Sustainia is a recently launched platform aimed at building a positive vision and bringing together creative thinkers with solutions for a sustainable future. The ideas and concepts involved are based on concrete developments and technologies that are inspired and designed by world leading companies, institutions and experts. The aim of the platform essentially is to demonstrate a sustainable society where “sectors, companies, scientists, politicians and civil society work together towards a common goal.”
The panel leading the platform have chosen 100 innovative solutions to highlight and present at the Rio+20 Summit on sustainable development. The panel will choose a solution they find most outstanding, which will be announced and given the Sustainia Award in September 2012. Several ideas involving fashion have been included as part of the 100 chosen solutions, demonstrating the importance of fashion and textile industries in creating change. Sustainia sites one of its goals to be making “sustainable solutions and products fashionable, desirable and inspiring”, a part of their mission that fashion greatly impacts. The Sustainia team understands that people really need to want sustainable products in order for their demand to trump the demand for unsustainable ones. The chosen solutions take different approaches to solving the unsustainability of fashion and and the apparel industry, conveying its multi-faceted and complex structure.
Three fashion solutions were selected for the “citizen” category, highlighting ideas that were based on offering consumers sustainable choices. Bruno Pieters’ label Honest by was chosen for its 100% transparency philosophy, as it provides the consumer with a full breakdown of the production process and pricing calculation.The recently launched collaboration Clothes Exchange between British retail giant Marks & Spencer and Oxfam charity provides shoppers in the UK with a revamped way of recycling clothing that even offers them store credit. ‘Shwopping‘ is a term they have coined, meaning that clothing recycled by shoppers is sold online at Oxfam or recycled for new fabric or other purposes. Shwopping is basically the equivalent of plastic bottle recycling for clothes. An interesting and logical solution was presented as The Fashion Library, demonstrating how clothing libraries could facilitate borrowing of garments through a similar structure as borrowing books. Kladoteket in Sweden and Albright in New York have already caught on, offering customers the chance to constantly change their wardrobes in a sustainable way.
The next category “The CEO” highlights solutions that are based on building and developing a company sustainably. Source4Style represents the fashion industry in this category, defining itself as the “first online tradeshow for global design inspiration” and offering a plethora of sustainable material options. Their role in facilitating the direct communication between designers and their suppliers is an intrinsic part of implementing sustainability into the fashion industry. A member of the textile industry is also highlighted, with sustainable cotton production as the focus. Swiss company Coop employs organic cotton production, fair working conditions and ecological processing along the entire supply chain of its Naturaline Biocotton line.
The Sustainia 100 guides showcase a number of brilliant solutions for different facets of our society. Intelligent outdoor lighting, waste water treatment for energy, and clever design for sustainable supermarkets are only a few of the fantastic ideas, and ones that will definitely inform planning for the future. With a very positive stance towards discussing a sustainable society, Sustainia is right on track with creating a vision for a desirable AND sustainable future. Visit their website for more information and updates, and stay tuned to find out who wins the Sustainia Award.
All images courtesy of Sustainia.