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November Issue 2019
4IR for a Better Future
Style is circular
A Real Solution To Our Biggest Problem
how we got here
Food Waste Warriors
Pushing Boundaries, Driving Change
Saving the world from plastic waste can be stylish - just ask Chanel
Water and What the Fourth Industrial Revolution can do
Seven ways the 4IR can benefit the planet
Kuwait, Solid Foundations for a prosperous future
Click to hear the article,
voiced by author Javier Minguez
While the exact year is open for debate, it is clear that the First Industrial Revolution began in Great Britain during the latter half of the 18th century. Manufacturing, steam power and water wheel power mark the beginning of the era of mechanisation. We all seem to have the idea of the First Industrial Revolution involving assembly lines and people in overall uniforms. This would actually be a more accurate depiction of the Second Industrial Revolution. During the initial revolution, with the emergence of mechanisation, the most impacted sectors were textiles. Through the invention of new looms, iron production, the burning of coke – much more energy-efficient than charcoal – the usage of steam power and the invention of new machines that started substituting manual production. The steam engine led to new manufacturing processes, factories and a booming textiles industry.
The Second Industrial Revolution saw the appearance of electricity and railroads. Mechanisation rates rose meteorically and communication began to make the world a smaller place through the invention of the telegraph, followed fifty years later (1876) by the telephone’s patent. Transport improvements and greater development of railways and steamboats not only made travelling easier, they also marked a before and after point in history whereby areas were able to avoid starvation in the event of crops failure, thanks to improved communication. This revolution was marked by mass production and new industries like steel, oil and electricity. Key inventions from this era included the light bulb and telephone. History had never seen such economic growth in such a short space of time.
T his was to be surpassed, of course, by the Third Industrial Revolution, also known as the Digital Revolution. With most of the technology behind it already developed during the latter half of the 19th century and beginnings of the 20th, the year 1947 proved to be a turning point with the appearance of the first transistor. Suddenly, the concept of digital was a possibility, and the analog formats for storing information were rapidly replaced by their digital versions like compact discs. This era gave rise to semi-conductors and the personal computer.
The Internet came along, as did personal home computers. By 1980, both the Internet and computers had made their way into schools, homes, companies and public sectors. With the World Wide Web available to the public by 1991, the Internet continued to expand and easier to explore. Digitalization was full-on and by 2010, over one-third of the world’s population was already fully connected to the Internet.
So, where does the Fourth Industrial Revolution fit in? It is not the appearance of the Internet, and thankfully it is not the rise of the machines as depicted in popular films. It has actually, very subtly come along, with the natural development of the web into the cloud, with Artificial Intelligence (AI) starting to predict customer behaviours and with our decisions in the real world, being interpreted by machines, thus impacting us directly. These Cyber-Physical Systems (CPS) are what truly define the Fourth Industrial Revolution – when something as unthinkable just a decade ago such as your home domestics memorising your habits becomes a part of your life is when a bit of retrospection is necessary. If only to realise, that it may have been quite subtle, but the Fourth Industrial Revolution has already got us in its grasp. Technology is merging increasingly with humans’ lives and technological changes are happening faster than ever. To illustrate, US television channel CNBC detailed how it took the telephone 75 years to reach 100 million users while it took Instagram and Pokemon Go two years and one month respectively to achieve the same number of users.
success stories about countries and leaders that we meet every day, the readers and leaders that we featured and follow us are the same that are contributing to society when is needed most. It is crucial and imperative that they innovate and, keep being creative. They are undertaking bold, innovative projects, turning daring ideas into real solutions which will help make the world a better place. These are the people who deserve the spotlight.
From small, to medium and especially large companies, the time to make a real impact and to ensure a sustainable future for all is now. We are in constant search and in contact with those that mean what they do and are committed to doing good.
Their solutions to complex, yet very real problems, are a survival tool because many of the problems facing us as a planet are staring right at us; we cannot wait another generation to act.
