Report of one of the Smart Talks, that took place last 21 of September in the Smart Square Hall 3 :
What are the new business models supporting the circular economy ?
Chiaretto Calo (Imprima SPA)
Piaa Lehtinen (Design District Helsinki)
Hannes Parth (Frumat)
Smart Talk moderated by Giusy Bettoni, President of CLASS and consultant for Première Vision on innovation and sustainable development for textiles, fashion and design.
According to Chiaretto, the concept of sustainability must form part of the DNA of the brand and its economic model, or consolidate it. The challenge is to succeed in creating a product with a sustainable vision, using the available technology. It is impossible to change what already exists. “We can only improve on existing products, but we cannot change them”. We must be visionary and rethink products to contribute to the development of circular fashion. “We mustn’t just talk about it, we have to do it and act!”.
Thus, Imprima SPA developed its economic model by focusing its objectives on the concept of durability: financial, industrial, social and environmental. Hannes Parth, from Frumat, thinks that the major challenge of tomorrow will be to successfully industrialise sustainable processes within companies. This will notably
require the creation of new materials to reduce the impact on the environment. In his opinion, the key to success is once again the collaboration between companies in all sectors. Thanks to the industrialisation and commercialisation of raw materials, he developed the Applepaper and Appleskin products, made using the residues from apple production and processed using patented technology. His company focused on research and development before embarking on a new stage once the product had been finished: communication. The last speaker was Piaa Lehtinen, President of the Board of Directors of “Design District Helsinki”, head of sponsorship at the Helsinki Design Museum and founder of the Design Club Business Community. Piaa is interested in the way in which new materials, technologies and sustainability shape companies and influence fashion and design. Ecological fashion and sustainability are the core values of the Design District Helsinki. Awarded City of Design status by UNESCO, Helsinki is deeply committed to the circular economy. Indeed, its goal is to become the most
functional city in the world by 2020. “One Hel of an impact” is not just a slogan but an attitude. The economic model of the Helsinki Design District is built around four major pillars: respecting clothing by using it for longer, which means creating timeless garments; finding recycling solutions; using new and more ecological
materials such as Ioncell – its sustainable production process uses just 3% of the water used in cotton production; and lastly using fashion as a service, by creating a collaborative economy around clothing (exchange, resale, loans, etc.). A great example that should be duplicated in all European countries.