GANNI leads the way for sustainable fashion in Copenhagen

As one of the first brands in Scandinavia to experiment with a rental app, GANNI repeat is leading the way in combining rental options with the concept of sustainable fashion. Their pioneering efforts have inspired many other shops to follow suit, making sustainable fashion more accessible to consumers.

By Alessandra Iellamo

| Evelyn hopes others will be inspired to shop second-handPhoto by Alessandra Iellamo

In a world where fast fashion dominates, it’s time to embrace a more sustainable approach to style.

The real fashion trend now is resale, and as thrifting second-hand clothes become increasingly popular, many brands are rethinking their business models to promote circular fashion.

Among the leading capitals in Europe, Copenhagen stands out as the capital of sustainable fashion. At the moment, GANNI, a Copenhagen-based brand, is a particular favorite, especially for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint. 

Isabella, 25, has been a loyal Ganni customer since 2020.

“What I like about Ganni apart from their design, is their way of communicating what they can and can’t do and how they inspire people to pay more attention to where your clothes come from,” she says. “They have always been very transparent that’s why I prefer buying here instead of other shops”.

While GANNI’s early commitment to sustainable fashion made it a standout brand in the Danish landscape, what truly sets it apart is their unique approach to fashion that prioritizes female empowerment and gender equality. Founded by Copenhagen designer Nicolaj Reffstrup, GANNI’s dedication to breaking gender stereotypes and promoting inclusivity is evident in their designs and marketing campaigns, making them a favourite among those who seek not just style, but a message.

The brand has made a significant impact in the fashion industry with their numerous initiatives and sustainable ideas, and their GANNI Repeat is a prime example of their commitment to reducing clothing waste and promoting circular fashion. Introduced in 2019, GANNI Repeat is a peer-to-peer reseller platform designed to make pre-owned purchases a seamless experience. The initiative has been widely appreciated and has inspired other brands to rethink their environmental impact.

A report from Geneva Environment Network unveils fashion as the third-largest manufacturing industry in the world, producing up to 10% of global carbon emissions.

| Customers inside Postmodern GanniPhoto by Alessandra Iellamo

GANNI’s commitment to sustainability doesn’t stop at their GANNI Repeat platform. The brand is making impressive strides to minimize their carbon footprint, and their recent efforts have caught the attention of many. For example, the brand is phasing out leather from their collections by 2023 and instead opting for plant-based alternatives. One of their latest releases includes grape leather shoes, which are not only stylish but also eco-friendly.

But that’s not all. GANNI is taking a holistic approach to sustainability, extending to the design of their stores. Their store in Christianshavn, Copenhagen, is a prime example of this. It has been curated to be as carbon neutral as possible, with shelves, hangers, mannequins, and chairs all made using recycled plastic sourced from items such as yogurt packaging, water bottles, and even chopping boards.

Despite its efforts, the GANNI does not identify as a ‘sustainable brand’, claiming that ‘fashion thrives off newness and consumption, a contradiction to the concept of sustainability. Instead, the brand is focusing on being more sustainably responsible and transparent in what they do.

The store has noticed an increase in its customers after opening the rental section in-store.

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| Ganni Postmodern shop in Christianshavn, CopenhagenPhoto by Alessandra Iellamo

Evelyn Nerona, assistant store manager at GANNI Postmodern, explains, “I think people now are more aware of what they have in their closet, and they try to go away from fast fashion. The results from the circular business model are very good, and that’s why there are potential benefits, and I see it as one of the biggest business opportunities the world has ever seen.”

How will the future of fashion look like? 

Considering the efforts of other fashion brands, the future of fashion seems to be leading towards a more ecological and conscious way of producing and sourcing materials, but also a more transparent communication with customers and companies.

Morten Lehmann, CEO of Tailwind and ex-chief sustainability officer at Global Fashion Agenda thinks that will be fewer collections, and they will be more focused on longevity with some more circular business models, with customers also being part of the solution.

“Hopefully, brands will evolve their business models and see that actually, they can make as much money as they did before on the bottom line, perhaps not on the top line, and they can still sell products without needing to have sales so often or destroy their products because they were never sold,” says Morten. “We will also need to change our way of consuming and adapt to a reality of scarce resources, climate change, and a larger circular economy.”