Smart Talk / Filippa K: the multiple entry points to circular fashion

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Introducing a circular economy has to be gradual. Swedish brand Filippa K, accompanied by the multi-disciplinary network program Mistra Future Fashion, presented its progress towards a complete transition for 2030, at Première Vision Paris.

Round-up of the Smart Talk given 20 September 2018 at Première Vision Paris.“The Circular Design Guidelines: An End-to-End Approach” with Rebecca Earley and Elin Larsson, co-founders of the Center for Circular Design (Chelsea College of Arts, University of the Arts London). Elin Larsson is the Sustainability Director at Filippa K.

According to Elin Larsson, director of sustainable development at Sweden’s luxury ready-to-wear brand Filippa K, simplicity is the purest expression of luxury. To achieve this ideal, the brand has set ambitious goals in slow fashion. After having systematized the use of sustainable fibres for several years; in 2011 the brand shifted into a higher gear, planning its complete transition to a circular model in 2030. The roadmap is found in the four R’s: Reduce the production volume of clothing by giving them a longer lifespan, Repair by educating customers and helping them to maintain their items, Reuse through an online used-clothing sales platform, and Recycle by setting up a collection and processing chain. And nothing beats concrete experimentation. Filippa K is tackling the development of pilot products.

As part of the interdisciplinary Mistra Future Fashion program bringing together design researchers, chemists, designers and consumer behaviour specialists, the numerous parameters of product design and impact are analysed: costs, consumer demand, reality of usage, envisioned duration, recyclability, etc. “An extended collaborative approach,” insists the program director, “which has all the more chance to succeed if we give ourselves time and we gather all the interested parties around the table.” A condition upon which Rebecca Earley, researcher at the Center for Circular Design and an associate at the Mistra Future Fashion program, insists as well: “The ability to collaborate and open up to other know-hows and skills will be vital for tomorrow’s businesses.” Filippa K continues to learn about the many ways in which circularity can be introduced. From ephemeral garments made of non-woven fabrics that are entirely recycled and compostable, to a timeless trench in recyclable polyester, made water-repellent thanks to biomimetic technologies, each prototype is a milestone blazing a new trail towards the future.