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Clothes are more than short-lived trends and seasonal collections. Less Magazine has joined forces with Copenhagen think tank Sustainia to put focus on the real value of clothes, and to tell the personal stories behind our favorite garments.

Clothes are cheaper than ever before, and have become entrenched in our culture as something we dispose of. The fast fashion industry persistently invites us to change our wardrobes regularly to follow the latest trends and we can afford to do so. Consequently, most of last year’s collections end up in the back of our closets, on landfills or as fuel for power plants. That is not only a pity, but also immensely unsustainable. Less Magazine and Sustainia believe that in an ideal sustainable society we ‘wear what we value and value what we wear’ instead of adhering to a fashion throwaway culture. We believe in the idea of developing personal relationships with the items we wear and acknowledging their origin and history, from raw material, over sewing tables to the final product.

Tomorrow, representatives from the fashion industry will gather for the Copenhagen Fashion Summit – the world’s largest event on sustainability in fashion. In connection with this, we have asked eight people from both Sustainia and Less Magazine to pick out their favorite pieces of clothing from their wardrobes and tell the stories behind them.

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To wear what we value and value what we wear translates into a pattern of conscious consumption that stretches far beyond merely supporting sustainable brands in the fashion industry. Conscious consumption entails being aware of what we support when we shop for clothes and treating our garments in a way that allow them to continue to have value for us. It also involves being aware of the history and origin of our clothing items, and treating our garments in a way that allows them to continue to have value for us. When we tell stories through what we wear we make our outfits part of our own story. Our clothes become connected to our feelings and identity in a way that transcends the latest fashion trends. 

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Valuing the beauty of decay is an important part of the slow aesthetic that Less Magazine advocates for. Establishing emotional bonds with what we wear, getting attached to certain items more than others, and integrating them into our style, our lives, and our way of expressing our identity and sense of belonging is all part of this. Appreciating the beauty of decay means that we appreciate beauty through storytelling, and through stimulating a tactile experience where we mend and repair, rather than throw things out. Letting our clothes age with grace, while taking good care of them and cherishing their stories and our connection to them, is the very nature of the slow aesthetic, and a sustainable approach to fashion.

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The trend-driven approach to clothing found in fast fashion allows us to buy a t-shirt at the price of a sandwich and throw it away just as easily. Sustainia and Less Magazine believe we should change that by valuing styles over trends, quality over quantity and establishing lasting personal connections to the things we wear. For the rest of the outfit pictures and personal stories, check out Sustainia and Less Magazine on Instagram!

Less Magazine 
Words Guro Sofie Ulsaker
Photography Jesper Drejer

Participants in order of appearance:
Contributing Writer Katalin Horvath
Editorial Assistant & Writer Oscar Schmitto
Editor of Written Content Sofie Ulsaker Jacobsen
Social Media Manager Nina Nagskov Jørgensen
Contributing Writer Kristine Harper

Sustainia 
Words Joachim Marc Christensen
Photography Joachim Marc Christensen & Lisa Hagelund

Participants in order of appearance:
Project Coordinator Emil Kofoed Braunschweig  
Project Coordinator Dida Marie Hartvig Jørgensen
Project Manager Fabijana Popovic
Senior Concept and Event Lead Anne Schärfe

Sustainia is a think tank and consultancy headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark, identifying readily available sustainability solutions across the world to demonstrate their potential impacts and benefits for cities, companies and communities. By focusing on innovative breakthroughs, inspiring alternatives and new opportunities, Sustainia is shaping a new narrative of optimism and hope for a sustainable future. Sustainia is a part of Monday Morning Global Institute. Visit http://www.sustainia.me/ for more information.

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