And thus, dear reader, I bring you our new focus; our new piece in the puzzle and our new role to play in this never-ending process of change. A new issue, numbered 001. A first of our new line, one we hope you will embark on alongside us and that you too engage in the collective effort of creating a brighter global future.
Voices of Leaders has come a long, long way since 2002.
We, along with the media partners we produced content used to elaborate country reports that had their essence in Marketing of Nations, when sensationalism was an enemy for the emerging countries that we were covering.
Since then, and throughout these years, macroeconomics in the news has taught us that, in a global perspective, emerging economies seemed like a black hole of corruption, disasters and bad news. However, analysing on a microeconomic level after visiting those countries ourselves, we found a plethora of success stories; countries undergoing constant change, adaptation, overcoming huge obstacles and prejudices, and active competition with the rest of the world.
The leaders we have met across the world over the last nearly 20 years have shared with us endless insights and lessons that were by far some of the most enriching, both professionally and in our personal lives, which we have encountered.
This new issue we are daring to produce and have eagerly been building towards for some time now, is the reflection of many years of interviewing and elaborating our own pieces, gearing our style towards constructive journalism.
Focusing on negative and conflict-based stories is not our thing, it is not what we are.
We believe in more than journalism and constructiveness. In today’s world many people are tired of bad news and sensationalism, and we are getting to a point where readers feel completely overwhelmed and helpless.
Every day, we have embraced and pursued clear communication. Now is the time to make a difference, and to continue covering and unveiling
Mayte & Luca
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is radically changing how we live, work and operate as a society. ‘Business-as-usual’ models no longer suffice and emerging technologies and new innovations continue to push boundaries and cause industries to evolve at a breathtaking speed. London-based innovation foundation, Nesta, is one such company who strives to make bold, innovative ideas a reality in order to make the world a better place.
Voices of Leaders: Nesta strives to “bring bold ideas to life to change the world for good.” Can you give our readers a brief overview of what exactly Nesta does?
Geoff Mulgan: We’re an independent innovation foundation, based in the UK but operating in over 40 countries. We use grants, investments, research and networks to promote innovations that benefit the public, particularly in fields like health and education, but also covering everything from the arts to democracy.
VoL: Nesta claims, “Our education system has failed to adapt to the demands of the twenty-first century.” How does it aim to innovate in this area and what are the key gaps you have identified? What does the ideal model of education look like to you?
GM: There are many big challenges, but one we’re focused on is preparing young people for the likely jobs of 10-20 years time. These are likely to demand more creativity, problem-solving skills and ability to collaborate but most schooling is still stuck in a very traditional model – mainly transferring knowledge. So we’re funding and testing alternatives, including making use of tech in the classrooms to free up time for teachers to spend with their pupils. We’re funding edtech testbeds to ensure that the technology that’s being proposed can be trialled in real classrooms before they go for wider distribution.
VoL: We are seeing a number of trends in global healthcare such as the fact that there will be more people over the age of 65 than under 15 by 2050, the rise of chronic diseases, and the demand for home-based, personalized care. How are these
Geoff Mulgan has been Chief Executive of Nesta since 2011. Under his leadership it moved out of the public sector to become an independent foundation. Geoff co-chaIrs a World Economic Forum group looking at innovation and entrepreneurship in the fourth industrial revolution. He has advised many governments around the world and is currently chair of an international advisory committee for the Mayor of Seoul and a member of advisory committees for the Prime Minister’s office in the UAE, the Scottish Government and SITRA, the Finnish Innovation agency.
Past books include ‘The Art of Public Strategy ’ (Oxford University Press), Good and Bad Power (Penguin) and ‘The Locust and the Bee ’ (Princeton University Press). Geoff's latest book is 'Social Innovation: how societies find the power to change ' published by Policy Press.
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Photo by Nesta
trends going to shape healthcare in the coming 5-10 years and what is Nesta’s role in this area?
