For Companies

The Future of Consumption with Katia Dayan Vladimirova was the 2nd webinar in the "Are You Ready for the Circular Future?" series

"Are you ready for the circular future?" is a webinar series focused on exploring circular economy principles and their application in the textile and fashion industries. Led by Alisa Mick and Riikka Olli, Circular economy professionals, the series comprises six bi-weekly sessions covering a range of topics, including new regulations, circular business models, supply chain management, new materials, and marketing. Each one-hour session features a use case company sharing their journey with circularity.

Designed for executives from textile and fashion companies committed to their circularity objectives, this series aims to provide insights into the strategic decisions necessary to prepare for the future and making circularity a core part of business. The series offers invaluable and practical insights for companies looking to implement changes towards profitable circular models.

2/6: The Future of Consumption

Katia Dayan Vladimirova
PhD, Researcher (University of Geneva), Founder of Well Rounded

The second webinar in the "Are you Ready for The Circular Future?" series was focused on consumption.

Our speaker in the webinar, Dr. Katia Dayan Vladimirova, PhD, is a leading researcher at the University of Geneva, specializing in sustainable fashion consumption. Katia is the founder of the International Research Network on Sustainable Fashion Consumption and the creative mind behind PostGrowthFashion.Substack.Com. As the founder of Well Rounded, an innovative underwear brand for the whole family, she brings a unique blend of academic expertise and practical experience to the discussion.

In the webinar we delved into the multifaceted landscape of consumption, particularly focusing on the fashion industry. Katia’s journey from frustration to entrepreneurship serves as a testament to the power of individual action in driving meaningful change.

> Change Through Action

Katia’s journey began with a simple realization: she couldn’t find sustainable underwear for her son. Instead of resigning herself to the status quo, she created her own brand. It’s a reminder that impactful change often starts with one person’s determination to make a difference.

Building a circular and sustainable fashion brand is no easy feat. It requires navigating through numerous challenges, from sourcing eco-friendly materials to finding ethical suppliers and partners. However, Katia emphasizes the importance of perseverance and staying true to one’s values throughout this journey. Despite the hurdles, she encourages aspiring entrepreneurs to forge ahead and create brands that align with their social and environmental principles.

One of the challenges in building sustainable fashion brands is the current economic system that incentivizes growth and overconsumption. However, Katia advocates for a different approach—one that prioritizes demand-driven supply chains and minimizes waste. By operating for example on a model that responds to consumer needs more efficiently, brands can mitigate the inefficiencies inherent in traditional production methods.

> Consumption Patterns

A notable trend observed among younger generations is the dichotomy between overconsumption and a growing interest in sustainable practices. While some individuals use consumption as a form of escapism, others are gravitating towards minimalism and second-hand shopping. This shift reflects a broader societal awakening to the environmental and social impacts of consumerism.

The rise of the second-hand market poses intriguing questions about the future of luxury brands and the perception of quality. As consumers become more discerning about their purchases, the meaning of luxury is evolving beyond mere brand recognition to encompass sustainability and ethical production practices. This shift challenges traditional notions of fashion brands and underscores the importance of transparency and accountability within the industry.

> Overconsumption and Cognitive Dissonance

A critical issue addressed is the psychological and societal impact of overconsumption. Despite possessing more material possessions, studies suggest that individuals with fewer belongings report higher levels of happiness. Overconsumption, driven by societal pressures, the social media and instant gratification, often masks deeper issues such as anxiety and low self-esteem.

> Waste Colonialism

A critical aspect of responsible consumption is acknowledging our responsibility towards countries in the global south. Waste colonialism—a phenomenon where developed countries export their textile waste to developing nations—exemplifies the inequities inherent in the global supply chain. As consumers in the global north, we must confront our role in perpetuating these injustices and advocate for fair and sustainable practices that benefit all stakeholders.

Katja's insights underscore the transformative potential of individual action and systemic change in reshaping consumption practices. As we navigate towards a more circular future, prioritizing ethical practices, transparency, and mindfulness in consumption habits are imperative steps towards fostering a more equitable and environmentally sustainable world.  

Welcome to delve deeper into the full webinar and share insights with us

Ready for the Circular Future?

Changing the linear system is challenging, but together, we can make it happen