Meet Elin Larsson – Sustainability Director at Filippa K & Circular Transitions Keynote Speaker

Filippa-K

Mini Bio
Elin Larsson has been the Sustainability Director at Filippa K since 2011. But she’s been with Filippa K since 1996 in a vast range of roles, so the responsible ethos of the stylish brand runs deep for her.

Having experience in logistics and supply chain management, sales, and project management gives her unique insight into how business functions will need to go from disconnected to connected in a circular economy. She’s currently working on strategies to demonstrate that environmental and commercial sustainability can comfortably coexist.

Elin also has qualifications in Sustainable Transition (exploring the crossover between politics, the economy, and environment) from Jönköping University in Sweden.

 

What are you working on at the moment?
It’s an exciting time. We’re at the beginning of a long journey to fundamentally redesign the conditions, rules, and expectations for a ‘responsible’ fashion industry and right now my team is testing new models that fit within the circular economy  – or as we at Filippa K say – our new business models respect ‘planetary boundaries’.

Our industry must change, that fact is indisputible. Either you ignore that…or you become part of the transformation and that is what we have chosen. We are highly motivated and determined to succeed.

 

What will you share at the conference that people haven’t heard before?
Our mission is to help our users build a sustainable and curated wardrobe. That seems to many like an overwhelming challenge, but I’ll be sharing how our initiatives are guiding us towards new business models and solutions that we hope will lead industry best practice.

 

Tell us about what you are excited to bring back from the conference?
It is a big system change that is needed, and organisations can’t expect to achieve success by working alone. We’re hoping to inspire others with our presentation, but also to see how others are approaching this big challenge and hopefully bring that inspiration home with us. We all need to work together to drive big change. I look forward to meeting with you all at the conference!

Meet Circular Transitions Keynote Speaker Cyndi Rhoades

 

Future 500

Cyndi is the founder/CEO of Worn Again and has led the business from its early ‘upcycling’ days to its’ focus as a technology innovation company.

With a vision to eradicate textile waste, she has worked on a series of ground-breaking products and projects with world leading designers and global brands, including Virgin Atlantic, Eurostar, Virgin Balloon Flights, M&S and most recently, a collaboration with H&M and Kering’s Sports and Lifestyles brand, Puma.

In addition to circular economies Cyndi is also passionate about canal boating & car boot sales.

 

What are you working on at the moment?
We are in development of a textile to textile recycling technology that can recapture polyester and cotton from end of use textiles to be reintroduced into the beginning of the supply chain as new. The technology will provide a crucial enabler for the industry to transition to a circular resource model.

 

What will you share at the conference that people haven’t heard before?
I’ll be talking about how a new generation of technologies achieve the biggest technological advance the industry has seen since the Industrial Revolution.

 

Follow Cindy at Twitter @cyndirhoades 

Circular Transitions – The Big Themes

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The Circular Transition Conference is fast approaching and this series of blogposts will keep you up date with the latest news and developments as the final pieces of the event fall into place. The conference, which is part of a research project for the Mistra Future Fashion consortium will be the first global event to bring together academic and industry research for fashion textiles for the circular economy.

During the coming weeks we will introduce the four keynote speakers Cyndi Rhoades (Worn Again), Sophie Thomas (Thomas Matthews, The Great Recovery), Elin Larsson (Filippa K) and Ed van Hinte (Lightness Studio/ DRS22). The speakers will focus on the three sub themes of the conference: Materials, Models and Mindsets. We will also start announcing the exhibitors who are a group of pioneers demonstrating the latest innovative materials, processes and design models in this field.

TED Researcher to Speak at Sustainable Fashion Event with the Queen of Sweden

Lead Researcher to Speak at German

Everything you can imagine is real –  Bea Szenfeld

 

This week Professor Rebecca Earley will speak at the Facing the Fashion Paradigm shift – The Relevance of Sustainability Seminar at the opening of the Everything you can imagine is real exhibition in Berlin.

 

The event will be attended by Her Royal Majesty Queen Silvia of Sweden who officially will inaugurate the exhibition and open the seminar.

 

In connection to the exhibition, an expert seminar moderated by Chairman Rolf Heimann, hessnatur Foundation will take place. Among others, participants such as the Sustainability Manager at H&M, Hendrik Heuermann, Sustainability Director Elin Larsson, Filippa K and author Magdalena Schaffrin, will take part in the discussions. Can different business cycles from fast fashion to slow fashion be a way to tackle irreversible challenges in the fashion industry?

 

The exhibition presents images created by The Royal Swedish Opera with Stockholm Graphics, Karolina Henke, Carl Thorborg and Stina Wirsén and last but not least 15 artworks from the paper collection Haute papier – the white Collection –  from Bea Szenfeld. The spectacular handmade creations are the result from crafts and ideas rooted in a desire to make society more equal and open, hence the name of the exhibition.

Social Innovation in Fashion

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5th– 7th September

 

One of our current PhD researchers Emmeline Child has just presented at the International Conference for Social Innovation ISIRC2016 in Glasgow. Here she was presenting how her methods in fashion design, have led to Social Innovation in the Industry. Emmeline was drawing from her experience as a practitioner and through her PhD research, which is looking to develop design led models that can be implemented to increase levels of upcycling within the fashion industry.

