FORCE Technology has worked as a consultant for clothing designer Rachel Kollerup in connection with the launching of an innovative collection of clothes with focus on environmental improvements through ecodesign.

Rachel Kollerup is a Danish designer label with focus on sustainable values and initiatives. The company is a micro fashion house established by the designer herself. All apparels are designed to be used again and again and have a sustainable life cycle where all stages can be mapped.

The basis of the co-operation with FORCE Technology was that Rachel Kollerup wanted to design a collection where sustainability was integrated from the beginning. The co-operation on environmental optimisation was based on an innovation voucher supported by the Ministry of Higher Education and Science.

Life cycle assessment shows where to concentrate

Rachel Kollerup especially missed practical knowledge on environmental considerations through the life cycle of the clothes in relation to material selection, production and use to be able to design her collection with consideration to resources and environment.

The department for Applied Environmental Assessment at FORCE Technology is familiar with consultancy of companies within many different lines of business on use of resources and environmental optimisation, for instance by means of ecodesign methods.

The problem in the textile trade is that the lifetime is very essential for the total environmental impact of the clothes but it is difficult for designers always to obtain a long life for fashion clothes as it is a part of the DNA of the fashion that it often changes. Rachel Kollerup tries to meet this through production of more classic and timeless designer clothes.

One of the methods used in the project is life cycle assessment (LCA) where factors related to production, use and disposal of clothes were examined. By means of different data and methods of calculation it was thereafter possible to explain how the different phases of life influence on the environment. Project manager Rasmus Nielsen tells that choosing durable materials which require a minimum of cleaning in use and which can be reused subsequently showed to have greatest importance.

This was important information for Rachel Kollerup and it had therefore a direct influence on her choice of materials. Rachel Kollerup tells: “The co-operation with FORCE Technology has given me a possibility of redesigning my collection with focus on the environmental improvements which overall have a high effect”.

Rachel Kollerup presents in public all knowledge about the production and the environmental impact of her new collection and in this way she will try to break with the tendency which is seen in large parts of the fashion industry who will not tell the truth about the consequence of the textile production.

Project in Inno-MT resulted in an innovation voucher

The background for the co-operation between FORCE Technology and Rachel Kollerup was based on a project on textile recycle which Inno-MT, an environmental technological innovation network supported by the Danish Environmental Protection Agency, together with FORCE Technology completed in 2013. One of the participating companies was clothing designer Rachel Kollerup. After the project Rachel Kollerup applied for an innovation voucher and received support for an additional co-operation with FORCE Technology.

The textile industry has big problems with pollution and therefore a big potential for the companies to be at the forefront of the development is available. It requires necessary knowledge to be able to use this potential and thus live up to the increasing demand for sustainable products which we witness for the moment.