CBS Fashion Society is a student organization at CBS that, while working to “sew business and fashion together”, is a place where fashion enthusiasts can meet, engage, and discover new opportunities, according to its Facebook page.
“We think fashion is extremely important. Fashion is self-expression. The way you wear your clothes and mix different items gives people an impression of who you are. Fashion can also bring people together,” says Mahnoor Samee, President of CBS Fashion Society.
Even though this might sound like the beginning of a fashion fairytale, it is not. The fashion industry is far from bedtime material when it comes to how textiles are produced and discarded.
About 92 million tons of textiles are disposed of every year on a global scale, according to the BBC. And in Denmark, it was recently revealed that H&M routinely sends its clothes to Sweden to be burnt. In fact, 19 tons of new clothes from H&M were incinerated in 2017.
The production of clothes is actually responsible for 10 percent of the world’s emissions of CO2, which far exceeds the emissions from aircraft and the shipping industry.
Therefore, CBS Fashion Society works with different partners to create awareness of the downsides of the industry and to inspire new solutions. One of these partners is the fashion company OUR SHIFT, founded by designer Milan Flicek and Barbora Sura, who is CEO of the company and another former CBS student.
“We want to create awareness of the fact that many fashion brands burn clothes that they can’t sell at the desired price, instead of reducing the price or recycling them. Also, large volumes of clothes end up in the sea after spilling over from full landfill sites into the ocean,” Milan Flicek explains.
“Upcycling is one way to solve this problem and that’s why we are using remnants of existing clothes to create new garments. We don’t buy new materials, only old clothes that would otherwise have been burnt. One of our sweaters has the statement “Stop F#cking burning clothes”. We consider ourselves an activistic brand,” he adds.
See on Instagram what OUR SHIFT is doing to help the fashion industry to be more sustainable.
Working together to make fashion more sustainable
Together, CBS Fashion Society and OUR SHIFT recently held a fashion show where students wore activistic clothes from OUR SHIFT to create awareness of an industry that could definitely go greener.
“We are really grateful that we could work together on this fashion event and draw public attention to our mutual agenda,” says Veronika Morgel, Vice President of CBS Fashion Society.
Other than staging the fashion event, CBS Fashion Society is working in different ways to inspire people to be more sustainable about how they handle clothes.
“We are devising campaigns on how to build a capsule wardrobe – meaning a more minimal wardrobe with fewer clothes that mix and match to give different outfits. Also, we are hosting events where people can swap clothes or learn how to mend their clothes by sewing on a button etc.,” Head of Events, Egle Sepp explains.