Lena is taking part in the Circular Fashion Games, a two-part bootcamp programme bringing together students, designers and young professionals from different disciplinary backgrounds and nationalities to help companies create concepts for a circular fashion future. This year, participants compete against each other in teams to find circular solutions for real-life challenges of companies like Lenzing, Vaude and Gemeente Amsterdam.
It’s been five days since our CFG grand finale at Fashion For Good in Amsterdam, but I’m still energised by the experience, the inspiring people I’ve met and the ideas we came up with. We’ve spent our second bootcamp in Amsterdam, both at fashion for good and the impact hub, to finalise and substantiate our ideas for the challenging companies. During the finale, we’ve pitched them to representatives of those companies and a jury. For us participants, this was also the first time to hear about what the other teams had been working on for the past two bootcamp. It was great to see what everyone came up with: The winning team, for example, created the idea of an online service platform for the German outdoor-gear maker Vaude. On the platform, Vaude can rent hiking packages to travellers and thereby enter the service market. My team worked on a solution for clothing collector Sympany and the municipality of Amsterdam, who together want to find a circular solution for the 3 million kg of clothes that are collected in the region per year. Instead of selling them abroad, we came up with the idea of an online B2B platform that connects Sympany with various textile recycling companies and offers recycled materials to local businesses in the Amsterdam Metropolitan Region.
Dare to change
Now we’re patiently waiting for feedback from the companies. Do they like our ideas? Are they feasible? If yes, is there a chance they will actually be put into practise? We have to stay put for a while until we receive feedback. One thing I’ve realised during the games, however, is how difficult it is for large organisations to actually make circular changes. Every change has a snowball effect making a number of subsequent changes necessary. Yet in how far is a company willing to change to become circular? For the challengers of the CFG, we’ll find out when we receive their feedback on our ideas. Fingers crossed that one part or the other will actually come to life.