Q&A with ASKET•
Posted on January 28 2021
Interview with co-founder August Bard-Bringeus
What is the story behind ASKET, how did the brand start off?
My co-founder Jakob and I were struck by how hard it was to find something as simple as a well-fitting, quality white T-shirt or a simple Oxford Shirt, because brands changed their style and fit every season. What we realised is that fashion is built on a model of constant renewal. In order to continue turning a profit, brands are telling us we need new styles and to change our wardrobes at an increasing pace.
We decided to challenge the conventional business model by stepping out of seasons and instead introducing a single permanent collection of quality and timeless garments, making each piece under full transparency and total accountability.
Co-funder August Bard-Bringeus in the picture
What differentiates ASKET from other brands?
We offer quality wardrobe staples that outlast season trends - and for every garment we also share where it comes from, how much it costs to make and its environmental impact. Beyond the garments, our permanent collection is a simple concept. It lends itself well to our supply chain, as we don’t change with every new collection, we have time to trace and become accountable for our supply chain.
ASKET has something called “The Impact Receipt”, what does this mean?
By launching the Impact Receipt, we want to show the true cost of a garment’s production. While a traditional receipt represents proof of a financial transaction, the impact receipt goes far beyond. It breaks down and shares the true environmental impact of a garment’s creation, including CO2 emitted, the amount of water required and energy consumed. The aim is to encourage not only ourselves but also our customers, and the industry as a whole, to think about the environmental debt we’re creating.
What are the biggest issues you believe the clothing industry is facing and how does ASKET cope with it?
In light of the accelerating climate crisis, one of the biggest challenges facing the fashion industry is the amount of overproduction and waste. Recent reports show that the fashion industry’s progress on improving its environmental and social impact isn’t moving fast enough to counteract its rapid growth.
We need to see new business models that operate within the planetary boundaries. This could be permanent collections, rental options, second-hand, circular solution, or a combination of all. In addition to this there’s urgent need for legislation to accelerate the conversion towards lower impact business models, more accountability and stricter guidelines around greenwashing.
What can companies in the clothing industry do to adapt to a more circular thinking?
When shifting from a linear to a circular economy; design, production and use are all linked. It requires us to redesign everything: from ensuring the materials used can be easily recycled, understanding the techniques used to create them, as well as shifting business models towards those that supports circularity – even consumer mindsets need to change. We want to encourage our customers to do more with less and we’re looking at post-consumer solutions. It’s a direction all industries, not just fashion, should move towards.
In your view, what can consumers do to adapt to a more sustainable thinking?
The single best thing we can do as individuals, is simply to buy less. Even better, love your garments longer and truly appreciate what went into making them. Swedish research institution, Mistra Future Fashion, claims that by wearing a garment twice as many times, its environmental impact can be halved.
I truly believe that it can be just as gratifying and even liberating to own fewer but better things - it certainly makes getting dressed in the morning a whole lot easier.
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