Philip Warkander: “To think that fashion would lose its allure if it were also sustainable is a complete misunderstanding”
In an industry driven by trends, obsessed with “the next thing”—is it possible that sustainability could be just that? Filippa K Circle asked Swedish fashion doctor, Philip Warkander, to help us see the synergies of fashion and sustainability—can the two co-exist?
“Almost ten years ago, I began working as a PhD Candidate in Fashion Studies. At that time, an interest in sustainability wasn’t considered very fashionable by most scholars in the field. I remember the amusement some scholars expressed when faced with questions regarding sustainability: Naturally, it was considered important but at the same time people found the topic immensely boring. Underlying this reaction was the notion that fashion was vibrant and aesthetically interesting while sustainability on the other hand was drab, depressing and had a lot to do with how many times a garments should be washed and at what temperatures. Again: important, but boring.
Today, the distinction between fashion and sustainability has—thankfully—been recognized as a false dichotomy, not just among scholars working with fashion but also within the industry as a whole. To think that fashion would lose its allure if it were also sustainable is a complete misunderstanding. In fact, I would argue that it is the exact opposite. Caring about and working for a more sustainable fashion is not about lifestyle choices but about the very possibility of life itself. If we don’t facilitate this change, society as we know it will be over. However, even though this insight is more or less common knowledge today, few people seem willing to actually act on it.”
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Photo borrowed from @tomasfalmer
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