Josefine Olsson
Technology Strategy Consultant, Stockholm
August 03, 2018

Clothes from Citrus Fruits? Making Fashion Sustainable with Technology

I’m part of a generation that wants to do something meaningful and create solutions to really big problems. For me, sustainability is the challenge of our lifetime—even in the fashion business.

Partnering for sustainability
Fashion is an industry that everyone can relate to. We all wear clothes—it’s a great way of expressing who we are. Personally, I love simplicity, and I’m a big fan of more technical, intelligent fabrics.

But fashion is our second-most polluting industry. We urgently need a shift in sustainability. And thanks to my role within Accenture Strategy, I can be a part of driving this movement.

The Global Change Award, now in its fourth year, is a partnership between Accenture, the nonprofit H&M Foundation and the KTH Royal Institute of Technology, uniting to make a lasting change and make the fashion industry more sustainable.

When you’re uniting the different perspectives of three organizations, magic can happen. I’ve always been interested in the intersection of innovation, digital technology and sustainability, so I jumped at the chance to be involved.

The award invites anyone to submit ideas to make the fashion industry more circular or sustainable. We receive about 3,000 ideas from across the globe each year—last year from 151 countries. Five winners are awarded a grant and a one-year accelerator program, where innovators are coached on different topics to maximize their impact on the industry.

Each year, the Global Change Award has become more disruptive, with cutting-edge innovation surrounding new materials and recycling methods to reduce waste in the fashion value chain. Clothes made from citrus fruits, textiles from cow manure, a polyester-eating microbe—all these ideas have been part of the program.

Building knowledge of my passion
Accenture Strategy has been a great platform on which to build my knowledge of a subject I’m passionate about. Our teams include experts and thought leaders on sustainability and the circular economy, specifically on how technology can be an enabler for sustainability.

I’ve attended and been invited to speak at conferences, interacted on social media, written blogs and recorded videos, and my involvement in the Global Change Award has taken me to New York, Shanghai and Milan. I’ve also co-authored our trend reports Future of Sustainable Fashion and Circular X Fashion Tech, which leverage our unrivaled capability in data and analytics.

Josefine speaking

The power of technology in everything
In my role, I can see the power of technology in everything, from enabling a circular supply chain to 3D scanning and biotech technologies.

A lot is happening in the fashion industry, such as using materials other than polyester and cotton and applying technology that improves transparency in the supply chain and enables recycling. But there’s much more to be done; there’s more we can all do.

We can use our consumer power to only buy brands that take a responsible approach. We can reduce our wardrobes and recycle clothes. But there also needs to be more collaboration and partnership between fashion companies across the ecosystem.

I’m pleased to be part the Accenture Strategy team, driving sustainable change.
Join the Technology Strategy team.

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