How a Sustainable Fashion Gift card can make a difference-meet the founderUrbanmedley
Nanette Hogervorst- founder of Sustainable Fashion Gift card, an unique initiative to not only support sustainable slow fashion, but create awareness and promote the concept within your network. Urban Medley proudly partners with SFGC and sat down to talk to Nanette about her journey.
Let’s start with probably the most obvious question and one I am sure you have been asked many times- What attracted you to sustainable fashion?
It doesn’t feel like I am attracted to sustainability. It’s just how I was raised by my parents, who are Dutch and worked for years in rural Philippines for the Dutch government. They made me and my brother and sister, from a very young age, aware of the scarcity of resources and the wealth we have here, in Netherlands. The fact that we have the privilege to give back to the world, as we have a good life. And because I am a girl, and maybe because my mom designs and create costumes for theatre performances…
However, later I did develop a special interest for human rights, UN Millennium Development Goals, development work, environmental issues, and so on. In 2015 I saw that fashion was quite behind other industries in terms of sustainability and from that moment on my interests grew. I researched extensively, started an online blog and finally launched the SFGC.
Greenwashing is becoming a real issue with more and more brands claiming to be sustainable – what is your advice to the consumers so that they are able to make the right choice?
Purchase the SFGC and buy from brands affiliated with the SFGC haha.
It’s not only about brands, as they say ‘We cannot buy our way out of fast fashion’.
I believe Sustainable fashion is more than buying from sustainable brands. Think of ways how you can consume clothes in a more sustainable way, which means: see if you can swap, rent, repair and if you buy, buy better – which means more sustainable. Find platforms that gather sustainable retailers and check out the way they review them on sustainability. And ask yourself: do you and this platform share the same values? Is the review transparent and strict enough? As a customer, you don’t necessarily have to get into the nitty gritty of it all, sustainable fashion platforms, such as SFGC, should do that for you. So, more important is that you feel you can trust this sustainable fashion platform when they identify a retailer as sustainable.
Tell us briefly how you came upon the idea of Sustainable Gift cards?
Through discussion with others. Quite a few people raised the idea to me I think in 2018. And in a brainstorm with fashion stylists, we had this idea of a gift card for stylists. I just combined the idea of a gift card for clothing with the idea of offering experiences, such a style coaching.
Share one of the most significant achievements so far in the process of launching sustainable gift cards.
The launch itself. Finally, after all the hard work, it was live!
Successfully completing the crowdfunding. What a work that was! ( haha, ha )
Being in the top 15 of the ASN Bank Wereldprijs. Unfortunately, not in the finals, but it was great to see that people do think the SFGC is a real promising idea.
Do you think as a society we are moving in the right direction from a perspective of increasing the awareness towards sustainable fashion?
Yes. Although, I would love to hurry up more 😉
Whenever one tries to promote sustainable fashion one of the counter arguments one gets is it is way more expensive, which is often the case- your views?
The problem is not that it’s too expensive. Student will pay EUR 100 or more for a pair of Nikes or their favourite jeans. It means they can pay for sustainable fashion, but why would they? Why would you pay a certain price for a brand? That’s emotion, branding and often status or association linked to a brand. Most sustainable brands are still unknown among the wider public, which means there’s no emotion yet towards the brand – no reason to pay a more than the rock bottom prices they see at Primark.
As sustainable business owner your advice to smaller brands who are trying to make a difference and contribute towards sustainable fashion?
Of course: join the SFGC (Sustainable Fashion Gift Card ) as we offer a network, community and we’re growing our reach, which means growing your reach. But seriously, I really believe In the proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” We’re still miles from where we want/should be. We have to work together if we want to move the world sustainable fashion.
Nanette Hogervorst, was born in the Philippines, Talisayan. After studying communications, she worked at various NGOs with a focus on communications and sustainability in the financial sector. Started her personal journey researching sustainable fashion and in 2015 launched her online magazine Our World voicing various issues related to developing a more sustainable lifestyle and organised events promoting sustainable fashion. She made a career shift from the corporate world to the start-up world in March 2019 and thereafter worked towards the launch of the SFGC.
Embarking on the festive season, this year more than ever before our gifts need to reflect our shared values- Gift a Sustainable Fashion Gift Card to your loved ones and let us together make a difference. It is simply a matter of changing the way we buy things.
Urban Medley is proud to be a part of the Sustainable Fashion Gift Card community.
Author – Shayonti Chatterji