Sustainability is a hot topic within many industries, and for good reason; we’ve been quite irresponsible in our handling of our natural resources and in caring for our planet. However, more and more businesses are rising to the occasion to do their part in mitigating the effects their companies have on the environment. Mads Mørup, KnowledgeCottons’ Founder CEO is one such hero.
Can you tell us about KnowledgeCotton Apparel’s vision for connecting fashion to sustainability?
Well, fashion is, after all, still the second dirtiest industry around. So there really isn’t any option. Looking at the great environmental challenges facing us all, the fashion industry has to take more responsibility and be aware of the impact it has on our Earth. Sustainability has never been a question for us; it’s been a part of our DNA since the start.
How did KnowledgeCotton Apparel get its start?
Motivated by our 1969 heritage, it all started with a will to make a difference, to create something new. Basically we wanted to prove that it’s possible to run a successful business with sustainability at its core. Our goal was to challenge the conventions within the fashion industry, and it still is. Over the years we have proven that designing and producing clothes doesn’t have to be at the expense of people’s well-being or ecological systems to be successful.
Can you explain what "sustainable innovation" means to KnowledgeCotton Apparel?
The only way to succeed in being sustainable is to embrace innovation. You need an open mind towards new sustainable solutions that often are in stark contrast to the rigid past. Innovation is a key factor for change, and that’s exactly what this business needs – to change. We see it as our duty to support and push sustainable innovation in fashion.
How do you see KnowledgeCotton Apparel creating global impact?
As a clothing company there’s of course not much we can change alone. But we’re determined to be a game changer in the fashion industry. We see ourselves as a part of the global environmental movement and we use our knowledge to bring about change. We try to make people aware of the situation and inspire them to better more informed choices.
Please tell us more about how your effort to become carbon neutral and your wood planting initiative.
We launched our carbon neutral strategy in 2017, and as of early 2019, we’ve become a certified carbon neutral company. There are several different things that we as a company had to change, and we measure our environmental footprint very carefully. As a part of our climate neutral strategy, we plant trees in different parts of the world to help compensate for the carbon emissions caused by the production of our garments. At the moment we are supporting one forest in India, and another forest in Borneo. We believe that planting trees is a great way to help fight climate change, but also to contribute to biodiversity and to provide a good environment for both animals and people.
How do you increase customer awareness to the issue of climate?
In our communication, we teach about what we do and the impacts and benefits of using sustainable materials and methods. We think it is of great importance to educate, motivate, and cooperate with our customers and consumers by means of knowledge sharing – this is part of our concept. We believe it is vital for the future generations to learn about sustainability and understand a business based on a sustainable model.
What do you see for the future of sustainable fashion?
Over the years, the world has changed. Consumer behavior is changing, and values such as sustainability and responsibility are becoming requirements. Today our mission is not as lonely as it was when we started. Businesses are beginning to change and people are considering how much is reasonable to consume. Though there’s still so much to improve in this industry, we feel something has happened. There’s a growing interest from colleagues in the industry to embrace at least parts of the sustainable work. And we know for a fact that consumers are going to force them to do so.