There's no better way of finding out more about sustainability in Beyond Retro than from our incredible staff! Sustainable Spotlight is a new series of interviews with the staff that make our company tick - from warehouse, store and head office across the globe.
With Recycling Week coming up on 24th - 30th September, we spoke to Davor Radic from our Arkarden store to find out more about his role, how working within Beyond Retro has made him more sustainable and some top tips on becoming more sustainable yourself!
What’s your role in Beyond Retro/Bank & Vogue and what exactly does it entail?
I'm the proud assistant manager at Beyond Retro Arkaden in Gothenburg, Sweden. Basically, I aid and assist the store manager in all the day to day operations. It's a challenging and super fun job!
What’s your favourite part of the job?
Well, apart from that it's my dream job (I still have to pinch myself sometimes)! Each and every team member working at Beyond Retro is wonderfully unique and creative. It's more a sense of constant creative collaboration than work. No day is ever the same which is both creatively challenging and inspiring. Plus I love the clothes!
Tell us more about how your role impacts the circular economy?
My job allows me to be an advocate for second-hand and to inspire (and be inspired by) others of the unique and creative possibilities of second-hand clothes. Educating myself and our team about the impact of fast fashion and the importance of sustainable alternatives and spreading the word to our customers.
What’s been the most interesting thing you have learnt about the sustainability of the fashion industry through doing your role?
The most important lesson was to learn how much waste goes into producing one single garment and what huge impact this has on our precious environment. As an example, 11 000 litres of water is necessary to produce just one single pair of jeans! It's up to all of us to demand and push for sustainable alternatives by refusing fast fashion and encourage second-hand.
How have you seen the way we perceive sustainability change?
In Gothenburg where I live we have second-hand stores literally everywhere, from cheapest thrift stores to high-end vintage. There's a growing interest in second-hand here. I also believe there's a deeper awareness of sustainability and the environmental impact of fast fashion, particularly among the younger generation which is discovering second-hand more and more.
What do you try to do in your everyday life to help impact the environment positively?
I buy exclusively second-hand as much as I can. It's sustainable and more fun! Also if you consider the number of clothes already existing out there there's really no reason to buy new. I also try to extend the life of the clothes I have by repairing or altering. If there's something I can't use I sell or give to charity - or use as cleaning rags!
What do you wish you did better?
Reducing the amount of plastic and synthetic use to zero! Plastic is everywhere from packaging, to clothes and even in our detergents.
What do you see in the future of the recycling industry?
It would be great to see a closer collaboration between the recycling industry and the fashion industry. The resources of materials and inspiration of the recycling industry combined with the creativity of the fashion industry could work fashion wonders and at the same time reduce waste.
What do you think is key to reducing waste in the fashion world?
Less is more! We need to produce less and re-use more. Another alternative for reducing waste is re-makes. Re-using already existing material from outdated garments and turning into high fashion pieces. Considering the amount of creativity in the fashion industry this shouldn't be a challenge!
What’s your top sustainable tip for our customers?
Again less is more. Before buying anything ask yourself if you really need it. If you buy less you will buy with greater care. And if you get tired of a piece, alter it. Make it fun again!
For more helpful tips on becoming more sustainable in everyday life, check out our blog for some super helpful tips on how to reduce your enviromental impact.