Swedish clothier KappAhl is inspiring sustainable choices through film
We buy 12 kilos of clothes and textiles per person, per year – and throw away 8 kilos in our household rubbish. This, despite the fact that 95 % of what we bin could gain a new lease of life in the clothing cycle. With its film series “Make it feel right”, KappAhl hopes to guide and inspire consumers towards more sustainable clothing consumption, looking at everything from care advice to do-it-yourself tips and from re-use to sustainable design and production
In the new film series Make it feel right, which has been made for KappAhl with the help of independent experts, journalist Annika Leone investigates how we can get our clothes to “feel right” – both for ourselves and for the planet.
“Access to more sustainable fashion is an important issue. Whether as producers or consumers, we must all help to close the loop for our clothes,” says Maria Segergren, who has recently stepped into the role of vice president of assortment and design at KappAhl. We need more sustainable materials and more sustainable production methods, and the clothes need to be collected in again once the consumer is finished with them.
Over the six films, Leone guides us from the cotton field to the wardrobe, via the design studio. The first film looks at the value of clothes, discussing, among other things, how we can breathe new life into our wardrobes through upcycling, the sustainable options available once you are done with a garment, stain removal and clothes care. Not to mention the fact thata good move for unwanted clothes is to hand them in at a clothes collection point.
“Clothes care seems to be something of a lost art in our society, unfortunately. There are lots of concrete tips and pieces of advice that could make us so much more sustainable in how we treat our clothes. Many consumers wash their clothes too often,” says Jessica Cederberg Wodmar, sustainability expert at JCW Sustainable Communications.
Even once a garment has really done its bit, the rubbish bin is still a bad move: fact is, even worn and dirty textiles can be put to use nowadays.
“Even a pair of holey socks has value and can have its lifespan extended. The problem is that all too few textiles are currently collected in for reuse or recycling,” says Fredrika Klarén, who is head of environmental affairs at KappAhl.
The textile collection scheme Wear, love and give back is one of KappAhl’s many sustainability initiatives. The green and white collection containers can be found in every store, and over half of what is currently collected is reused in its current condition – through sales on the second-hand market or donations to good causes, for example. A similar amount can be ground down to produce new textiles such as insulation materials, and this percentage will only increase as research finds new ways of recycling textile fibres. Even now, only a very small percentage of what KappAhl collects needs to go to energy recovery.
You can find out more about KappAhl’s sustainability work on our webpage – see link below – under the “Sustainability” tab.
The Make it feel right films
Film 1: The value of clothes – Annika Leone and the film team investigate what we as consumers can do to make our clothes last longer.
Film 2: Sustainable clothes – Annika Leone and the film team visit KappAhl’s head office to see how the company’s designers are working to make sustainable choices right from the drawing board.
Film 3: Our beloved cotton – Annika Leone and the film team travel to India to visit the cotton fields and see what the clothing industry can do for growers and their families, looking at how to spread awareness of the importance of using less water and chemicals in cotton cultivation.
Film 4: Made in Bangladesh – Annika Leone and the film team travel to Bangladesh to visit factories and to find out whether clothes labelled as “Made in Bangladesh” are a good or bad buy.
Film 5: Collaboration is the way forward – Annika Leone and the film team travel to India to find out how clothing chains and other industry figures can work together to improve textile production for people and the environment.
Film 6: Fine just as you are! – Annika Leone and the film team explore how all of the ideals surrounding fashion and clothes fit together.
Jessica is a sustainability coach, moderator and public speaker. She runs her own company, JCW Hållbar Kommunikation, which among other things trains companies in issues of sustainability. Jessica hosts Hållbarhetspodden, Veckans Affärer’s podcast on sustainability, and is also author of the book Hyfsat Hållbar (“Pretty Sustainable”).
KappAhl aims to create high quality, value-for-money fashion produced with care and respect for people and the environment. Today, 38 % of the company’s products are sustainability-labelled.
KappAhl was founded in 1953 in Gothenburg. We are a leading fashion chain in the Nordic region, with nearly 380 stores in Sweden, Norway, Finland and Poland, together with Shop Online. Our business concept is to offer value-for-money fashion of our own design to a wide range of consumers.
In 2015/2016, turnover was SEK 4.7 billion and the number of employees approx. 4000 in nine countries. KappAhl is listed on Nasdaq Stockholm.