GM: We know that up to 75% of our health and wellbeing are determined by social, behavioural and environmental factors and that’s why Nesta champions a place-based approach to health. We promote models that support peer to peer support, such as GoodGym, and fund initiatives that harness digital approaches to healthcare to give people more independence when it comes to their care. This year, we’re also calling for the creation of a centre for research and evidence building around public health issues. We believe that in order to get prevention right, we need to have a solid foundation of evidence that we can draw on. This will help people live healthier lives, for longer.
VoL: Which are some of the key innovations that Nesta have been behind that you are most proud of?
GM: We’ve backed literally hundreds of innovations that have gone onto success. They range from the first driverless cars to educational technology, live-streaming of theatre to crowdfunding to apps that engage the public in democracy, now in use in over 90 cities worldwide. Many of the ideas we’ve backed mobilise public energy, such as the GoodSam app that organizes volunteer medics to help out in an emergency, now in use with tens of thousands of volunteers all over the world.
VoL: 68% of the world population projected to live in urban areas by 2050, says UN. What kind of opportunities do you envisage this trend creating for Nesta in the coming years?
GM: One of our big streams of work is on how to mobilise collective intelligence in cities to solve problems like air pollution or youth unemployment. We think cities need to organize their brainpower, and data, much more systematically than they do right now. This will allow administrators to make good decisions about managing the city. We also need to ensure that the way data is being used is transparent and accountable to citizens. That’s why we back things such as data trusts, which give citizens control over what and how their data is being used.
VoL: How do you view the future in terms of global investment and the need for companies and investors to be more aware of the impact that their business practices have on the world around them?
GM: We’ve been involved in the circular economy for 15 years now and welcome the way its slowly becoming accepted, even in the more conservative parts of investment. But there is a very long way to go in really embedding attention to planetary boundaries in how investments are made, measured and rewarded.
VoL: At Slush 2018 CEO of Sulapac Ms Suvi Haimi mentioned how “The choices we make today form the heritage we leave for our children”. What is the legacy you, as CEO of Nesta, would like to leave for future generations around the world?
GM: Our main aim is to help people believe that the future can be shaped – that it is not just something that happens to us. We hopefully provide inspiration, but also very practical tools for shaping the future and taking more control.
Photo by Nesta
Voices of Leaders: Telia Estonia claims to offer “the fullest solution to all communication, information, entertainment and innovation needs.” Can you give VoL readers a brief overview of the company: its foundation, its services and any key milestones you would like to highlight?
Robert Pajos: Today, Telia is providing a full range of services here in Estonia. We do both fixed and mobile connections, and are also in the area of TV. We are now ⅓ of the market when it comes to paid TV subscribers here in Estonia and it’s a great
With a deeply-ingrained culture based upon innovation and technology, Telia Estonia continues to lead the way in communication services.
Offering a wide range of services, from fixed internet and home entertainment to mobile plans and 4G internet, everything at Telia is underpinned by a commitment to providing the best possible, personalised service for customers. Voices of Leaders met with CEO of their Estonia operations, Mr Robert Pajos, to find out more about their culture of innovation, as well as doing business in the Baltic nation.
compliment to our core areas of fixed and mobile. With regards fixed, we now have a market share of 52-53% and we are continuing to expand in this area and are building more fibre in the market. In Q2 we achieved a milestone, surpassing 100,000 homes with our digital and fibre services and we continue to invest pretty heavily, approximately €50m per year. In the area of mobile, our market share is 46%. We provide services in all technologies: 2G, 3G, 4G and we are also now preparing for the fifth generation here in Estonia when the licences will be issued.
VoL: Telia’s mission is “to further the development of society and make Estonia a better place to live and work,” while it also “strives to create the best personalized service for all its customers.” How does Telia utilise innovation and technology to achieve these objectives?
