Nordic Council of Ministers, Nordic Council of Ministers Secretariat, Nordisk Affaldsgruppe (NAG)
This report aims to chart a plan for a coordinated Nordic effort towards sustainable development in textiles and identify ongoing initiatives in the area. The aim was an ambitious plan with a potential for significant reductions in environmental pressures, but also green growth. To reach these goals, we staked out four regions a Nordic plan should include.
1) Replace fast fashion. The key to achieving an environmentally significant effect is to reduce the amount of textiles in circulation. This will reduce the production of waste and the use of chemicals.
2) Reduce resource input. The perspective is all about reducing inputs in textiles value chain. This includes various forms of circulatory thinking, material efficiency, as well as commercial forms of recycling and waste management.
3) Redirect global vs local. Locally produced textiles, with emphasis on ingredients, traditions, uniqueness and innovation, is a new and positive measure that can easily get attention outside environmentally conscious circles. A greater appreciation for good ingredients, and why quality costs, are required to compete with "fast fashion" and shift towards lasting value. Local production has the potential to create green growth and jobs in the region.
4) Rethink for whom Nordic countries are at their best an example of inclusive and democratic societies. The fashion industry however, has marketed itself towards the young and thin. An ethical approach to fashion encompasses not only how clothing is produced, but also who they are produced for and how clothing affects the ability for self-expression and participation in an open society.
Ongoing initiatives. The mapping showed that there were many ongoing initiatives in the Nordic. The work has mainly focused on the perspective of so-called "reducing resource use." The more established an initiative is, the more likely it is to be low on innovation. An important dilemma surfaces when attention is on better utilization of waste, as this may indirectly contribute to increased growth in volume.
Copenhagen: Nordisk Ministerråd, 2014. , 189 p.