engine of complex, unpredictable evolutions in nature and in societies – leads creation and transformation in the systems Drawing on Kagan (2011)
5 A dynamic model: sustensivity NEW SYSTEMSystem/Life form A RESILIENCE SUSTENSION & NON-EQUILIBRIUM DYNAMICS EMERGENCESystem/Life form BX Life intensity / potentialityY Time-space continuum
6 ...so what about “OpenWear”-projects 3 crucial questionsConditions of entry Resilience potential Outcome
8 The complex equation Moments Dimensions Conditions of entry Economic Environmental x Resilience and emergence Social Dynamic outcome Cultural = potential for sustainability
9 Causes for concern: pitfallsEnvironmental Economicthe planning pitfall falling back intoplanning tends to durabilityreduce and Sustainable=survivcompartmentalize: ingthe problems + lowering entry *return in much barriersgreater scale temporarily without changing the overall system Social sucking the juice Cultural out of workers Greenwashing/propaganda (project logic) that deteriorates the + struggle for reputation of sustainable justice > co- change change + compartmentalization
10 The unresolved question of OW etc }Facilitating economic entryOpening up to the discardedTaking participation seriouslyCreating open culturesSharing economy among creators Complex?Sustaining systemic diversityIncreasing transparency Impossible?Bringing together past and future Simple?New forms of wealthNon-destructive material productionInfinity in responsibility/care/lovePlacing re-generation at the heart
X a philosophical commentEternity ? Infinity ? OR