RP: We have 1,600 employees in the country today and we have made our sustainability agenda one of the top priorities when it comes to Telia in Estonia. Having said that, there is still a lot to do; we previously discussed our green pledge where we worked with more than 40 ICT companies here in Estonia where we have pledged to re-use, to come
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up with new innovations, and to inform the society about what we are doing in terms of sustainability. Telia has been recognised as a solid partner when it comes to e-Government which is an important aspect of life here in Estonia that goes back many years. Some of the services which are not Telia-branded, but which we are behind, include m-Parking service which is now celebrating 15 years where you simply input your car plate number and parking space where you are and you will charged only for the time that you are there. There are insurance services which work the same way; we have an m-Wallet that enables digital purchases in stores. Today, I don’t need to bring my wallet or credit card to the store, I just use my mobile phone. We also have identification services; the great thing about doing business here is that for the last 17 years we have 98% of the population authenticated by this I.D card. This card makes it possible for services like M-voting, paying taxes etc. Recent statistics show that approximately half of the population vote from home.
The idea of collaboration between public and private is very important in Estonia and has been a key way of finding and developing solutions together. The regulators are, of course, trying to protect user-data but, at the same time, they are opening up the market for companies to do business and innovate. It is therefore little surprise that some of the biggest I.T companies have come from Estonia.
VoL: Estonia has been recognised as “Northern Europe's hub for knowledge and digital business.” What have been, your opinion, the key factors which have led to the special moment which the country is currently enjoying?
RP: I would start by highlighting the authorities. The government basically opened up the playing field for the companies to innovative. This is very strictly connected to the digitalisation and these I.D cards which meant that people could be authenticated into the government system. This led us to the possibility of companies and the private sector utilising this authentication to bring new services to the market and then these services went mobile. All this was underpinned by the link between the private and mobile sector which has been very strong.
In Estonia, the level of education is also very high. Here, in the universities, they teach both in Estonian and English and there is a very high level of literacy and computer science knowledge. For example, former Prime Minister Mart Laar began coding when he was 13 years old. I think that having leaders who were ready to implement I.T from an early stage was a key factor in where the country is at right now. Estonia geographically is quite small but in terms of digitalisation, it is very big.
VoL: Responsible Business Forum in Estonia rewarded Telia Estonia with the highest quality label – the golden level – recognising the company's fair, informed and environmentally friendly activities. Can you tell us about the initiatives undertaken by Telia Estonia which has seen them receive this prestigious recognition?
RP: We have a pretty strong and intertwined sustainability strategy for the company as a whole which is called our ‘Digital Impact.’ This details what our business is about and demonstrates how we are contributing to the digitalisation of society and the
region. We are basically focusing on two key areas. One is focused on children online safety and, as part of this, we have a great campaign called “Greatest Courage” which is about cyber-bullying. This is a growing problem and not so visibly seen and we have been working with schools, parents and children themselves.
The other area which we are focusing on is the environment. This spring, we launched Telia’s Daring Goals which are ambitious goals to be reached by 2030. These goals include zero co2, zero waste and 100% engagement by 2030, both in our business and our partners’ business. The latter will see arguably the greatest impact because we have thousands of partners and suppliers and if we manage to implement these types of goals into our supply chain, we will see a huge impact. Digitalisation actually contributes to the environmental issues in two ways: on one hand, it can help a lot in terms of co2 emissions while on the other hand, data centres are huge consumers of energy.
Here in Estonia, we use the energy released from our server parks to heat our own offices. We are now building a new data centre which will be ready by 2022 and it will be very green.
Servers, computers and devices create a lot of energy but you can find smart ways to re-direct. Another thing which we have launched this year is something called Digital Cleanup Day which is focused towards the B2C sector. This involves digital trash and making people aware of how much they have in their devices. For example, it is claimed that if each person in France deleted 50 old emails, that would create enough energy to keep the Eiffel Tower lit for 42 years. For this Digital Cleanup Day, we had 70 companies on board and managed to delete over 1 petabyte of digital trash, which equates to one million gigabytes.
VoL: What should we expect from Telia going forward?