 

Presenting in a predominantly business and management based environment places our fashion and textile design research at the forefront of this changing global market.  Showcasing these ‘design thinking’ strategies demonstrates how beneficial the work of designers and practitioners can be in the workplace today.

 

Emmeline notes that;

 

‘The impact of a clear vision can plant the seed of change to make a more sustainable future. Through cross-fertilization and careful nurturing, the impact can be wider than anything you initially intended. ‘The path to a more beautiful world can come from vast plans and small gestures… as long as the strategy bears the needs of future visitors in mind’ (McDonough and Braungart, 2015, p.180). It can be insightful to seek outside the social innovation paradigms for tested examples that can inform models for success in the future.’

Discovering new Islands: preparations for Workshop 05

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This reflective blogpost is written by one of TED’s Trash-2-Cash Post-Doctorial Researcher’s Dr. Rosie Hornbuckle about the process of getting ready for next week’s workshop session in Copenhagen.

 

Each Trash-2-Cash (T2C) project workshop brings new challenges for the methodology team.  The process of planning the activities which form the basis of the design-science interactions is in itself an experimental collaborative design process.  We begin by sharing ideas around some key objectives for the workshop, we identify current challenges that we need to address and try to come up with appropriate ways to do this in the workshop using methods and tools from our collective experience.  Sometimes this means devising experimental workshop sessions, other times all that is needed is a conventional PowerPoint presentation or an open discussion.  And then occasionally – to our great relief – a situation arises where we can repeat activities that we know have worked in previous T2C workshops (WS).

 

WS05 in Copenhagen is based on one of these ‘tried and tested’ activities. Julie Hornix from design agency VanBerlo, recalled a session that Material Connection had prepared for WS01 in Stockholm, way back in September 2015 (timely that it is reappearing exactly one year on).  In its first appearance the session was described as a ‘marketplace’ with scientists each having a ‘stall’ to share the different fibre technologies they would be developing in the project.  Our methodology team recalled that it had been a particularly effective and engaging way to share knowledge, introducing designers to the materials they would be helping to develop, using samples, videos and diagrams instead of scientific datasheets or dense papers.

 

Right now, we are at a Milestone in the project where Fibre Prototype 1 has been produced and so, once again our materials scientists have significant new knowledge to share with all of the partners.  Differently, this time, designers also have work to present: new design briefs and Concept Areas have been developed from all of our scenario work, and in Copenhagen our design and manufacturing partners will be choosing which Concept Areas they want to work on in more depth.

 

This time instead of a marketplace we have decided that Islands are an appropriate place for interdisciplinary discovery: groups will visit each island in turn to unearth the newly formed gems of scientific endeavor and design ideas.

 

On our Science Islands visitors will be able to see the first scientific results demonstrated through fibre samples with the best scientists in their field on hand to answer probing questions.

 

On our Design Islands visitors with discover material and product samples showing cutting edge design in three different types of application. Leading textile and industrial designers will provoke, translate and ideate to develop Concept Areas through discussion. They will be on hand to respond to questions from the scientists and manufacturers about how these design visions align with technical material challenges.

 

WS05 promises to be an exciting moment for all of the T2C partners: the methodology team get to use a repeatable workshop design; the scientists get to present their first results and glimpse the types of products their fibres could become; manufacturers can start to realise the types of textile structures and finishes that they will be able to test; designers will finally get something tangible and meaningful to work with: real materials and actual product concepts.

Mindful Manufacturing Panel Discussion

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Last week TED’s Dr. Kate Goldsworthy spoke on the topic of ‘Emerging Technology and Sustainable Design & Manufacturing’ in the Mindful Manufacturing panel discussion hosted by the Lissome at The Hub Kings Cross. The debate focused on how we can enable manufacturing communities to foster sustainability practices in production. The event is part of the Threads – Rethinking Fashion series, which explores the topic of sustainability in the apparel industry and how to support innovations for a fair and sustainable supply chain. Other panelists included Rupa Ganguli from SPINNA Cycle, Katelyn Toth-Fejel from Hre Today Here Tomorrow and Daniel Harries from the London Cloth Company.

 

The series aims to guide the audience through a different stage of the supply chain each time – sourcing of raw materials, manufacturing, and consumption – to expose the issues related to each of them, explore possible solutions and highlight best practices.

 

The first event From fibre to fabrics took place in the beginning of the year and focused on sustainable sourcing practices to procure raw materials. The panel explored how to empower farming communities by enforcing sustainable agricultural practices in the sourcing of raw materials. The final event in the series Conscious consumerism will take place on the 20 September. This session will explore how to generate a sustainable demand and empower consumers to shift toward a more conscious consumption model. Topics will include recycling and upcycling, the circular economy and in general practices that enable consumers to reduce their consumption impact.

 

The series has been created by a partnership between Impact Hub King’s Cross, Ashoka Changemakers and The Lissome.

Materials! at WS04 Material Connexion Milano

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We’ve come back from WS04 in Milan with an overwhelming feeling that this can work.

