Make the Label Count

Wednesday the 13th October, Ingun Grimstad Klepp participated in the panel discussion at the launch of the Make the Label Count campaign – an international coalition of organisations that want to ensure that the EU’s new labelling system for sustainable clothing is credible and valid. They are critical of the EU commission’s proposed use of Product Environmental Footprint (PEF), because it does not account for important environmental impacts and does not correspond with the EU’s sustainability goals. The standard does not either present a complete picture of a product’s environmental footprint.

The event was opened by Livia Firth, as a keynote speaker, and the other participants in the debate were Paola Miliorini form the EU commission and Pascal Morand from the Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode.

You can watch the full event here (youtube).

Dette bildet mangler alt-tekst; dets filnavn er Skjermbilde-2021-10-14-110723-1024x601.png
From the Make the Label Count campaign
Dette bildet mangler alt-tekst; dets filnavn er bilde-1024x599.png
From the Make the Label Count campaign

Click here to read more about the campaign and how to join it (maketelabelcount.org).

Out of the Wardrobe

Webinar: 21st of October 2021, 10:45 – 14:00 CEST

An international panel discuss how wardrobe studies can help us to understand how what we wear can make a sustainable future

About this event

The remit of wardrobe studies is not limited to actual garments or textile objects, although it often starts there, but to consider the way clothes communicate notions of self, emotion, place, connectivity and relationships that hitherto would be unspoken and/or rendered mute. Wardrobe studies offer a way in which these relationships or clothing experiences can be recorded, interpreted and also utilized outside of the realms of academia to understand the ways in which clothing is selected, used, kept, discarded and so on, in order to change or challenge clothing consumption, to empower the user, to improve clothing manufacture or indeed to revitalize or instigate it. Wardrobe studies are concerned with clothing behaviours in everyday life, from start to finish, birth to death and everything in-between.

Schedule

9.45 – opening welcome and introduction ( Dr Jo Turney)

10.00 – Keynote speaker – Dr Ingun Grimstad Klepp (Oslo Metropolitan University) Professor in Clothing and sustainability The presentation will provide a short overview of the history of wardrobe studies and how the method was developed through collaboration between clothing, design and fashion researchers the last 20 years. It will then look at what characterizes the method and why it is so useful when working towards sustainable development. Ingun will provide examples from ongoing projects where the method is being used in very different ways, from improving LCA for clothing to understanding wardrobe dynamics. This includes using the method for quantitative as well as qualitative purposes. Examples of ongoing studies at SIFO are CHANGE and Wasted Textiles. In CHANGE the main objective is occasions and variety in couples’ wardrobes. You can read more about the study here: CHANGE: Environmental systems shift in clothing consumption – OsloMet. Wasted Textiles will map textiles that is going out of use in households to increase knowledge about the ways this waste is generated and disposed of, and its fibre composition. You can read more about the study here: Wasted Textiles – OsloMet. Currently, the researchers are re-analyzing material from two earlier wardrobe studies conducted at SIFO for potential use in both CHANGE and Wasted Textiles. Although most studies that use the method have an environmental viewpoint, it can also be used to examine other perspectives. One example is the project BELONG, which examines children’s sense of belonging through their relationship to people, places and to their possessions. You can read more about the project here: Practices and policies of belonging among minority and majority children of low-income families (BELONG) – OsloMet. Overall, this presentation will give you an insight into the method and its rich potential in gathering knowledge about clothing and us, their wearers.

11.00 – Dr Anna-Mari Almila (independent scholar) – Older Men’s Wardrobes

11.20 – Dr Else Skjold, (Royal Danish Academy, Copenhagen, Head of Fashion, Clothing and Textile; New Landscapes for Change) – Wardrobe Studies and Pedagogy

11.40 – Dr Liudmila Alebieva (Editor Russian Fashion Theory, Higher School of Economics, Moscow) – Curating Wardrobes

12.00 – Dr Valerie Wilson Trower (London College of Fashion) – Expatriate western women’s wardrobes: Hong Kong, 1960 – 1997.

12.20 – Sharon Williams (WSA) –Wardrobes at WSA

12.40 – questions and round-up

#WSAFashionTalks

#ClothingCultures

Sign up for the event here (eventbrite.com).

Make the Label Count campaign virtual launch event

Webinar: 12th of October 2021, 11:00-13:00 CEST

The campaign

Textiles are a priority sector in the EU’s plans to shift to a climate-neutral, circular economy, where products are designed to be more durable, reusable, repairable, recyclable, and energy-efficient.

As part of these efforts, the European Commission is planning to introduce new sustainability labelling for clothing. This aims to empower consumers when making purchasing decisions and positively influence the drive for a sustainable economy.

