Editor’s Letter by Lisa: The Future is Co-Created
Pictured: Glossier says “just dew it”. Candy at the ATP Atelier showroom the other day.
Some reflections on the definition of sustainable fashion.
We all know the overuse of the term has leached it of all meaning. Or rather, it means what you want it to mean.
To Make it last, it means: fashion that somehow disrupts the old system; or rather, the parts of the system that are broken.
We talked about it the other day, Emma and I. Glossier is ”launching in Sweden”, which essentially means that they will start shipping to Sweden. (Yes, I do love this definition of launch.) We’re all very excited because somehow we’re all touched by the brilliance that is the Glossier brand.
And what’s the essence of Glossier? Read any interview with founder Emily Weiss and she will stress the importance of community and that the brands of the future will be ’co-created’. Glossier’s thing is to let the customers decide on what products to launch.
Depending on which glasses you choose to put on, this is nothing new (just the law of supply and demand) or entirely new.
Entirely new, if you see Glossier as a start-up heir of the traditional, the Estée Lauders and Elizabeth Ardens, that harnesses the power of social media and launches products entirely in line with direct customer feedback (or, sorry, it’s not even feedback, it’s ’conversations’ steering the way forward).
And however much modern marketing is put into this (because Glossier is not only your friend but also a business, hate to brake it to you), it works, in fact, it’s the new ’indie’ albeit numerous investor rounds.
I love it too, and have stickers all over my Iphone even if the Boy Brow is far from doing it for my brows singlehandedly (they need glue-like gel, the only single product they’ve ever given in to is Clarins’ Double Fix Mascara).
And–approaching my point at last–isn’t only making products that people actually want, in fact, the ultimate way of approaching sustainability in the market economy?
(This is something I was reminded of at a meeting with founder of ATP Atelier, Maj-La Pizzelli, the other day. She, if anyone, knows the inherent challenges of fashion and sustainability, having tackled these questions with Åhléns and Filippa K, to name a few), and although ATP Atelier indeed address these questions, she’ll still say the most sustainable thing you can make is a shoe that people will keep wearing.
Take the idea a step further, and we approach the brilliant made-to-order business models that are popping up in every corner of the progressive fashion and accessory market (hi De Smet, hi Amend Atelier). Making things only when there is a demand make sense (and it’s something completely different to for example Reformation and Everlane, who have approached the sustainability lane by adapting the ways of H&M and Zara, dropping things every week).
Whatever conclusion we draw, I want to highlight the importance of community. I came across a post by Tavi Gevinson–you know, last decade’s Emily Weiss? :)–written a month ago. She started her blog, Style Rookie, 10 years ago. Then, the fashion industry worried blogs would replace magazines. Today, as she writes, the threat turned out to be social media.” In 2011, I saw @rookiemag as a response to most mainstream teen and women’s magazines; in 2018, I’m more worried about technology. I’m also deeply thankful that the Rookie community has proved that a mission-based, audience-first philosophy has more longevity than clickbait.”
Worried about technology.
Thankful for community.
It’s not how we generally see it, in fact, technology is expected to save us all from ourselves, but I think it’s a thought worthwhile when considering sustainability in fashion as well.
Ps. Filippa K is onto this idea of longevity as sustainability too. Yesterday they launched a new campaign with my love Nike. Check it out, it’s cute.
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