In the heart of Amsterdam’s tourist area there’s a new attraction. The Fashion For Good Experience is an interactive museum that brings together a world of technology and innovations that are helping to make fashion more sustainable. Its mission? to inspire visitors and help drive the future of fashion.
Fashion For Good does exactly as the name suggests – it works with the industry with the aim of making it, not just better, but a force for good. One of its key programmes is the Fashion for Good-Plug and Play Accelerator, which brings together startup innovators, brands, producers, retailers, suppliers, non-profit organisations, and funders, with the aim of supporting new ideas. Good On You participated in the program earlier year, where we caught up with FFG Managing Director Katrin Ley.
“We started looking at the fashion industry and the challenges that this industry faces and realized that business as usual doesn’t work,” Katrin says of the motivations for Fashion For Good.
It really requires innovation, and innovation at scale, to address those challenges. That’s the core idea - to create collaborative innovation by bringing brands, manufacturers and retailers together with the start-ups, and then help them grow.
Innovation is key here at the FFG Headquarters in Amsterdam, and the new Fashion For Good Experience is a world first interactive sustainable fashion museum. Every three months the exhibit will focus on a new theme – the first being the industry’s use of water. A centrepiece is a dress designed by Stella McCartney, who recently announced a partnership with Fashion For Good. This dress, a blue one-shouldered number in organic cotton, was dyed using Colorfix – which uses micro-organisms to create pigment – massively reducing the environmental impact of the dyeing process.
But the Fashion For Good Experience is not just a museum where you go to look at things in glass cases. As well as the exhibitions, visitors are given “concrete ways to have a positive impact, commit to taking action and shop sustainable products.” This takes the form of a bracelet that you wear as you make your way around the space, there are stations where you can pledge to take actions, and afterwards receive a personalised action plan. Katrin says it’s about “engaging the wider public to learn about the challenge and solutions and to inspire them to take personal action.”
She says consumer action will be an essential element of fashion cleaning up its act. “I think it’s fundamental to further create awareness, to provide consumers with the information needed to make conscious choices, ask questions,” she says. “So what Good On You is doing is amazing because you’re making it simple, understandable, and accessible…if you look at transitions in other related industries, such as food, it was both sides working; there was a growing consumer movement and it was the industry changing to provide solutions – for example whole foods being available at scale.”
So what piece of advice would Katrin give to people who are looking to make more positive fashion choices? “Well the easy one is ’Buy Less Buy Better’,” she says. And we couldn’t agree more!
If you’re in Amsterdam, check out the Fashion For Good Experience, which is Free and open seven days per week.