But what if the labelling system being proposed doesn’t account for key environmental impacts?

Event program

11:00 AM – 11:05 AM – Welcome and Keynote

Livia Firth, Founder and Creative Director, Eco-Age

11:05 AM – 11:55 AM – Panel Discussion: How to Make the Label Count

  • Paul Adamson (Moderator), Chairman, Forum Europe
  • Paola Migliorini, Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission, DG Environment, Sustainable Production, Products and Consumption
  • Carlo Calenda, Member, European Parliament
  • Pascal Morand, Fédération de la Haute Couture et de la Mode
  • Ingun Grimstad Klepp, Professor in Clothing and Sustainability, Oslo Metropolitan University

11:55 AM – 12:00 PM – Closing Remarks

Dalena White, Secretary General of the International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO)

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – Networking Lunch

Watch the recording from the official Make the Label Count campaign virtual launch event using this link: http://makethelabelcount.eu/ 

You can follow the campaign at the Make The Label Count campaign website (makethelabelcount.org) and social media: LinkedIn and Twitter.

Local, Slow and Sustainable Wool: System Change in the Fashion Sector with Wool as the Red Thread

Webinar: 8 September 2021 12:15–1:00 PM

University of Oslo

The lecture by professor Ingun Grimstad Klepp and journalist Tone Skårdal Tobiasson invites the audience into the world of textiles, where currently an important environmental battle about how “sustainability” should be defined and understood is being fought. The presenters guide the audience through the sad fate of wool in Europe, both quite concretely (about 80% is thrown away) and in the comparison tools where wool is designated as an even bigger environmental loser. They will showcase the role of the small and local in the inevitable transformation ahead and how green-washing is flooding not only marketing but also in policy strategies with a circular focus.


Read more here (uio.no).

Product lifetime in European and Norwegian policies

Nina Heidenstrøm, Pål Strandbakken, Vilde Haugrønning and Kirsi Laitala

Abstract

The objective in this report is to better understand how the increased product lifetime option has been positioned in policies over
the past twenty years. By means of policy document analysis, we explore product lifetime positioning in the EU’s circular economy
policies, Norwegian political party programs and official documents, environmental NGO documents, consumer organisation policies
and product policies. Overall, we find little focus on product lifetime between 2000-2015, however, there has been a massive
increase over the past five years. There is still a long way to go in developing appropriate policy instruments to address product
lifetime.

Click here to find the full report (oda.oslomet.no).

WOOLUME: Mapping the market for acoustic and sound absorbing products made of wool

Anna Schytte Sigaard and Vilde Haugrønning

Abstract

This report is the first deliverable from work package 2 of the WOOLUME project. The main goal of WOOLUME is to
explore different ways of using wool from Polish Mountain Sheep to achieve better utilisation of resources and value
creation. The aim of the report has been to map the market for acoustic and sound absorbing products made of wool to
examine the potential to introduce coarse wool as a material. This has been done through desktop research and
interviews with a focus on the qualities of wool as a natural product. Findings show that though man-made materials
dominate the market for acoustic products due to lower prices, wool is preferred as a material due to its natural
properties as well as aesthetics. Producers using wool consider their products to be high-end, intended for people who
want very good quality products and who are willing to pay a higher price to achieve this. However, few producers use
coarse wool in these products, and many are made of pure Merino wool. Using Merino wool which is often considered
of very fine quality due to the low micron-count does not correspond with the ideal of good utilisation of resources.
Therefore, we are proposing to utilise coarse wool which today is discarded as a mere by-product to meat-production.
Merino could instead be used for products where fineness and softness are important factors such as for clothing. In
addition, we argue for the rawness and uniqueness of the look of coarse wool as positive in terms of aesthetics and as
something that adds to the position of acoustic products made of wool as high-end.

Click here to read the full report (oda.oslomet.no).

Reducing environmental impacts from garments through best practice garment use and care, using the example of a Merino wool sweater

Stephen G. Weidemann, Leo Briggs, Quan V. Nguyen, Simon J. Clarke, Kirsi Laitala and Ingun G. Klepp

Abstract

Purpose

Garment production and use generate substantial environmental impacts, and the care and use are key determinants of cradle-to-grave impacts. The present study investigated the potential to reduce environmental impacts by applying best practices for garment care combined with increased garment use. A wool sweater is used as an example because wool garments have particular attributes that favour reduced environmental impacts in the use phase.

