Fashion expert Ida Ertzland-Kultur says the fashion system that encourages overconsumption has become unfashionable

Fashion expert Ida Ertzland-Kultur says the fashion system that encourages overconsumption has become unfashionable

– I don’t remember ever walking the red carpet. Did you know you can pass?

Anna Lotterode, better known as the artist Anna of the North, laughs so hard.

She has slipped through many camera lenses and microphones over the course of her career.

Two girls stand in front of a large white limousine next to the castle wall in Oslo.  One is in a white wedding dress with lace up to the thighs, and the other is in a black suit.  They roast in tall glasses of sparkling wine.
Photo: private

– There’s a lot of fuss and a lot of planning!

During Spellemannprisen earlier in April, she stepped out with that, wearing a white lace wedding dress by Fretex.

– Since I was nominated, I had to go on, and then, of course, I had to go to recycling.

– You no longer try to hide it

Lotterode wasn’t the only one featured in the reuse on the red carpet during Spellemannprisen.

Ramon wore a Fretex outfit, Dagny arrived in an Uff dress and jacket from an antique shop outside, Sondre Justad was in a gray suit he bought ten years ago and Chris Holsten wore an Uff shirt.

Artist after artist appeared in clothes from thrift stores or family heirlooms, while some donned self-made outfits from old textiles.

This shows that reuse has taken an established role in the fashion scene, believes fashion expert Ida Eretsland.

– In the past, reuse or second hand might have been a separate technique – a little smaller, a little alternative – maybe something you’d rather not show. Now it’s been photographed and has become a highlight of famous faces, even on the red carpet or at a party. It’s new.

– You don’t want to be a part of it

Anna Lotterode isn’t too fond of short trends, and believes that often red carpets help encourage increased consumption.

– In the industry I work in, there are a lot of new things happening, we enjoy patronage, and we have a huge impact on the fashion scene in Norway. I don’t know if I want to be a part of it.

A woman standing in front of a mirror looking at herself.  She wears white jeans and a white T-shirt under a light blue denim shirt.  Behind her is a rack of clothes.

There is a lot of history in Gjøvik’s artist wardrobe.

There’s my mom’s denim shirt, my older sister’s party shirt, and a flannel shirt from a vintage shop in Melbourne, Australia, where I first got into music.

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– It means something to me. It also has a different structure because it has been used. Doesn’t feel stiff and new.

The artist says she loves that the clothes she’s wearing have been on a trip.

– Such a shirt for my mom, he’s probably been involved in a lot of weird stuff. Reminds me of her gardening in the ’90s.

Lotterode has been interested in wines and reuse for a long time.

It’s me, it’s my beauty. I like to think it also makes me special in some way. I know nobody has this, at least not now anymore, and that’s okay.

A woman standing behind a rack with clothes and ties.  She is looking to the right and speaking clearly to someone in the room.  She is wearing a white shirt and a small piece of jewelry with a dog in her throat hole.

– The established fashion system no longer works

There are more people who are starting to think like her, according to fashion expert Ida Ertsland.

– There are so many remakes that can be seen everywhere, it’s a big trend, something that permeates the entire fashion industry or fashion field, at all levels.

And she believes that it is not surprising that something has changed.

– I think the well-established fashion industry, the entire fashion business system and its machinery, is on pause. It just doesn’t work the way it does, and we see that very well.

A woman stands looking straight ahead as she pulls on a red silk scarf hanging on a stand beside her.  She has long dark hair and a black turtleneck sweater.  Behind her is a rack with more clothes, because there are many different T-shirts and slightly wrinkled clothes, you can see that it is about reusable clothes.

– “New” was the only correct thing

What the fashion industry has sold us isn’t an advertisement for “beautiful” clothes, notes clothing and sustainability professor Ingon Grimstad Klepp.

– the whole sales argument was about the fact that it was “new”.

