Fashion for Good: leading the race against fast fashion

The fashion industry is one of the largest polluters in the world. In an effort to look for more sustainable ways of working, the Amsterdam-based non-profit platform Fashion for Good aims to connect and inform all major players in the field, including consumers, through its impressive office, event space and museum. Fashion for Good’s Communications Manager, Anne-Ro Klevant Groen, explains why the pace must be stepped up to stamp out fast fashion.


Marieke Verhoeven


Jordi Huisman

Type a selection of fashion-related terms into Google and you’ll get millions of hits for various topics, from ‘fashion industry pollution’ to ‘fashion industry statistics’ and more. As environmental awareness increases in all areas of our lives, the impact that fashion has on the environment has become a hot topic.

An astonishing 1.5 trillion litres of water is used by the fashion industry each year, and around 20% of water pollution comes from the treatment and dyeing of textiles. There are many more negative effects on the environment aside from water pollution, not to mention the poor circumstances under which staff are often forced to work. Recycling isn’t the answer, as less than 1% of clothing material is recycled. Every second, one truck of textiles is sent to landfill or burned. Fast fashion has become so toxic that it ranks in the top five most polluting industries.

While knowledge of these alarming figures is growing among consumers, there is still a lot of work to be done. That’s where Fashion for Good comes in. From a monumental building in the centre of Amsterdam, this international platform is working towards a more sustainable fashion industry on all fronts. Launched in March 2017 with founding partner C&A Foundation, Fashion for Good aims to connect all the players in the fashion chain, from brands and suppliers to innovators and consumers, in a joint effort to make the fashion industry a force for good. Ironically, the building is surrounded by fast-fashion chains and many shoppers might pass by, unaware of the exciting activities taking place inside. A highlight is the futuristic museum, where visitors can explore the facts and figures of the fashion industry in an entertaining way.

Leaving the museum behind, there are many more intriguing floors to discover, as Anne-Ro leads the way. ‘Our main goal is to introduce visitors to the facts and myths of fashion in a fun way,’ she explains. ‘We do this in a very interactive way: you can feel materials, watch videos of people working in the factories, and in our store you can buy garments made by sustainable brands.’ Anne-Ro speaks quickly and passionately as we stroll around. ‘Here’s a T-shirt design studio, where you can design and print your own cradle-to-cradle certified T-shirt. On the first floor, we have an innovation lounge where we showcase the products of all the partners we’re currently working with. That ranges from a waistcoat made of mushroom leather to a dress dyed with 100% sustainable paint. And then there’s the event space where we hold regular workshops and lectures.’

Anne-Ro says: ‘Many people who step inside the museum or contact us online are already well informed and super passionate about the subject. That’s great, because we’re not claiming to know everything. Criticism and new ideas are always welcome.’

‘It’s a practical and optimistic museum; we’re not looking to shock or depress people.’

By presenting stories of game-changing innovations and new technologies up close and personal, visitors are encouraged to take a closer look at their own buyer behaviour and leave with actionable steps for their fashion journey. ‘Or as we call it, to develop their own Good Fashion Action Plan,’ says Anne-Ro. ‘It’s like a to-do list to make things better. This could be anything from taking sewing classes to vintage shopping or following lectures by industry experts.’ Based on their interests, visitors receive notifications on forthcoming events after their visit. This way, Fashion for Good aims to keep people informed and motivated about sticking to their action plan in a fun way that’s not pushy. ‘It’s a practical and optimistic museum; we’re not looking to shock or depress people,’ Anne-Ro stresses. ‘But if you’re really inspired and want to produce sustainable garments yourself, we also offer an open source network where you can find information and links to various players in the field who might be able to help you.’

When it comes to her personal drive, Anne-Ro (her surname, Groen, funnily enough means ‘green’ in Dutch) started becoming more conscious about sustainability about five years ago. ‘I just got more conscious about eating meat, my shopping habits and the way I was contributing to the environment in general,’ she says. ‘I also watched a few documentaries on Netflix, like The True Cost, and concluded that I no longer felt comfortable with contributing to a fast-fashion industry that revolved around producing and selling as much as possible.’

Anne-Ro was no stranger to the topic, as she had already gained extensive experience in the industry by that time. After being introduced to the world of fashion during high school when she was modelling part time, she studied journalism and worked for fashion magazines such as Cosmopolitan and Grazia before moving on to a career in fashion PR and marketing. Anne-Ro worked for both agencies and major international brands such as Tommy Hilfiger and Karl Lagerfeld.