 

This is a significant moment for Trash-2-Cash for a number of reasons: we’re almost one year in, we’ve just completed our first official sharing of written knowledge between disciplines (through 4 internal reports), Cycle A: Design has ended and Cycle B: Application has begun, but most importantly we’re really starting to understand one another and our different contributions to the project.

 

Not everything ‘worked’ at this workshop.  The methodology team has achieved a lot but we are still learning, the ‘design-driven’ approach is very new to all of us.  It’s trial and error; we use our experience and knowledge to plan appropriately, make on-the-spot changes, and introduce experimental tools as well as tried and tested ones.

 

So, as a testament to what we’ve achieved and how a project like this can work (with so many partners, with different backgrounds, languages, disciplines and cultures), we’re going to share some of the ‘tops’ (the best bits) reported by partners in Milan…

 

  • We loved using the materials samples to understand where we’re heading
    The venue for this workshop – Material Connexion Milano HQ – really allowed us to touch, to feel and discuss material properties.  One partner remarked that the location had provided an amazing ‘ambience’ for the workshop (and we could even work outside in the sunshine!)

 

  • We now understand the project ‘State of the Art’
    This has been difficult to achieve in the first year as results were still emerging and partners were still getting to grips with how their work aligned with everyone else’s.  It was the right time to dedicate some significant attention to Work Package presentations.

 

  • We can understand more about our business by hearing what challenges lie ahead for the material through the whole supply chain
    An incredible benefit of this project are the huge range of companies representing most of the material lifecycle and the great level of expertise that can be shared at each workshop – everyone is learning, even the most experienced people.

 

  • The different ways that the methodology team creates opportunities for cross-disciplinary discussions is fantastic
    Each activity is carefully designed to enable particular discussions and analysis to take place.  We reflect on the strengths and weaknesses and adapt our approach accordingly.

 

  • Learning about the fibre production process
    Fibre science and material production is really starting to make sense to designers which in turn opens up doors to creativity and will be an invaluable resource later in the project.

 

  • We are now starting to focus, connecting the dots and the details are emerging – “the project starts now!”
    After much hard work at the ‘fuzzy end’ of the process, partners are starting to see some clarity in what we want to achieve and how we are going to achieve it.

 

  • Cherries!
    In the true sharing spirit of the project, our Slovenian partner brought a gift of cherries.

 

We also had tips (things to improve) which clustered around the need for the science partners to share specific results in smaller groups and in person, not only on Skype… something we will think seriously about in our preparations for WS05 in Copenhagen.       

T2C Weather Report: Preparations for Workshop 04 in Milan

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Workshop 04 (WS04) is almost upon us and Milan in May promises to be everything that Helsinki in March (WS03) was not: warm with a strong technical front moving in from the east.

 

In Helsinki we were treated to a plethora of design approaches to collaboratively add colour and context to our visions for the Trash-2-Cash (T2C) fibres.  We also saw, bubbling up on the horizon, a desire for the science and technology results and challenges to be more openly discussed, shared and addressed.  WS04 will therefore allow the technical partners the time and space necessary to get into the nitty gritty of issues like garment sourcing, fibre elongation and pretreatments… and for the designers this will be an opportunity to find out how ‘garment sourcing, fibre elongation and pretreatments’ actually affect the senso-aesthetic and performance potentials of the new T2C fibres.

 

I shudder at the thought of describing Design as the ‘weakening front’ in this weather analogy but a partial withdrawal is a necessary part of a balanced system, allowing the atmosphere to evolve before pushing back to challenge the technical direction.  In this way the role of Design in Milan will be to support the technical exchange and, perhaps for the first time, scientific and technological challenges can benefit from designerly approaches to problem solving.  The methodology team have designed activities to enable communication within disciplinary groups as well as between partners.  We will take workshop tools to help facilitate discussion, interpret ideas between disciplines, and identify the opportunities in seemingly impossible challenges.

 

WS04 is also a milestone in the T2C project as we bring together official internal insight reports (‘deliverables’ in EU speak) from four different disciplinary areas: marketing; science & technology; design and materials.  This ‘coming together’ of the different areas of project knowledge in a documentary form marks an important stage in the collaboration, taking it out of the messy brainstorm discursion of the workshop into something more considered and tangible.  Together these reports will help each person sitting in their own (disciplinary and geographical) climate to build a more complete picture of the kinds of fibres we plan to develop.  Not all of it will make sense to everyone.  And that’s the other agenda for WS04; to make it make sense, to elucidate the picture that has begun to be pieced together individually and make it vivid in collaboration; a forecast map taking into account all of the different perspectives.

 

When we return on May 27th, back in our own offices, studios and labs, we will all have a clearer picture of the design and technical ‘outlook’ for T2C fibres, and be able to begin work on developing new prototypes in earnest.

Mistra Future Fashion April Newsletter

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Since 2011 TED has been a part of the Swedish funded, cross-disciplinary research program Mistra Future Fashion. Its vision is to close the loop in fashion and clothing – enabling a systemic change in the Swedish fashion industry, leading to a sustainable development of the industry and society.  Phase 2 research began in June 2015; read about the latest developments and progress within the program in this month’s newsletter.