Responses by Joakim Blondell, art director; Nicholas Düfke, writer; and Johan Eghammer, art director, Forsman & Bodenfors.
Background: “The way we treat our clothes has a significant effect on the environment. That’s why Electrolux’s goal is to make clothes last twice as long with half the environmental impact,” says Johan Eghammer. “To reach this goal, we need to drastically change the way we consume and, subsequently, treat our clothes. This project aimed to shed light on the negative effects of our wear and tear mentality and start a conversation on how to take better care of the clothes we already have.”
Design thinking: “When talking about clothes and sustainability, the focus easily falls on the actual production of a garment. But the most sustainable clothes are the ones we already have—in our closets,” says Nicholas Düfke. “If we can make them last as long as possible, it would make a huge difference for the environment. The sight of the garment graveyard in the Atacama Desert is both frightening and mesmerizing—a powerful visual and eye-opener to a broken fashion chain.”
Challenges: “Taking in the vastness of this problem,” says Joakim Blondell. “Only 1 percent of garments are recycled into new clothes; the rest ends up in landfills and garment graveyards across the globe. The problem is not only the production of a garment; it’s also the frequency of our consumption and how we take care of our clothes and make them last longer. We are all part of the problem, so we must be part of the solution.”
New lessons: “We learned a great deal about clothing care,” says Eghammer. “For example, 30° C (86° F) water [in your washing machine] will give you the same clean result as 40° C (104° F) but reduce your energy consumption significantly. The little things make the big difference in the end; we just need to relearn.”
Favorite details: “It was very important to get the music right because it sets the tone in the whole project,” says Düfke. “It needed to have some gravity but not be too heavy, still carrying a hopeful message across to the audience. Musical artist Hannes did a great job on the cover of jazz singer Benard Ighner’s song ‘Everything Must Change.’ Nina Simone did a cover of it for her album Baltimore, so it’s not an easy song to do justice.”
Time constraints: “Time constraints are often the enemy of projects like this, but in this case, it was a blessing,” says Blondell. “It forced us to make uncomfortable decisions from the get-go to meet deadlines. When you don’t have the luxury of time, you learn how to be tough and kill your darlings; more often than not, you end up someplace better.”