A Danish start-up company called Unfair Fashion is taking on the challenge of changing the mindset in the fashion industry.
Innovation and creative thinking often rely on a flexible market environment, willingness to change, and the potential for collaborations. The fashion industry has often been seen as the opposite: a closed and self-focused market, where transparency is not a high priority. Transparency is the key word in Unfair Fashion’s work.
So who is Unfair Fashion?
The story goes back 10 years, and began with an alternative fashion fair in Copenhagen, called Copenhagen Unfair, which often showcased designers who used sustainability in their work. The company pivoted in 2013 when a new owner took over with a new vision and mission, and today Unfair Fashion is a platform that invites young upcoming designers to become a member of a new trend within fashion.
Unfair Fashion is now a Nordic-wide platform that helps new designers in their start-up phase and educates and supports them in the concept of sustainability in fashion, the importance of transparency, and general responsibility in the value chain, something that is all too uncommon in the fashion industry today.
Unfair fashion has also been working on breaking the concepts of sustainability down, making it easier for designers to understand and evaluate which subject within sustainability they could work on and that fits with their creative vision. Bringing sustainability into a traditional industry is complex and challenging, and new designers can use the resources at Unfair Fashion as a jumping off point.
Hashtags as an educational tool
The largest resource provided is a Hashtag (#) library. This library has a list of concepts and explanations of the concepts and these hashtags help the designers in sharing their sustainability focus with others in an easy, user-friendly way, e.g. #collaboration, #slowfashion etc. Designers have to use these hashtags while being members of Unfair Fashion. Promoting the hashtags helps open up the world of sustainability to consumers, designers, and other participants in the designers’ value-chain in an easy and modern way.
A new industry index
Unfair Fashion also provides an internal platform for their members in the form of an industry index, where designers can communicate, build collaborations, find suppliers, and receive feedback and help from the Unfair Fashion Advisory board. This index is the company’s first step in opening up the fashion industry to help fight close-minded, secretive attitude that has become the norm.
“I believe this is the first step to create this movement we want to, this change”, says Charlotte Weber, CEO of Unfair Fashion. The index allows members to search for manufacturers based on i.e. countries, materials, and certifications, and allows the designers to share their goals and needs in order to build a network of contacts and potential partners. Unfair Fashion arranges “speed-dating” between the designers and the experts, where the designers can capitalize on the experts knowledge based on their needs.
The advisory board is made up of, among others, industry experts who are willing to share their knowledge and academics and researchers on the topic of sustainable fashion.
Unfair Fashion sees a clear trend in the young designers in their network. They are aware of the need to be sustainable, but not sure where to start. And that is why Unfair Fashion knows there is a market for their services in the Nordic region. Charlotte explains:
“Our challenge is that we are still on a start-up phase…it is a challenge to let the industry know that we are there also. So it is a challenge to make a mark. But they are starting to know us.”
The future goal for Unfair Fashion is to be the main choice as a support platform for upcoming designers and showcase Nordic designers and their impact on sustainability. There is still a lot of work to be done, but Unfair Fashion believes in the mission, and is positive about sustainability becoming the future of fashion.