Methods

A cradle-to-grave life cycle assessment (LCA) was used to compare six plausible best and worst-case practice scenarios for use and care of a wool sweater, relative to current practices. These focussed on options available to consumers to reduce impacts, including reduced washing frequency, use of more efficient washing machines, reduced use of machine clothing dryers, garment reuse by multiple users, and increasing number of garment wears before disposal. A sixth scenario combined all options. Worst practices took the worst plausible alternative for each option investigated. Impacts were reported per wear in Western Europe for climate change, fossil energy demand, water stress and freshwater consumption.

Results and discussion

Washing less frequently reduced impacts by between 4 and 20%, while using more efficient washing machines at capacity reduced impacts by 1 to 6%, depending on the impact category. Reduced use of machine dryer reduced impacts by < 5% across all indicators. Reusing garments by multiple users increased life span and reduced impacts by 25–28% across all indicators. Increasing wears from 109 to 400 per garment lifespan had the largest effect, decreasing impacts by 60% to 68% depending on the impact category. Best practice care, where garment use was maximised and care practices focussed on the minimum practical requirements, resulted in a ~ 75% reduction in impacts across all indicators. Unsurprisingly, worst-case scenarios increased impacts dramatically: using the garment once before disposal increased GHG impacts over 100 times.

Conclusions

Wool sweaters have potential for long life and low environmental impact in use, but there are substantial differences between the best, current and worst-case scenarios. Detailed information about garment care and lifespans is needed to understand and reduce environmental impacts. Opportunities exist for consumers to rapidly and dramatically reduce these impacts. The fashion industry can facilitate this through garment design and marketing that promotes and enables long wear life and minimal care.

Click here to read the full article (springer.com).

A Louse in Court: Norwegian Knitted Sweaters with ‘Lus’ on Big-Time Criminals

Ingun Grimstad Klepp

Introduction

Early one morning in 2008 I was sitting in make-up for a Norwegian television show and felt the trained hands of the make-up smooth out my face with paint. It wasn’t the first time I’d been there. With a population of 5 million there are not many clothing researchers to choose between in Norway, and with plenty of weather and outdoor activities, clothes are important. Questions such as how to dress children for physical activities outdoors are equally relevant every autumn and before every winter vacation and every Easter, when Norwegians go to their cabins, and the ideal is to spend as much time as possible outdoors. I have talked about the choice between wool and synthetic fibres and also about traditional Norwegian knitwear, but this time the subject was somewhat different.


The Norwegian Islamist Arfan Bhattis stood, as the first person in Norway to be accused of violating a new terror clause in the Penal Code. The striking thing for the Norwegian press was that he appeared in court in a Norwegian knitted sweater, a so-called lusekofte [lit: lice jacket], and he wasn’t the first. Before him, the accused in the biggest robbery in Norwegian history and the accused in the most discussed triple homicide had dressed in the lusekofte in court.

You can find this essay appeared in the book Fashion Crimes: Dressing for Deviance, edited by Joanne Turney, here (bloomsburyfashioncentral.com).

Uniformity Without Uniforms: Dressing School Children in Norway

Ingun Grimstad Klepp, Kirsi Laitala and Silje Elisabeth Skuland

Abstract

This chapter discusses the relationship between Norwegian schools’ ideals of equality and the way in which school clothes are regulated. Interviews with a teacher in a transitional language learning group for newly arrived immigrant children, as well as with children and parents in immigrant families, are used to discuss whether school clothes inhibit or promote integration. The material shows great willingness of children to dress like the others, as well as understanding that clothing consumption is essential for integration in school, and thus society. At the same time, this is not easily achievable either economically, culturally or practically. Little is done to make Norwegian schools inclusive in this field of consumption.

This article is from the book Inclusive Consumption: Immigrants’ Access to and Use of Public and Private Goods and Services, edited by Anita Borch, Ivan Harsløf, Ingun Grimstad Klepp and Kirsi Laitala.

Click here to read the full article (idunn.no).

Dressing a Demanding Body to Fit In: Clean and Decent with Ostomy or Chronic Skin Disease

Kirsi Laitala and Ingun Grimstad Klepp

Abstract

This article discusses what kind of strategies people with a stoma or various chronic skin conditions, such as psoriasis oratopic dermatitis, use to find clothes that fit and enable them to fit in. Based on qualitative interviews in Norway, we study how they manage to dress with a demanding body, a poor market and limited economic resources. This includes describing how purchases take place, which clothes fit, how much clothing is needed, and which laundry practices are used. Their main strategy was to reduce the requirements for their own appearance rather than to cleanliness and body odours. If they were unable to appear appropriately dressed, as a minimum odourless and stain-free, they reduced their participation in social life.

Click here to read the full article (cogitatiopress.com).