Name: Johanna Leymann
About: Lecturer, author, moderator, and consultant working with slow fashion and slow business. Runs the social media account @johannaleymann.se, the podcast Slowfashionpodcasten, and is co-founder of Klimatklubben.
Hey Johanna! Congratulations on being named Yaytrade’s Sustainable Rebel of the Month. Thank you as well for being a changemaker, for raising awareness, and for making better choices for the environment.
Thank you, I am very pleased to receive this award! My commitment to sustainability is extensive and second hand is a major part of it – a solution for how to meet the challenge of living more sustainably.
Why did you get involved with sustainable fashion?
I’ve always been interested in issues of justice and after graduation I started to get involved in – among other things – the Red Cross Youth Association, with a focus on sustainable development and fair trade. Since then I have been involved with nonprofits who tackle these issues in various ways.
So, what is ‘slow fashion’?
Slow fashion is a reaction to all the unhealthy things that today's fashion industry stands for. Slow fashion is an attitude towards fashion where reflection and awareness are in focus, where quality takes precedence over quantity, and where we prioritize fewer and finer garments.
Slow fashion is about minimizing the amount of overproduction and extending the life of what already exists. It is about caring and repairing and about buying second hand – this means sewing and modifying garments, creating so-called remakes. And of course it's also about kinder production – with respect for the environment, working conditions, and fair wages.
Why should we buy second hand?
We know that 80% of a garment's total climate impact occurs during production, so the best thing we can do is to simply buy fewer newly produced items and make sure to extend the life of what already exists. Second hand is a critical part of this!
How do you know if second hand clothes are in good quality?
By learning more! Look at the garments you already own, examine which ones became ruffled or worn out quickly versus the ones which have held up well.
What do you think our wardrobes will look like in 20 years?
I think we will go from product to service when it comes to fashion. If the industry today sells six pairs of jeans, in a few years it will sell a pair of jeans six times. We will look at our own wardrobes this way as well. We’ll buy more services and fewer products by renting, borrowing, repairing, caring for, and reusing garments. Today's extreme overconsumption system will cease working but I think we will get on it soon!