The SocioLog.dx Experience: A Global Expert Study on Sustainable Fashion

Esben Rahbek Gjerdrum Pedersen, Kirsti Reitan Andersen

    Research output: Book/ReportReportResearch


    In May 2013, Copenhagen Business School (CBS), in collaboration
    with GfK (Growth from Knowledge), conducted a global expert study on sustainable fashion, which is essentially about improving the social, environmental and economic footprint of the entire fashion supply chain (design, manufacturing, transport, consumption, etc.).1 During the five−day event, an online forum (Sociolog.dx) was established; there, 36 experts from business, academia and civil society shared ideas about sustainable
    fashion, whether it concerned new materials, partnerships, consumption patterns, or policy options. The expert study is part of MISTRA Future Fashion, an international research program intended to promote systemic changes toward sustainability in the fashion industry. The experts participating in the study portrayed conventional fashion as being in a state of crisis, in terms of sustainability, but also highlighted a number of innovative
    solutions for coping with social and environmental challenges facing the industry. Some of the conclusions derived from the study are summarised below:
    • The long, complex and fragmented fashion supply chain lowers
    transparency and control and creates a disconnect between the few who reap the benefits from fashion and the many who pay the social and environmental costs.
    • There is an unhealthy “throwaway” consumer culture that fosters
    overconsumption and waste. Consumers are becoming increasingly
    accustomed to cheap, poor-quality fashion that they can throw in the garbage after a few washes.
    • “Fast fashion” is repeatedly criticized for creating a level of consumption that is neither socially nor environmentally sustainable. There is a need to challenge the dominant “fast fashion” business model, which is based on large quantities of new, low-priced collections.
    • In an existing “race to the bottom,” increasing demand for cheap fashion has a negative impact on social and environmental performance in the fashion supply chain.
    Original languageEnglish
    Place of PublicationStockholm
    PublisherMistra Future Fashion
    Number of pages42
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Jan 2014

    Bibliographical note

    Mistra Project 1: Changing Markets and Business Models

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