How did the fashion industry become so old-fashioned?

Whenever we throw ourselves into unknown territory our first instinct will be to follow the rules that are already set being our main protagonist. But far too often we forget to ask ourselves who actually made these rules and if, perhaps, the time has come to give ground for some new ones. Some rules are made to be broken. That’s what innovation is all about: challenging old rules in order to open up the possibility to make new ones.

That is why we wanted to become entrepreneurs; to do things differently. After all, who decided what’s “right” in the first place? With Oslo Unbranded we have set out to break rules within the fashion industry. The fashion industry carries the reputation as one of the biggest and most polluting industries in the world. But this is not just a reputation it’s a well-documented fact, rooted in the old-fashioned rules the industry still is playing by, and its greatest game: obsolescence.

As human beings we think we are rational creatures who are good at making choices that are beneficial to ourselves. But the field of behavioural economics has uncovered that we are not as rational as we may think: we easily fall victim to mental shortcuts and irrational behaviour without even noticing it. With forces in society constantly influencing us we become trapped in a vicious circle that in the end cause problems for both ourselves and society. We fall for immediate temptations, we buy things we don’t need, we get stressed out by all the things we have and yet our consumption level still increases. Even though we know it hurts our wallets, mental well-being and last but not least, the environment.

Change is needed. But no one likes to be told what to do or what not to do, especially not when it means making changes in the way we live. It needs to come naturally or with the right incentives. But what are the right incentives? What we’ve learnt is that small changes in how choices are presented can have big effects on the outcome, and it may be as easy as that. This alone can help consumers make more environmentally-friendly choices, without being perceived as limitations.

With this in our mind we have, with Oslo Unbranded, taken the challenge to combine fashion and consumption to make a sustainable business concept where “green” clothes are sold in a “green” way within a “green” concept.