Oslo Local Assembly Communiqué

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Blogroll / Local Assemblies

On 11th September a group of around 40 people met in OsloMet University for a UCRF local assembly. Around 10 discussions took place around themes suggested by participants. A summary can be found below. In addition the Local Assembly put together a list of priorities for ‘here, now’. These were called the ‘Oslo Priorities‘:

  • Request that innovation funds fund post-growth projects.
  • Explore legal frameworks to incentivise staying small.
  • Recognise that responsibility for producers and users does not end when a garment is delivered to a recycling system.
  • Promote ecological literacy and basic practical skills (fibre literacy, use/wardrobe literacy)
  • In a regulated society like Norway, apply policy and legal frameworks for clothing and textiles to drive change.
  • International trade of new and used clothing and textiles requires regulations – use them.
  • Raise voices in political contexts.
UCRF Local Assembly Oslo. Image credit: Vilde Rydal Haugrønning

Group discussion summaries:

ATTACHMENT

  • How can we find out through research what makes good relations and in turn leads to longevity?
  • Look at the variety of modes of acquisition
  • Map out acquisition methods and their respective logics
  • Research through wardrobe studies who keeps what loves what the most – as a start.
  • Deeper attachment could replace joy of consumption (bear in mind that Sartre says that buying is just another way of making something)
  • An aspect of ungratefulness perhaps needs to be dealt with – perhaps through true transparency that breaks down the smoke screens of the fashion industry ( manufacturing and sales, production of sales)
  • Knowing more seems to create attachment but is not enough to make big enough changes to save the world. But a certain insight, an understanding of the whole supply chain,
  • Co creation creates commitment, commitment might be inducing more commitment
  • As there are no expectations so … create the expectations. Memberships, groups of chats etc
  • The home visits one researcher conducted became clearly the one thing that created more attachment between the owner and the sweater.

BRINGING THE TEXTILE PRODUCTION BACK HOME
Is local production of clothes possible in Norway (for the majority)?
How to think outside the capitalistic circle:

  1. Something that will replace the oil; is textile production the answer? By proxy reducing the long distance transport of textiles.
  2. Foreign production should be more expensive for the Norwegian consumer; International tax on outsourced materials. Global emission tax.
  3. Increase the knowledge in the general population on the worth of textiles and garments + knowledge on maintenance and mending.
  4. Increase loyalty to Norwegian brands through personal stories, sharing insight, increasing transparency. Tracking of goods through the value chain.
  5. Lowering tax on small scale local production.
  6. Dugnad-spirit, sharing knowledge across brands within and without the industry.
  7. Import demands; restrictions on products that can be locally sourced.
  8. Degrowth thinking; Innovation Norway shifts from supporting growth business ideas, to degrowth ideas.
  9. By allowing more small scale businesses to flourish, the consumer will have more sustainable options to choose from.
  10. Focus on utilizing the natural local resources, and making a local/national supply chain, instead of an international/global one.
  11. Schools need to educate students that are geared towards working in a national/local fashion industries.
  12. Economic growth as a positive needs to be replaced with social impact, degrowth ideals and other, non-capitalistic measures.

CHEMICAL FIBRES OUT – NATURAL
(AGRICULTURAL) FIBRES IN

  • Find good alternative sources in nature to
    abandon synthetic fibres
  • Go back to mammals, insects and plants as a
    source
  • Cut consumption = 75% is synthetic
  • Only use synthetics if no natural alternatives
    and function is documented
  • Avoid pressure on nature with monocultures

CONSUME LESS

Regulations and political level:

  • Economic
    initiatives have great influence
  • Make “fake
    news” illegal, green washing should not be allowed, it confuses consumers

Education and schools:

  • students think
    in terms of the existing market, but goal should not be growth.
  • Get some
    knowledge already to elementary school about how to repair and fibre
    information

Consumer information:

  • How the
    industry is, what the problems are
  • Take care of
    clothing
  • What is
    quality
  • How to build a
    wardrobe that works together

Connection to clothing:

  • People have to
    have a connection to clothing
  • Bunad is an example

System change

  • Make money on
    something other than volume (like quality and repair)

Make repair accessible

  • Make repair
    acceptable and if cost of new clothing is bit higher
  • repair is more
    profitable also in that level
  • Clothes that
    can be adjusted in size

HOW CAN BRANDS ACT TO BE UP TO DATE WITH THE MOVEMENTS THAT ARE
HAPPENING IN THE WORLD TODAY?

