February 7, 2019 Green Fashion on a Black Friday
While many retailers embrace Black Friday, the Norwegian outdoor brand Bergans chose to take a stand for responsible clothing consumption with its new project “Bestis.”
The unlimited creativity of 60 young design students turned 250 old outdoor products into high fashion. These had been collected through Bergans’ own return scheme, and over a few weeks in November old sleeping bags, anoraks, tents and pants were revitalized into new and innovative jumpsuits, jackets, bags or skirts. The project culminated on Black Friday, when the re-designed clothes were presented by the designers themselves, on live models in an old industrial location in Oslo’s trendy Grünerløkka quarter.
Redesign comes naturally
The main objective of Bestis – a name derived from its three partner brands Bergans, Esmod and Tise – has been to create increased interest and awareness for re-use and redesign.
“We sell products to be used in nature, so naturally we are concerned about taking care of this place, for us and the generations to follow,” says Bergans’ sustainability developer, Yngvill Ofstad.
Bergans already offers a dedicated redesign collection made of old clothing. While these typically are smaller items like phone covers, shopping or toilet bags, Bestis allowed the students to think bigger and to use all their creativity, without any commercial hinders to start with. Even so, all items were offered through the Tise app, a marketplace for second-hand clothing, and many of them sold just a few days after the show.
A circular economy test-drive
Bergans and its partners intend to carry on using Bestis as a platform to show what a circular economy and re-design has to offer. Some of the unique styles will be present at Bergans’ booth on Ispo Munich as well to spread the word among Ispo visitors.
“Our goal with Bestis had been to increase awareness for more sustainable ways of consumption. And we wanted to explore what happened when different partners, disciplines and mindsets come together to use all of their know-how. We have been greatly inspired, and we will continue to further develop the concept,” says Yngvill Ofstad.
Retail companies play an important role in working towards more sustainable consumption by moving towards circular business models such as reuse, redesign and rental. Bergans’ hope is to inspire more industry actors to move in this direction.