WHU alumna Dr. Monika Hauck hosts the Circular Fashion Camp on sustainability in the fashion industry
For the second year in a row, Dr. Monika Hauck, WHU – Otto Beisheim School of Management alumna and former head of the WHU Entrepreneurship Center, organized a Circular Fashion Camp. Hauck, who founded the company CHANGE ROOM in early 2019, has been advocating for sustainable fashion and circular economy initiatives for several years.
More than 150 participants attended the two-hour Circular Fashion Camp on March 18, where designer and author Orsola de Castro delivered a keynote speech. De Castro founded her own upcycling brand in the 1990s, giving new life to worn garments. After the collapse of the Rana Plaza factory building in Bangladesh in 2013, she also established the Fashion Revolution Foundation, which now operates worldwide. In her presentation, de Castro read from her new book, "Loved Clothes Last: How the Joy of Rewearing and Repairing Your Clothes Can Be a Revolutionary Act," and elaborated on why, after so many years, we still need to discuss sustainability in fashion. According to de Castro, one of the main issues is that fashion brands continue to mislead their customers and do not disclose how garments are produced.
Along with de Castro, four circular fashion startups had the opportunity to present themselves. The Kenyan startup EMEKA, for example, produces high-quality suits from textiles that Europeans previously disposed of in used-clothing containers. Another startup, NRNY, created a platform that allows its customers to share their closets and lease garments for a period of one to twelve weeks in exchange for a small service fee. Even though most of these startups are still far from profitability and pursue vastly different business models, all founders agree on one thing: The most sustainable clothes are the ones we already own.