‘Youth education about the impact of fashion pollution is so important. The earlier you can impact on someone’s buying behaviour, the better.’

When Anne-Ro was approached for the role of Communication Manager at Fashion for Good, it was an easy decision. ‘I had the desire to work in the field of sustainability, but I wasn’t looking to work for an action or lobby group,’ she explains. ‘I wanted to work directly in the industry, where I felt I could have a bigger impact. What I love about this job is that I get to work on both the business side and directly with consumers. How do you convey your message in different ways, to players in the field and to the public?’

Fashion for Good has various important missions, one of which is connecting big brands to startups in the field of sustainability. ‘When starting Fashion for Good,’ Anne-Ro explains, ‘we noticed there were a lot of amazing solutions available around the world to help make the industry more sustainable. The problem is these are often startups with a lack of experience in how to promote their product or how to get in contact with the big brands or producers.’

Fashion for Good is the missing link that connects the two worlds. Its core business is being an innovation platform that offers startup and scale-up programmes, plus funds for innovators around the world. The funding comes from founding partner C&A Foundation, and corporate partners currently involved range from Stella McCartney to Zalando. ‘Together with our corporate partners, we first determine their main goals in terms of sustainability for the coming years, and then try to find the young global innovators who might be able to help them achieve those goals,’ explains Anne-Ro. ‘Say Stella McCartney is looking for a new material as an alternative to leather that’s biodegradable, we’ll connect her to the right people. But it could also be a company looking for a blockchain technology to help them make their business more transparent.’

This scouting process is ongoing, but Fashion for Good also trains these startups in the areas of legalities, pitching, strategy and finance. ‘We offer them a special three-month programme, in which they also meet all our corporate partners,’ says Anne-Ro.

‘Obviously, the learning process goes both ways, as it’s super valuable for these young startups to see what these major companies look like on the inside and vice versa. The scaling project is more for companies that have grown out of the startup phase and are looking to make their business grow and help them with the bigger strategic questions for the longer term.’ Then there’s also a Good Fashion Fund, meant to invest when these startup or scale-up companies need financial funds to turn their ideas into reality. This could be funding for research, but also money to invest in a factory that’s willing and able to produce sustainable materials.

It’s no coincidence that Fashion for Good is based in Amsterdam, Anne-Ro says. ‘The startup climate in the Netherlands is quite strong and a lot of our corporate partners, such as PVH Corp [owner of Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein], also have their European headquarters here. In terms of geographical location, it’s also easy that we’re in a time zone where we can connect to both Asia and the US on the same day.’

The museum is located on the first three floors, while the upstairs floors are occupied by offices, conference rooms and a large and open co-working space. The young entrepreneurs here range from Ambercycle, a company turning post-consumer textile waste into new fibres, to Bext360, a traceability Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform focusing on critical supply chains such as coffee, cocoa, seafood, palm oil, minerals, timber and natural fibres. ‘There are about 70 people working here, all young entrepreneurs or companies in the field of sustainable fashion,’ says Anne-Ro. ‘There are flex-desks, so people can come and work or have meetings here whenever they want. It’s great to have all these different people here with knowledge on various topics. We can ask each other questions and help each other connect to other parties.’ This sharing of knowledge is essential to moving forward together, she enthuses. ‘Traditionally, the fashion industry has been quite self-centred and competitive, but that attitude is gradually changing. In the end, we must work together if we want to save our planet.’

Although Fashion for Good has only been running for a year, it has already accomplished a lot. Anne-Ro explains, ‘In our short existence, we’ve already managed to get around 13 corporate partners on board, so that’s a pretty good result. It’s an exciting year for us with a lot of pilots, such as a blockchain technology that gives insight into the whole life cycle of organic cotton, from production to spinner and spinner to consumer.’

As an educational platform, the organisation is also looking for extra sponsors for the museum and the possibility to develop programmes for schools. ‘Educating the youth is super important,’ Anne-Ro stresses. ‘The earlier you can impact on someone’s behaviour and knowledge of the fashion industry, the better.’ Her excitement and enthusiasm are infectious. ‘It’s a super positive and inspiring place to work; I’m amazed on a daily basis by all the initiatives everyone in this building is working on. I couldn’t imagine a more rewarding job.’

‘In the end, we must work together if we want to save our planet.’

