Making the alternatives mainstream

Theme introduction

Lease your car, stream your music, rent your clothes – in the future of fashion, we will own less and share more. An increasing number of brands, among them Filippa K, offer services such as hiring and repairing to strengthen their long-term relevance.

Imagine a long weekend sometime in the not too far future.

It’s Friday. You pick out clothes for the day from your minimal wardrobe that besides a good base of sustainable basics consists of rented or borrowed clothes; stand-out pieces that are only there for a limited time.
During your lunch break, you go to a Filippa K hub, not only to have organic coffee but also to develop a design for a one-of-a-kind disposable top with the help of a designer. You print it on your 3D printer and decide not get it delivered to your house by Uber but instead to put it in your climate-positive bag made of carbon dioxide.
Once home, you see that someone has put in a request to rent one of the pieces in your virtual closet. You accept the request and put it out in the safety box for pickup outside your door that is opened with fingerprints. You discover a stain on your jacket and take out your miniature spot-clean steamer to clean and refresh the jacket on the go, or perhaps put it in your rented water-free washing machine that cleans with the help of carbon dioxide.

It’s a good party, you dance the night away and sweat a lot without your disposable top breaking or falling off. Back home, you put it in the recycling bin with yesterday’s newspaper.

Since you’re going on a business trip on Sunday you take the opportunity to get a proper workout on Saturday. You go for a long run and your sportswear warns when you need added energy to endure. You take a bite out of the sleeve of the long-sleeved running top, it tastes like banana.
Sunday come and you travel to Portugal without luggage. At Faro airport, you pick up a bag with clothes to use during the coming week, rented online during the flight.

This is a shortened version of Filippa K Sustainability Director Elin Larsson’s speech for Futerra’s five year anniversary party)

The service sector is growing rapidly in fashion, and it grows for a reason: we need to find new ways to adjust the fashion landscape to the planetary boundaries, and to a greater extent apply a circular mindset to the fashion economy. Brands are extending their business models from only selling new things to also including other currencies; sharing and caring; working with “people, planet, profit” as the triple bottom line.
Just like with cars or music, we will be hiring or subscribing to our clothes to a greater extent in the future, not owning them for the sake of it. The ones we do own, we might get insured.

Or–we will just make them ourselves with the help of new technology.
The possibilities are endless, but the prospect is the same: to build a better future for fashion.

In this section, we’ll be exploring innovative ideas in the new fashion economy.

Perspectives on the theme

Dilys Williams—Director and Professor of Fashion Design for Sustainability, London Collage of Fashion

Dilys Williams: “A new fashion system is emerging”

Mia Seipel, founder and creative director of Boob

Mia Seipel: “We need to make a change for a better future, now”