A year ago, when Swedish brand Houdini Sportswear launched the project to explore regenerative lifestyles that could support the goals of the Half-Earth Project, no one was expecting a coronavirus pandemic with all its consequences. With Covid-19, the world has changed in profound ways and in just a few weeks; large parts of the world population have made radical changes to how they move, live, eat, work and enjoy themselves. Policymakers have shifted their priorities and many companies have been given or taken new roles in society. In parallel, discussions about purpose, values and ethics have gained attention and relevance. How the future will unfold depends on how we emerge from this crisis.
Houdini’s new whitepaper called “Regenerative Lifestyles,” developed in partnership with Cybercom, a digital consultancy company specializing in how digitalisation can provide solutions to global challenges and drive business innovation, is a continuation of the brand’s journey toward regeneration and co-creating a world where humans live in harmony with nature. The starting point of the 48-page paper was exploring how the vision of a Half-Earth future, a future where half the global surface would be protected, could be used as a driver for innovation and how a company could contribute. The paper also introduces a formula for the total impact of a company: “P * V + L = I”. Where “P” is the impact of the product, “V” is the volume of the product, “L” is the lifestyle supported and “I” is the total impact. According to Houdini and Cybercom, only with a formula like this – suggesting that companies address not only their products’ impact from production but also from consumption and while being consumed, what lifestyles are supported – can the total footprint and handprint of a company be assessed and improved.
The paper highlights that most companies today focus their efforts on minimizing the negative impact from production, while very few seem to have strategies and goals to reduce the volume of consumption to a sustainable level. Even fewer have strategies and goals for how they, through their product offering, brand and communication, can support sustainable lifestyles. For an apparel company to be truly sustainable, the paper suggests it needs to address circular and sustainable products, sustainable volumes of products as well as sustainable lifestyles. The estimations in the whitepaper indicate that the difference between lifestyles that a company can support and enable are very significant – often, the environmental impact of a high-impact lifestyle is often 500 to 1,000 percent higher than that of a low-impact lifestyle. High-impact lifestyles are not compatible with global sustainability, let alone a Half-Earth future, and will continue to undermine the living systems on this planet. The whitepaper also highlights the need to discuss the impact of “obscene” lifestyles, lifestyle with extreme high use of natural resources, often promoted as the ultimate luxury and the lifestyle to admire and strive for. A number of potential lifestyle initiatives for the apparel sector and partners in other sectors are also highlighted in the whitepaper.
You can download the Regenerative Lifestyles whitepaper here.