The clothes we don’t need

175 kr (SEK) incl. tax


This paper presents an article written by Dr. Anna Brismar in 2016, and initially published on Green Strategy’s website. It addresses the enormous volumes of clothes and other fashion products that are produced every year by the global fashion industry, and questions whether these volumes are truly “needed”. It starts off with an open statement made by H&M’s CEO, Karl-Johan Persson, for an interview by the Guardian (which was first published on the Guardian’s website but later removed). According to the interview article, Karl-Johan Persson had told the Guardian that: “..if we [people] were to decrease 10% to 20% of everything we don’t need, the result on the social and economic side would be catastrophic, including a lot of lost jobs and poverty.” (The Guardian, 2015)

Following upon this comment, the paper presents the mainstream view among many economists and political opinion-makers, that continued economic growth – based on high production and consumption rates of consumer goods – is a prerequisite for societal development, especially for developing countries. This view is constrasted to the new evidence-based research and comprehensive understanding of many renowned international experts and researchers on sustainable development and circular economy, such as Prof. Johan Rockström and the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. The article also includes a new conceptual image by Brismar, which illustrates how products, components and materials should ideally circulate in society, as inner and outer circles.

Practical information

  • Length: 4 pages
  • Published: 2016
  • Author: Dr. Anna Brismar
  • Copyright: Green Strategy Sweden

Purchase Agreement

Note: This article may NOT be republished in any form, either electronically, digitally or physically. Shorter quotations are allowed, providing that the source and reference are clearly stated. Longer quotations (of more than two paragraphs) are not permitted without prior written permission by Green Strategy. For any questions, please contact Green Strategy.