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Zero-Waste Fashion. Is it even possible?

Green Fashion, Sustainability, Zero-Waste have become the trending words in the fashion industry ... It all sounds pretty promising doesn't it? But how can one produce new things and be "Zero-Waste"?

Zero-Waste Fashion is not a new concept, but one that has been gaining momentum. It is a movement and new way of thinking that encourages and challenges brands and consumers to rethink the way they

design, produce, purchase and reuse products.

There are 2 main ways to go about this:

  1. Pre-consumer Zero-Waste fashion - where brands use recycled materials and/or eliminate waste during the manufacturing process. eg Pattern cutting to ensure no textile waste.

  2. Post-consumer Zero-Waste fashion - which is about reusing products, textile, accessories that already exist, which may have reached their “end-use”. Which in the long run, helps in diverting waste from landfills.

#Sustainability and zero waste fashion does not start and end in the hands of designers or companies. Focusing only on brands to change their manufacturing process and “fix” fashion will not get us where this industry needs to be fast. Creating a sustainable supply chain and a pre-consumer zero waste company takes time to get right without greenwashing.

This is why WE as consumers hold great power in this fight to sustainability and #zerowaste, by simply challenging our shopping habits. There are many ways for us to contribute to and/or support the zero-waste movement.

Here we list a few of our favorites from rental to resale.

1. Thanks, it's rented!

Fashion rental is a fantastic way to wear an eye-catching outfit at every event, without breaking the bank. A concept which is gaining popularity fast. We all know how hard an exclusive piece of Vintage can be hard to come by.

Meet Erica Mathiesen and Anette Ousdal, founders of Pas Passe. After randomly meeting and sharing a common passion for vintage hunting and redesign, they tested the waters with an initial project of the concept. Selling out in no time, they saw a market for their concept and launched Pas Passe, which offers the perfect combo of rental and vintage. A refreshing guilt free model for those wanting to stand out in an exclusive piece yet be eco-conscious.

We can’t find a better way to spend time, than finding forgotten vintage treasures and turning them into Vintage couture for rent. Don't miss out on their new collection coming February 28th.

Photo: Ole Martin Halvorsen

2. Let's go thrifting!

Ever heard this term? Well … it refers to going shopping at flea markets, thrift / second-hand stores, where you’ll be able to find gently used items at a discounted price. Thrift shopping is no longer a local community driven weekend outing. Driven by the purchasing power of Gen Z, thrifting is expected to overtake fast fashion by 2030. It may not always be cheap, but guaranteed you’ll find a gem that everyone else is not wearing. Our favorite find is The Fashion Archive, in partnership with Fashion Revolution Norway, this is Oslo’s largest indoor curated Slow fashion, Secondhand and Vintage Market. With a free entrance, everyone from collector to your daily fashionista is welcome. Offering a wide range of items from textiles, accessories and shoes to browse through in a cozy setting with DJ and beverage.

Photo: The Fashion Archive

3. Clothes Swap

The slow fashion movement is challenging consumers to find new ways to decrease their environmental footprint. Clothes Swapping has already been a big hit in the US and swap events are popping up all across Europe and has made its way to Norway.

How does it work? … Anyone can take part. Do you have any unwanted Christmas gifts? Clothes that no longer fit? No longer your style? Then bring it in for a swap, collect points and walk away with a newly swapped outfit or two.

Clothing Swap Bergen already had their first successful event and they are planning for their next one soon. Run by a group of volunteers with a big heart for sustainable clothing, Clothing Swap Bergen organizes four swaps a year, promoting upcycling and second hand fashion over fast fashion for a better future. Find out about their next event soon and keep up to date here.

Photo: Clothing Swap Bergen

4. Repair & Reuse

Of-course, the most zero-waste option is already in your closet or maybe your grandma’s closet? We may want the latest trend or this season’s must have, but style is not bought. It's something you already have. It's all about how you put that look together.

Why not challenge yourself the rest of the month to find different ways of wearing the same outfit or find items to upcycle. Sometimes it's all about looking at what you have a little differently.

We love this upcycle IG account who’s fun ways of upcycling will surely make you want to try your own. If you can turn a feather duster into a bag or use old newspapers to freshen up some accessory, then there is nothing you can't do.

Photo: Instagram @putrisamboda

If you still have a need for new clothes, then we suggest researching the brands that are working hard to follow a zero-waste production. Brands that generate little to no textile waste in their production.

Here are some brands that has grabbed our attention ...

Working on a closed loop system, Ilag offers comfortable, everyday clothing for any occasion. This Norwegian brand offers the simplicity of #Scandinavian style and effortless clean cut chic by using deadstock fabrics and yarn.

They have gone one step further in their efforts to reduce waste, by offering the Ilag deposit system in Norway. Simply return your used Ilag item in exchange for a discount on a new piece. Your “old” Ilag product will then be cleaned, repaired and/or redesigned to be sold again via their website.

Photo: Ilag

Launched in 2020 by Norwegian born Designer Siri Johansen. This brand is all about Zero-waste if the name didn't say it already. WYP is challenging waste in the garment industry and presenting it in a fun and playful manner, while sending a strong message about our #environmental footprint.

Handmade, unique pieces are created with surplus yarn, which would otherwise accumulate until ending up in landfill. Each garment is thoughtfully designed with a different combination of yarn and color, making it one of a kind and unique.

Photo: Waste Yarn Project

We all know the pollution and waste that is generated by creating new products right? Well check out Second Launch. A unique concept in Norway, Second Launch is a curated resale platform, focusing on Zero-Waste and #slowfashion.

Featuring international brands, their concept focuses on extending the life-cycle of surplus products from previous seasons. They strive to work on reducing carbon, waste and water footprint, while giving a second chance to high-quality, eco-friendly and #ethically made products, that could otherwise accumulate until destroyed, laying unused or end up in landfills.

Photo: The Sept / Second Launch

Loving their “Think twice, shop once” approach to designing and producing their pieces. This Swedish Slow fashion brand is all about zero-waste, sustainability and pre-loved fashion, opting to use rescued deadstock skins, repurposed vintage clothing and upcycled post-production waste to make their leather products. They have also launched their Cactus Collection which is PETA approved.

Photo: Deadwood

With the philosophy “Produce better, produce less”, STEM focuses on zero-waste techniques and resources throughout their production process. By using a zero-waste weaving and cutting technique, they are able to use 100% of the fabric in each garment. Taking it a step further, their usage of repurposed yarn and recycled fibers from pre-consumer waste and deadstock trims, makes every product fully biodegradable. We love their distinctive patchwork-like technique with disheveled fringe work on both their shirts and pants. Providing a fresh, fun and unique take to the zero-waste trend.

Photo: Stem

Zero-waste may not be for everyone, but we all have one thing in common … our planet, and we must take care of it. Through the small changes in our purchasing habits to the changes we can make in our everyday lives, practicing and making zero waste a way of life, may help us come to a point where waste won’t be a problem.


“We don't need a handful of people doing zero-waste perfectly. We need millions of people doing in imperfectly.” Anne Marie Bonneau

Jean Marc

Second Launch

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