RP: I mentioned our core business earlier - fixed, mobile and TV - and we also planning to launch a TV channel, so we are moving into media. We bought a large media company, Bonnier, for €1 billion and this is still waiting for approval with the E.U Commission but as soon as this is approved, we will be a large media company, not only a telecommunications company.
We will also be focusing more on I.T and I.T Security in order to become a stronger partner and I think this is going to become an even bigger need for when the next big digital wave hits - security and data protection are going to be major issues.
VoL: For our readers who are perhaps contemplating investing in the Baltic region, why Estonia?
RP: It is a fantastic country to invest in. As I mentioned, the open government and regulations mean that Estonia is open for business. Moreover, there is a very high-quality, hard-working and loyal workforce here, and the tax system is very generous for new companies to establish so there are many reasons to do business here in Estonia.
DIGITAL IMPACT – OUR
APPROACH TO SUSTAINABILITY
Telia's sustainability approach is aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) with the purpose of making sure business strategy and activities such as innovation contribute to the SDGs
Global quantitative food losses and waste per year
for root crops fruits and vegetables
for oil seeds, meat and dairy plus
Food losses and waste amounts to roughly US$ 680 billion in industrialized countries
Food waste causes 10% of Greenhouse gases
1.3 mill tons per year gets lost or wasted
925 million people are starving
US$ 310 billion in developing countries.
By 2050 the world population will reach 9 billion. By then, food production must be increased by 70% to meet the demand.
Around 88 million tonnes of food are wasted in the EU per year, with associated costs estimated at 143 billion Euros.
The food currently wasted in Europe could feed 200 million people.
The food currently lost or wasted in Latin America could feed 300 million people.
The food currently lost in Africa could feed 300 million people.
VoL: What milestone are you proud of?
OR: We’re super proud to have have traditional bakeries and fruit and vegetable shops that have never used an app before, but they understood it right away, and they learned how to use a smartphone in order to be part of the app.
VoL: How do you monitor the quality standard of what establishments put in the Magic Bag?
OR: We have a Success Department, they work with data analytics and they check how ratings on the app are moving. Small deviations or variations will get them to call or visit establishments to check on them. Every time we have a complaint — though it doesn't happen a lot — we always ask for pictures so we know exactly what the situation is. Through technology we can enable control. Also, we do a lot of “Mystery Shopper” visits.
VoL: Given your experience abroad, how would you compare or describe the Spanish approach or attitudes towards sustainability?
MG: The good news is that in the past three to ficve years, people have been more willing. People want to change, and currently, based on our experience here after one year of operations, we are implementing something that hasn’t existed and now we have almost 2,000 shops, about 300,000 users.
OR: We’ve already saved a quarter of a million meals in Spain and globally 20 million meals. And if you measure the impact on CO2, it’s more or less double, so we’re talking about 40 million kilos of CO2 that were not emitted.
VoL: You recently acquired the company WeSaveEat, could you tell us about that?
OR: Again, it was a win-win solution, this was a really small startup based in Barcelona. The founders found themselves in other projects so it was going to close, so it was also the best solution for their partners to join a solution like ours that’s much more professional in terms of tools and number of users. Our competitors are not other apps in the market, our competitor is the rubbish from food waste everyday. Collaboration is the new competition.
VoL: Who would you like to be a Waste Warrior?
OR: Greta Thunberg! Or one of the celebrity chefs fighting food waste, Massimo Botura, who says - “Less Carbon, More Carbonara”.
VoL: What’s your vision for Too Good to Go for the future?
MG: Hopefully we wouldn’t need to exist anymore because we’ve eliminated the problem!
Photo by Too Good To Go
Meet the Finnish startup making waves in the area of sustainable packaging
Who doesn’t like the ocean? Vast expanses of water coloured by endless shades of blue as far as the eye can see, the wonder of what lies beneath the surface, the thoughts of diving through turquoise waters as shoals of stunningly exotic fish dart past into the abyss, the sense of freedom as the sea spray sporadically caresses the air we inhale.
