“we still don’t like to call ourself a green company”

June 24, 2010

For Norwegian fashion designer Kristofer Kongshaug sustainability means trouble, it means boring basics… and that’s exactly what he is hoping to change with his label.

“I think it is important, and that we all have some kind of responsibility. But it’s not my main focus. When we use sustainable fabrics, it’s usually a choice done with respect to the fabric style and not necessary because it’s a sustainable material.”

For Kongshaug, design and fabrics are the most important things to establish an expression, whether the materials are sustainable or not. After reading and learning more about this GREEN part of the industry, he and his company started looking at what materials they already were using and discovered that they had for long time been using both biodegradable fabrics, organic cottons and several new sustainable fibers in our garments. This without really having a green agenda.

“We still don’t like to call ourself a green company, we always use the fabric which fits the esthetics of the brand, whether it is sustainable or not, of course if it is, it’s always a plus. We truly believe that sustainable materials will be the future of fashion, but we see it as the fabric manufacturer’s responsibility to take the necessary measures to make this happen. If the factories could offer a product that can compete both with price and design, we would already have a green industry. Sadly this is not the case, it’s impossible for us to be a completely green company without changing the image and philosophy of the brand.

One of the biggest challenges as a fashion designer is the constant fight against time. I’m sure we all could be better finding alternative sustainable materials, but time is money. Big companies with huge resources don’t really have any excuse to not try harder. I think young companies with limited recourses somehow should get rewarded. This can be done in two ways:

1. Direct sponsorships from the industry, not from one company, but from a common organization for all green fabric manufacturers. This should not be a sponsorship that gives materials for free. But a sponsorship which gives small companies with profits under a certain limit a good discount, and no minimums on orders.

2. Government funding: A funding for use of sustainable materials over a limited period of max 3 years or until the company is profitable. This should only be for startups, and companies younger than 3 years.

I truly believe many young designer would be much more likely to choose green if they had one of the two options above. And I think both parts would gain with a sponsor solution.

BerliNordik presents 3 Outfits by Kristofer Kongshaug at the “bright green design” exhibition, from July 8th – 11th, 2010 at the atrium of Deutsche Bank Unter den Linden.


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