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Unfortunate statistic: Nordic countries surpass the global average in clothing consumption

23.11.23 | Nyhet
Becca Mchaffie/Unsplash
Becca Mchaffie/Unsplash
Did you know that people in the Nordic countries buy more clothes than the global average, with consumption increasing 40% over the past 20 years? Nordic collaborative campaign urges consumers to break up with fast fashion.

Textile production accounts for 10 % of global carbon emissions, exceeding those from international flights and maritime shipping. And the Nordic countries are no exception. The average person in the Nordic Region buys and wears between 26 and 48 garments per person and we throw away around 11 kilograms of textiles every year, with less than 1 % being recycled. 

On this background Nordic institution Nordregio, the project Youth for Sustainable Living, the Nordic Swan Ecolabel, and The Nordic Council Environment Prize have joined forces this Black Friday, with a call to action: Consume less, choose new products wisely, and start by opening your own wardrobe and using what you already have. 

Join us live and learn how to break up with fast fashion!

This afternoon politicians, activists, and researchers meet up in The Nordic House in Reykjavik discussing how the Nordic countries can become even better at consuming textiles in a more sustainable way. The event "Escaping Fast Fashion - How YOU can act for change" will provide insights into and tackle the environmental impact of fast fashion. The event will take place from 17:30-19:30 (CET) and will be livestreamed.

Program highlights

The event will include the participation of experts and key stakeholders:

  • Martin Stenfors, Head of Sustainability and Strategy at Renewcell – the winner of the Nordic Council Environment Prize 2023, will tell us about Renewcell‘s groundbreaking solution for recycling and reusing textile waste for use in new clothes.
  • Icelandic textile artist Ýrúrarí will showcase the needle felting technique, illustrating a creative approach to textile repair.
  • Åsa Guldbrandsen, advisor at Framtiden i våre hender Norge, provides insights on youth engagement and necessary policies.
  • Emily Richey Stavrand, Umhverfissinnar, discusses the human cost of fast fashion.
  • Sustainability specialist Tinna Hallgrímsdóttir will lead a panel debate and engage the audience in the discussion.

Look for the Nordic Swan Ecolabel when you buy something new

The Nordic Swan Ecolabel is one of the world’s toughest environmental certifications and is only awarded to products meeting ambitious environmental requirements. When found on clothes and other textiles, it assures resource efficiency, reduced climate impact and conservation of biodiversity – always with tough requirements on harmful chemicals. The entire lifecycle is considered, from raw materials, production, and use to reuse, recycling and waste.  

“The textile industry has an urgent need for change. And there’s no doubt that the most sustainable piece of clothing is the one that already hangs in your wardrobe. If buying new, prioritize items with the Nordic Swan Ecolabel for ethical production, optimal environmental practices, and materials such as organic, recycled, or renewable fibers”, says Linnéa Hallgren, project manager at the Nordic Swan Ecolabel. 

The event is organized by The Nordic House in Reykjavik, the Nordic Council Environment Prize, and the project Youth for Sustainable Living, led by Nordregio. The event is funded by The Nordic Council of Ministers.