Of course, the real change can’t be made by one player alone, it must be a combination of brands, governments, manufacturers and consumers taking responsibility. The profits of several fast-fashion chains have decreased as consumers realise it’s not normal to have new collections in stores every fortnight. In February 2018, Swedish fast-fashion giant H&M – the world’s second-biggest fashion retailer after Inditex – reported a 44% drop in first-quarter profits and an operating profit that fell by 62%, its lowest report in nearly 20 years.

In her personal life, Anne-Ro is a conscious consumer, but she is mindful not to impose her views on others. ‘I’m not a missionary who wants to tell other people what they’re doing wrong or should change. I also realize it’s not that easy to invest in often more expensive sustainable fashion if you’re on a smaller budget. But there are other options. In Amsterdam for example there are some amazing secondhand markets taking place almost every weekend. In my own circle of friends, I really see a change in people’s behaviour and applaud private initiatives such as clothes-swapping parties or closet sales. This gives me hope and energy.’

For more information about Fashion for Good visit its


时尚业是世界上最大的污染之一为了寻求更可持续的工作方式位于阿姆斯特丹非盈利平台永续时尚 (Fashion for Good)旨在藉叹为观止的办公室活动空间和博物馆,目的在连结提供信息给所有主要参与者与消费者永续时尚的传媒经理安妮罗.克莱芬.葛兰(Anne-Ro Klevant Groen) 解释须加快脚步遏止快时尚


Marieke Verhoeven


Jordi Huisman



当消费者对这些令人震惊的数据越了解,仍还有许多未完成的工作要做。此时就是永续时尚发挥作用的时候。位于阿姆斯特丹市中心的这间纪念建筑物的国际平台,其致力帮助各领域实现更具可持续性的时尚产业。 2017年3月永续时尚与创始伙伴C&A基金会合作,旨在将时尚锁链中连结所有参与者,从品牌和供应商,到创新者和消费者,共同努力让时尚业成为好的影响力。但讽刺的是,这座建筑被快时尚连锁店包围,许多购物者可能会经过,不知道里面正发生令人兴奋的活动。这里最精彩的是未来博物馆,访客可用有趣的方式探索时尚业的事实与数据。

走出了博物馆,还有更多有趣的楼层等着探索。Anne-Ro领着路,并解释着:“我们主要目标是用有趣的方式介绍访客时尚的事实和迷思。” “我们以互动的方式去做:你可以实际体会纺织布料、观看在工人们工厂工作的视频,并且在我们的商店,你可购买可持续品牌制成的衣服。”正当我们闲逛时,安妮罗既快又热情的说: “这里是一间设计T恤的工作室,在这你可设计和打印自己摇篮到摇篮认证的T恤。我们也有个位于1楼的创新室,展示了当前与我们合作的伙伴产品,范围从香菇制皮的背心到100%可持续颜料染色的连衣裙。然后还有一个我们定期举办研讨会和讲座的活动空间。”



藉由以不同以往的创新和新科技的故事近距离呈现,鼓励访客仔细审视自己的购物行为,并为他们的时尚之旅留下可行的步骤。安妮罗说: “或者我们可称,制定自己的好时尚行动计划,”。 “这就像是一个让事情变得更好的待办清单。这些可以是从缝纫课到复古购物或去听专家讲课。“根据他们的兴趣,来访后访客会收到有关未来活动的通知。这种方式,永续时尚旨在提供人们消息并以有趣的方式激励坚持他们的行动计划。 安妮罗强调着: “这是一间既务实又乐观的博物馆,我们并不愿吓到或者沮丧人们。”“但如果您真的受到启发并想自行生产可持续服装,我们还提供一个开源网络,在这大家可找到相关信息,并链接到也许能帮助到你的各领域参与者。”

当谈及她的个人动力,安妮罗(她的姓氏葛兰 “Groen”,有趣的是荷兰语意为“绿色”)在五年前开始更关注可持续性发展议题。她说,我变得对于吃肉类更加有意识,我的购物习惯以及我对环境整体的贡献。 “我还观看了一些Netflix上的纪录片,如: 真正的成本” (The True Cost),并得到一个结论,我无法再认同自己对一个只是围绕在尽可能制造与销售的快时尚产业了。

安妮罗对这个议题并不陌生,因为她早已在这个行业得到丰富的经验。高中时期进入时尚界当兼职模特儿,她之后读的是新闻学,并在时尚Cosmopolitan和红袖Grazia等时尚杂志工作过,并开始从事时尚公关和营销的工作。 安妮罗也曾为主要国际品牌Tommy Hilfiger和Karl Lagerfeld工作过。


当永续时尚找安妮罗担任传媒经理一职时,这是个简单的决定。她解释: “我想为可持续发展领域工作,但我并不想为行动或说服组织去工作。” “我想直接在这个行业工作,我觉得我会有更多的影响。我喜欢这份工作,因为我可直接与商业、消费者双方合作。你如何以不同的方式传达信息给专家和一般大众呢?

