Swedish Embassy Promotes Sustainability with Fashion Revolution at the Met Museum
"Do you know how your clothes are made?" is the question asked of visitors who come to view Fashion Revolution, an ongoing exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila.
Produced and curated by the Swedish Institute with the support of the Swedish Embassy in Manila as well as that of style brands H&M, Baby Bjorn, and Houdini Sportswear, the exhibition highlights the major environmental challenges currently faced by the global fashion industry and how it should aim to contribute more effectively towards initiatives in sustainability. Likewise, it also highlights environment-friendly solutions devised by Swedish designers in their work.
According to Ambassador Harald Fries, "Fashion [represents] one of the most polluting industries. Globally, we consume about 62 million tonnes of clothing per year...and only 20 per cent is reused or recycled. But there is hope: the awareness that we must stop producing and consuming clothing without consideration for its adverse environmental footprints is taking hold. The fashion industry is in the midst of a much-needed fundamental change. This is what [Fashion Revolution] is all about."
Each of the three Swedish brands featured in the exhibition presents its own solutions for sustainability. H&M has brought in key pieces from the Conscious Collection it launched in February 2018. This unique collection is composed of garments made with a mix of organic and recycled fabrics and embellishments. Houdini Sportswear presents workout gear with its own spin on sustainable comfort, while Baby Bjorn exhibits infant carriers made with upcycled materials.
But while these examples serve as inspiration, it is still up to individual consumers to change their mindset regarding the impact of fashion on the environment. As Ambassador Fries puts it, "For the consumer, the first and biggest step is to make conscious and informed choices - from something as simple as not using single-use plastics to prolonging the life of your clothing. It comes down to mindful decisions."
Formally launched on 30 January 2019, Fashion Revolution: The Future of Textiles will be on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Manila until 30 April 2019.