Sailing Across the Atlantic in Our Quest for Change
On November 19th, Dirk-Jan Kok, PhD-candidate at CML, will set course for Martinique on tallship the Morgenster. With 18 other motivated individuals, they will form the think tank that aims to come up with creative solutions to the problems that the industry faces in transitioning to circular economic business models.
Dirk-Jan: Our group hopes to be back before Christmas, not only in one piece, but also with an array of feasible solutions to some of the sustainability issues that our assigned industry, the clothing industry, is facing.
One of our premises is that many brands already want to make circular and sustainably produced clothing the public norm. Yet what we observe is that sustainable and fair-wage-oriented companies like MUD Jeans are (as of yet) unable to grow their client base to the level of some of their non-sustainable, competitor brands. The question then becomes: how can we stimulate circular economic developments within the clothing industry when the consumer-public still consciously chooses cheap, environmentally destructive, sweat-shop brands over the more expensive but climate neutral alternatives? This is an example of just one of the many other questions will keep our group occupied as we transverse the Atlantic ocean.
Finding solutions to such problems will, in itself, pose a daunting task. What further complicates the matter, however, is that few of the team members (myself included) have ever felt the isolation of an ocean before - let alone for a month long and boarded with only strangers! However, floating on an ocean with no distractions from internet or media may actually prove our biggest benefit, as it may create necessary conditions for us to muster and combine our creativity on finding unique solutions that have not been thought of before. What will likely also work to our benefit is the incredible variety of backgrounds in the team. Expertise ranges from that of my own as environmental scientist from CML, to that of a marketing psychologist from the NS. As such, this mission and unofficial social experiment, will prove a unique experience for all those involved.
Information and donations
For more information and donations to the cause see: https://www.clean2antarctica.nl/