永续时尚有各类重要的使命,其中之一就是联系大品牌与可持续发展领域的初创公司。 安妮罗解释说:“在创办永续时尚时,我们注意到世界上有许多很棒的解决方案能帮助产业更具可持续性。问题是这些通常是初创公司,缺乏宣传其产品与大品牌或制造商的经验。

永续时尚是连接两个世界的缺失环节。其核心业务是成为一个创新平台,提供初创和规模化的企划,并提供资金给全球创新者。资金来自创始伙伴C&A基金,目前涉及的企业伙伴包括Stella McCartney和Zalando。 安妮罗解释说:“与我们的企业伙伴一起,首先我们决定他们对未来可持续发展的主要目标,并尝试在全球找到可帮助他们实现目标的年轻创新者。” “例如Stella McCartney正寻找一种取代皮革的可生物分解的新材料,我们将她与合适的人做连接。但也可能是一间寻求区块链技术的公司,帮助他们在业务工作上更透明。” 随着搜寻的过程不停进行,永续时尚也同时培训初创公司在法律、开创、策略和财务等领域。安妮罗说: “我们提供他们为期三个月的特别计划,他们也会与我们所有的企业伙伴见面。”


安妮罗说,永续时尚的总部位于阿姆斯特丹并非巧合。 “荷兰的创业环境相当强劲,我们许多企业伙伴,如PVH Corp [Tommy Hilfiger和Calvin Klein的老板],也在这设置欧洲总部。就地理位置而言,我们也能容易的在同日结合亚洲和美国的时区。

当然,真正的改变无法仅凭一位参与者独自办到,它必须是由品牌、政府、制造商和消费者承担责任的组合。随着消费者意识到每两周在商店里开设新系列并不正常,几间快时尚连锁店的利润已经降低,当消费者也意识到店铺每两周就推出新系列并不正常。瑞典快时尚巨头H&M,继Inditex之后为全球第二大时尚零售商 – 2018年2月的报告,其第一季度的利润下降44%,营业利润下降62%,数据为近20年来最低。

安妮罗在私人生活中是个有意识的消费者,但她很注意不将自己的观点强加给别人。“我并不是一个告诉别人他们做错了什么,或者应该改变什么的传教士。我也意识到,如果你的预算不多,投资在较昂贵的可持续性时尚也不太容易。但还是有其他的选择,例如,在阿姆斯特丹几乎每个周末都有令人惊奇的二手市集。在我自己的朋友圈,我真的看到大家在行为上的转变,并且我为如: 交换衣服或销售衣柜等私人、自发性的活动而欢呼。这带给我希望与能量。




当然,真正的改变无法仅凭一位参与者独自办到,它必须是由品牌、政府、制造商和消费者承担责任的组合。随着消费者意识到每两周在商店里开设新系列并不正常,几间快时尚连锁店的利润已经降低,当消费者也意识到店铺每两周就推出新系列并不正常。瑞典快时尚巨头H&M,继Inditex之后为全球第二大时尚零售商 – 2018年2月的报告,其第一季度的利润下降44%,营业利润下降62%,数据为近20年来最低。

安妮罗在私人生活中是个有意识的消费者,但她很注意不将自己的观点强加给别人。“我并不是一个告诉别人他们做错了什么,或者应该改变什么的传教士。我也意识到,如果你的预算不多,投资在较昂贵的可持续性时尚也不太容易。但还是有其他的选择,例如,在阿姆斯特丹几乎每个周末都有令人惊奇的二手市集。在我自己的朋友圈,我真的看到大家在行为上的转变,并且我为如: 交换衣服或销售衣柜等私人、自发性的活动而欢呼。这带给我希望与能量。


This website uses cookies to provide necessary site functionality and improve user experience. If you close this box or continue browsing, you agree to the use of cookies as outlined in Next Generation Living’s Privacy Policy.