But why should one change his clothes if the new clothes are no better than the old ones? Klepp asks.

The media is criticized for repeating the arguments of the fashion industry, by creating stories about “must have now” clothes, or reports on “fall trends” and “spring news”.

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– As long as everyone believes in it, it will be true too.

The apparel industry, she says, “with a few honorable exceptions,” has not yet begun the important work of making better apparel for less.

– Campaigns with collections made from recycled polyester are just nonsense. It’s greenwashing.

Creates mountains of textiles that no one wants to use

According to The Future In Our Hands, two out of three items of clothing are now made from synthetic fibres. Polyester, elastane, nylon and acrylic are non-sustainable plastics.

Plus, we buy twice as much clothing as we did 15 years ago, and each gown is worn half the length. There are a lot of clothes in circulation.

We are happy to hand over the clothes that we are tired of, for example, to Fretex. But a very small percentage of them get another life in Norway.

According to the report, only 3 percent is resold here at home investigations.

A woman with long dark hair lifts some jeans from a rack.  The trousers are marked with white marks and are on the shelves along with many used jeans.  The woman was wearing a black turtleneck and was looking at the pants in front of her.

In 2019, we exported 37,000 tons of used clothes, many of which eventually ended up as rubbish in other countries. It creates major waste problems in countries like Ghana and Kenya.

“When things quickly go in and out of a wardrobe, they only create bigger and bigger piles of textiles that no one wants to use anymore,” says Vilde Haugrønning at SIFO.

The online used clothing market has definitely exploded, and now millions of clothes are posted on apps and websites every year.

But the fact that more people are shopping secondhand isn’t currently helping change our buying patterns, say the researchers.

– If you buy a lot of used stuff, in addition to buying a lot of new, as we’ve seen in our research, this only leads to more clothes in the wardrobe and even more clothes in circulation without reducing consumption, says Haugrøning.

– Outdated fashion system

However, fashion expert Ida Eritsland believes that the old fashion system, which was supposed to encourage excessive consumption and constant buying of new things, is now a bit outdated.

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You think maybe we’ll see a change in Norwegians’ buying patterns in the future.

The directions that help propel those machines have been replaced by a direction where “everything goes” and “all is legal”. There is more focus on quality and things that last a long time.

A row of scarves hangs on a shelf inside a shop.  Rows of clothes can be seen in the background.  All the different colors and shapes testify that it is a second hand shop with recycled clothes.

There’s less focus on buying certain trends, she says, and more on developing yourself as a fashion person.

– I think it’s about creating your own fashion world, finding treasures, and maybe learning to sew. This should be in many ways, use and cultivate his interest in fashion, rather than being a passive consumer who buys something from a shelf in a store.

Celebrities can play an important role in showing the way. Fashion expert Ida Ertzland and clothing researcher Ingon Grimstad Klepp think so.

“When they show and say secondhand can be nice and trendy, in fact like new clothes, there is much more criticism of the industry than the secondhand purchase itself,” says Klepp.

You don’t always need to have the latest

Artist Anna Lotterode believes celebrities should get better at showing you don’t always have to have the latest.

– Finding something just for the sake of finding something, I feel like many people do today. I always have to have something new, that’s not something I have.

A woman standing next to a clothes rack in the bedroom.  She stands with her hands clasped in front of her and looks up into the air.  She was wearing a black jacket with a striped shirt over it.

Remember, reuse is also about using the things you’ve invested in, multiple times, rather than just once.

Recently, she went on tour where her stage outfit was a pair of jeans she bought second-hand, which she wears again and again.

– I’ve never felt embarrassed about reusing, but for some people it might be. If I can inspire others to do the same, very cool.

Anna Lotrod on tour in Mexico, Thailand and New York. Video: private

Ashura Okorie

Ashura Okorie

"Infuriatingly humble web fan. Writer. Alcohol geek. Passionate explorer. Evil problem solver. Incurable zombie expert."

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