“Designers are key to solving the climate crisis in the fashion and textile industry”- Ellen Flybäck

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Ellen Flybäck is a Swedish sustainable development consultant of Ellenability AB who is passionate about the sustainable development of both society and business. With the experience of several roles in the fashion, textile & interior design industries. She is also the co-founder and CEO of www.thepatternagency.se – the digital platform for buying & commissioning Scandinavian print design.

Recently Denim Focus Coordinator Pranta Biswas had a conversation with this passionate fashion designer where she emphasized the importance of the fashion design department in our industry for more value-added sustainable product development. The conversation for our readers is drafted below.

Ellen Flybäck , Sustainable development consultant

Denim Focus: What inspires you to be in this sector?

Ellen Flybäck: My inspiration comes from the love of clothes, good design and personal expression. I love showing my surroundings who I am by how I dress and what my home looks like. But I want to do this in a sustainable and honest way. I cannot consume clothes like there is no tomorrow and still stay true to myself. I am also a junkie for change and development which is why I am so lucky to be able to combine these two inspirations for my work and in the process help companies in textiles and fashion make better, more sustainable choices for their business.

Denim Focus: How do you evaluate design and development in textile sector?

Ellen Flybäck: I believe that designers are key to solving the climate crisis in the fashion and textile industry. Obviously together with other competences but I think designers are often overlooked when it comes to change and designing change as well as seeing opportunity. I am convinced that design departments should be included at management level. Their expertise is often just connected to products when designers also know how to create systems and think new, that is already in their work description which mean that they are well suited to finding new solutions. Which is what is required in order to stop global warming.

Denim Focus: How are you supporting client?

Ellen Flybäck: My main focus is helping small and mid-size companies to kick-start their sustainability journey. The majority of my corporate clients feel pressure and stress about not having started looking at more sustainable practices but mainly because they don’t know how. The first thing I do is to perform an analysis of where the company is positioned today and where they want to be in the future, what is their end goal. From that analysis I suggest different strategies on how to reach that goal. It could be increasing the transparency of the supply chain or making changes to materials used for products or identifying wastage that could be a resource. Or all of the above.

Denim Focus: What is the future plan?

Ellen Flybäck: My future plan is to dive even deeper into circular economy on a large scale. Because if the textile and fashion industry is truly going to decrease its carbon footprint, circular fashion needs to be scaled to fit the large textile companies of the world. And continue to help companies strive for reducing their emissions and doing responsible business.

Denim Focus: Any message to the industry?

Ellen Flybäck: Start including your designers at management level. A designer’s job is to think out of the box and imagining new things and new solution, an invaluable resource when it comes to tackling climate change.

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