Now, let’s return to the same scene, but in the real world: instead of finding Nemo, year after year we find more and more plastic waste clogging our waters, destroying our nature, not slowly, but at an alarming
rate, much of the damage already done being beyond repair thanks to our own shameful negligence.
But it’s somebody else’s problem, right? Governments will eventually come together and sort it all out, right?
As highlighted by a World Economic Forum report, global plastic production reached 311 million tonnes in 2014 and this number is set to triple by the year 2050, a time when there will be more plastic than fish in our waters. While it’s obvious that the best time to create something amazing to address a problem of this magnitude was a long time ago, the next best alternative is today, and it is rather ironic that a Finnish start-up is setting out the path to sustainability for other, far more powerful corporations to follow. Established in February 2016 by Suvi Haimi and Laura Kyllönen, biochemists specializing in biomaterials, Sulapac is proving that sustainable can be beautiful through their natural alternatives to plastic.
Sulapac products use a biodegradable and microplastic-free material that has all the benefits of plastic, yet it biodegrades completely, leaving zero microplastics behind. Made of FSC-certified wood and natural binders, Sulapac solutions are also water, oil and oxygen resistant. Another key selling point of Sulapac’s innovation is that their materials can be used on most production lines, allowing companies to seamlessly
Sulapack packaging. Photo by Marjo Noukka for Sulapac
Click to hear the article,
voiced by author Brendan Boyle
integrate and immediately begin producing 100% biodegradable and microplastic-free products with minimal investment. Therefore, companies can help to save the planet while also increasing cost efficiency - sounds like a pretty win-win situation to us.
Sustainable luxury - made in Finla nd
Most companies and investors ears perk up when they hear of a possible portfolio which allows them to enter the lucrative sustainability market while offering the opportunity to reduce overall cost (a Plastics Today report published in June 2018 claims that the global packaging market will be worth an estimated $269.6 billion by 2025). However, when you add in the ingredient of really beautiful, eye-catching designs and colours, then you really have something special on your hands, and that is when the elite begin to sit up and take notice.
In December 2018, Sulapac announced its first investment from the cosmetic industry in the form of French luxury house Chanel. As one of the leading brands in the luxury cosmetic sector, Chanel has made public its commitment to sustainable packaging and this investment is set to be paramount, because this Helsinki-based start-up cannot save the world on its own. Moreover, a strategic partnership with Stora Enso - a provider of renewable solutions in packaging, biomaterials, wooden constructions and paper - with the aim of developing renewable and biodegradable straws will provide Sulapac with vital resources
and support to accelerate growth plans. “ This is the world’s most sustainable straw that can be produced on an industrial scale and we have jointly developed it with Stora Enso. Billions of plastic straws are produced and used every week. This straw has the potential to be a true game changer”, declared CEO Suvi Haimi after the announcement of their partnership with the renewable materials giant.
Sulapac has been listed among the top-100 hottest start-ups in Europe by Wired Magazine, and has received recognition for its sustainable innovation in the form of various awards: winning the 2017 Green Alley Award, Europe’s first founder’s prize for start-ups in the circular economy, as well as being declared the winner of the Sustainable Packaging category at the Sustainable Beauty Awards in Paris in November of the same year. Collaboration with Finnish jewellery and silverware company Kultakeskus also gave rise to the design of a package which was awarded the Scanstar and, consequently, is now recognized by the World Packaging Organization for its elegance, ecological values and ease of implementation into existing production lines.
