Nordic Days in Sarajevo: Equality & Sustainable Fashion

Tone Skårdal Tobiasson
Posted on
Wednesday, 25 May 2016

Sarajevo sniffed sustainable solutions as engaged designers, local business and students attended several sessions hosted by the Nordic embassies. NICE Fashion and Mistra Future Fashion were invited as experts to facilitate a workshop and inspire.

- We need changes in the patterns of consumption, we need better clothes not more; said Ambassador Vibeke Lilloe to the Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations Mr. Mirko Sarovič and a full-packed room at the Arts College. The Minister also explained his engagement in the fashion sector: A focus on high standards on products and imports.
While the Finns concentrated on equality issues, the joint two-day event co-hosted by the Norwegian and Swedish embassies had emphasis on sustainable fashion. But already in her opening speech, Ambassador Lilloe explained how Nordic design enables movement and access to our outdoors, describing how our ‘democratic’ wardrobes enable us to run after the tram and participate in the work force. Sigrid Barnekow, Deputy Program Director, Mistra Future Fashion, followed up on the theme of better clothes with explaining both super-super slow and super-slow fashion. – We are talking about clothes with 200 years or 20 years of use.

The first day with a more formal program, gave a sampling of sustainable solutions; which was followed up the following day by an in-depth workshop based on TED’s 10. As there is hardly any recycling in Bosnia-Herzegovina and the country lacks infrastructure, use of natural resources like wool and wood pulp – and the former vibrant textile industry had suffered from the war; the workshop focused on challenges and opportunities related to design to minimize waste and design to reduce the need to consume.
Interestingly enough, Tone Tobiasson had been interviewed the day before by local media, and was quoted on the front of Sarajevo’s largest shopping mall in bright letters: ‘Fashion is dead, long live wearing clothes at least 30 times’.
As a follow-up to the very fruitful workshop which generated many ideas (and pinpointed many obstacles), the Norwegian and Swedish embassies will collect suggestions for areas that should be prioritized and that will land on the Minister’s table.
A part of the décor for both the reception at Hotel Europa on Thursday night and the event at the Art College, NICE Fashion and 2025Design had designed four posters based on the 4 R’s suggested in the report SIFO (Norway’s Consumer Institute) had delivered to the Nordic Council of Ministers – Reduce, Redirect, Rethink and Replace. More on the report here