  • Need to have
    regulations from the government first.
  • Influence the
    market leader, then the rest will follow
  • New business models
  • Can we have a sustainability-ranging, like for
    restaurants? Ref Mattilsynet
  • All clothes
    need to be more expensive
  • Look at a road map from OECD 2016 about
    sustainable fasion/textiles (?)
  • 5% of
    consumers act in a way that the say they would like to act

HOW TO REDUCE CONSUMPTION BY ONE THIRD
The textile industry suffers from enormous overproduction. Need to reduce by 1/3 per year. How to implement it:

  • Growth in the textile industry is based on the
    synthetic fibre qualities.
  • Control production, CE mark the products,
  • Find a system that is not based on growth.
    That is, increase per season.
  • Earn more on producing less.
  • Businesses are changing business models.
  • Few large companies dominate textile
    production in the world. They claim to be sustainable. Proposal: further
    increase companies’ sustainability through regulated production zone.
    Documentation requirement.
  • Stop green washing.
  • Labelling schemes that increase awareness.
  • Start labelling when the knowledge base is the
    way it is today.

NEW COMMUNICATION CHANNELS
What can we do to reach new audiences to educate the majority about our industry and our challenges.

  • Keeping up
    with the channels out there is already a challenge. Everchanging landscape
  • TikToc,
    Infuencers. Secondary sources, to educate the masses.
  • Make games?
    The Sims Sustainability Expansion pack?
  • Adding
    features to games that already exist?
  • Linking our
    content to different industries, diversifying search words in the algorithms,
    to reach new target groups and therefore making the information more
    accessible.
  • Livestream
    design processes?
  • Traceability
    of everything in a garment
  • A QR-code read
    by an app, which accesses a database that educates the consumer.
  • Barnetv-format;
    creating a channel accessed by children and parents at the same time, educating
    both.

REGULATIONS

  • Content labelling on the item (chemicals etc.)
    and durability with guarantee.
  • Illegal for brands to throw away new clothes
    (Like the new law in France).
  • Tax on import of textiles (per item)
  • Illegal to sell what is illegal to produce
    (use of certain chemicals etc.)
  • Quotas for buying new clothes
  • CO2 tax (include total value chain)
  • Ban on low quality clothes (stonewashed jeans
    etc.)
  • All clothes should come with a production date
    tag. Tax for the brand if the item is returned prematurely.
  • Ban on export of synthetic textiles to
    countries without proper waste management.
  • The regulations that we do have today must be
    efficient and functional also for textiles.

TRANSACTIONALITY 
Not only buying and selling. A portal between the maker and the owner.

  • What if the
    shop was a place you would pay money to enter?
  • How did the
    object enter the “shop”? (Will use shop as term for this location.)
  • How can the
    shop be the link between the sender and the receiver.
  • The brand
    story – how to tell it so that the new owner will treasure it (and pay for it).
  • A Norwegian
    made craft coat for Kr5000 – vs a fast fashion for Kr800.
  • Why does the
    consumer not know all this? ARV – HAIK – tell the consumer all that you know.
  • The
    enlightenment works only for the customers that are already interested.
  • Linked to a
    university? Linked to some sort of enlightenment – some sort of lecture – ,
  • Who is the
    target group??
  • How to target
    several age groups? Generations? (Look to diversity)
  • How to make
    the customer spend enough time to be enlightened and have time to get the
    information. Competent “sales personnel” – they must tell the story.  Can we use the personal shopper? (Who educates
    these? How do they educate the customer in caretaking?)
  • Coffee-
    plants- clothes – lifestyle shops
  • What if the
    transaction followed the logic of the concept for the collection?
  • VR image?
    Curated to follow the brand values?
  • Emotional
    connection – memories – (inheritance) – making –co-production.

With grateful thanks to SIFO, OlsoMet and all participants for a great meeting.

1 Comment

  1. Kirsten Opsahl says

    Love it! Thanks for the opportunity to participate and take part in this very interesting meeting. So many great ideas and ways to move foreward. No time to loose.
    Loved listening to all the speakers. Looking forward to the next meeting. Best Regards Kirsten

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