In an exclusive interview with Voices of Leaders, Suvi explains the inspiration behind their designs: “ All the details from this jar are inspired by nature because that is part of our whole company. This feeling (picks up jar) comes from the stones lying on Nordic beaches, the sound is similar to ceramic, and the colours represent the Nordic berries. ”
Sulapac colourful products. Photo by Marjo Noukka for Sulapac
We’re in this together
Of course, such start-ups are but a drop in the increasingly polluted ocean and, if we are serious about making a change, then more - much more - investment is required across the globe, not just in Finland. When asked about the current investment climate regarding sustainability, Suvi advocates the need for a shift in investor mindset towards a realization that investments in sustainable business do not yield instant profits. She rhetorically ponders: “ What is important, our planet or short-term profits?”, while adding “ there needs to be a purpose about the money. Otherwise, we will ruin our planet”. She also takes a moment to highlight the wonderful support Sulapac has received from Business Finland and Lifeline Ventures VC, two institutions which have been key to start-ups in Finland looking to make the world a better place.
During her talk at Slush 2018, the Sulapac CEO concluded with an extremely emotive sentiment: “ The choices we make today form the heritage we leave for our children”. The easy choice for all of us is to buy cheap plastic materials for whatever we need and carelessly dispose after use without a second thought. However, the right choice is to support companies like Sulapac who, day by day, are doing their utmost to save this planet from our own self-inflicted disaster. And, hey, the right choice also happens to be the far more visually and synthetically beautiful choice.
The children of tomorrow cannot choose or influence the world they will enter, but we can.
Do we really want to watch our children play on our beaches as even more of our waste washes onto the shore?
Didn’t think so.
Suvi Haimi, Sulapac CEO Photo by Olga Poppius for Sulapac
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voiced by author Brendan Boyle
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This concept of reselling was totally new at that time ,
we wanted to place circularity at the heart of the fashion eco-system and consumer mindset, to encourage people to enjoy the fashion they love in a more sustainable way.
Vestiaire Collective Co-Founder
Vestiaire Collective Campaign Photo from Vestiaire Collective
Recently, we partnered with affordable premium brands that are committed to circular fashion and encourage their consumers to resell. The whole industry is now conscious of the urgency of the environmental impact but there is still a lot to do.
VoL: You have started introducing the concept of “circularity” as a departure from the old linear models of consumption and production, in your experience, are people familiar with this concept?
SH: We need to encourage consumers to extend the lifespan of their pieces for as long as possible. The linear fashion model is no longer sustainable, I believe circular fashion is the future for the industry and the consumer. Earlier this year, we commissioned a survey to understand exactly what consumers really know about circular fashion and how we can better communicate this message. To educate consumers and share our findings, we created a ‘Consumer guide to circular fashion,’ which shares findings from the survey, advice on how to lead a more circular lifestyle and personal experiences shared by influencers.
VoL: Which luxury brands would you highlight for their commitment to circularity?
SH: Designer brands such as Stella McCartney and Reformation spring to mind. We noticed some progress from high luxury fashion groups that publicly share their sustainable programs.
VoL: What would be your vision for Vestiaire Collective over the next 5 years?
SH: Maximilian Bittner already introduced a new generation of tech in terms of both people and product innovation and he will keep focusing on this topic, including community projects, to maintain the status of the app-first platform. We will continue to focus on our global expansion, especially in the U.S. and Asia where we look to extend into more key markets, but at the same time, we want to encourage the sustainable way to consume local to local.
Sophie Hersan, Vestiaire Collective Co-Founder and Fashion Director Photo from Vestiaire Collective
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To educate consumers and share our findings ,
we created a ‘Consumer guide to circular fashion,’ which shares findings from the survey, advice on how to lead a more circular lifestyle and personal experiences shared by influencers.
Vestiaire Collective Co-Founder
Photo from Vestiaire Collective
95% of discarded clothing CAN BE upcycled or reclyced
2.2 billion people don’t have access to clean drinking water
In 2015 it produced 92 million tons of waste
Production of textiles uses about 3500 different chemicals
It emits 1.2 billion tons of CO2 equivalent per year
40 million people work in the garment industry today
2.700 liters to make just one T-shirt - this amount of water
It is responsible for producing 20% of global wastewater
It produces 97% of our clothes overseas
20.000 liters of water are needed to produce 1 kg of cotton
It produces 1 billion garments annually
3 out of 4 garments will end up in landfills or be incinerated