The Eco Village Formula: Five Keys to Sustainable Communities

Evelyn Mora (Editor), Amanda Kattan (Editor), Nina Perälä (Corresponding author), Camilla von Zyl, Christian McCallum, Kati Partanen, Kelli Roosimägi, Birgit Linnamäe, Sanna Autere, David Nobble, Janne Käpylehto, Natalia Gordienko, Anna Tenhunen, Ilona Mooney, Tommi Karjalainen, Majella Clarke

    Research output: Book/ReportReport

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    Abstract

    As an internationally recognized not-for-profit non-governmental
    organization, Helsinki Fashion Week’s mission is to engage and educate consumers, governments, cross-industries and the fashion industry in regards to circular economy and sustainable trade. By collaborating with and consulting several organizations, enterprizes, research institutes and other industry events on the themes of circular economy and sustainability, we concretely participate in the field work required to create a sustainable global community.

    Our annual event, Helsinki Fashion Week, supports Finnish and international
    designers by offering them a sustainable and free-of-charge platform to showcase their collections to international buyers and media. In addition to giving a platform to the trendsetters of clean fashion, the five-day fashion week sets to inspire sustainable development and cultural interaction by re-evaluating the way we consume, adapt and co-exist with our surroundings in the fashion landscape of the future. Thus, we bring together professionals from various cross-industry sectors who are united by their sustainable visions, values and practices. In this way, the organization aims to inspire the finding of solutions to the industries’ current and future problems.

    The Eco Village 2018—a project that stemmed from an event concept and
    strategy for how to host a sustainable fashion week—resulted in further research on circular lifestyle modeling and ultimately provided the formatting of The Eco Village Formula: 5 Keys to Creating Sustainable Communities. Out of our concern and dedication in regard to the fashion industry's current state and its negative influences on the environment, Helsinki Fashion Week and The Nordic Fashion Week Association wanted to educate consumers and inspire industry professionals to view the world and concepts such as “fashion week” in a positive new light by introducing a fully circular platform and environment and thus focused, throughout 2018, on bringing about positive change through its 4th edition. By building this environment, we wanted to help individuals realize their
    potential as facilitators of positive change in respect to climate work, recognize
    the meaning of well-informed consumption and lifestyle choices and foster
    connections leading to successful collaboration.

    This publication is based on the Helsinki Fashion Week Eco Village concept piloted on the 20th of July 2018 in Helsinki, Finland and executed by the Nordic
    Fashion Week Association. Resulting from the idea that fashion can and should be a strong starting point for development and social change, we have solely focused our ideas in this book around the themes that reflect the Helsinki Fashion Week Eco Village vision. We have sectionalized topics based on the Eco Village formula and its steps, covering aspects that are needed for the creation of a sustainable and meaningful environment:

    In Part 1 of the publication, we discuss the ideology and values that greatly contributed to the formation of the Eco Village vision. We explain the concept of the Eco Village platform and look at the Eco Village through the eyes of social psychology and an evidence-based approach.

    In Part 2, we start with meaningful lifestyles as the foundation to sustainable communities in a broader sense. We explore the interconnectedness of well-being and community, consumption and mindfulness and the economic and psychological importance of mental wealth over material wealth. Moving on to building a community of individuals, we emphasize the facilitation of community-mindedness and unlimited self-expression. We discuss the relationship of media, digitization and identity in respect to herd mentality and consumption. We conclude that by allowing for diversity and openness, communities can increase problem-solving and engagement by ensuring the feelings of comfort, safety and creativity for everyone. In transforming spaces,we ask what makes us fundamentally happy and how spaces contribute to the way we view our surroundings and potential social pressures. We seek answers to what creates a home or a happy community while exploring the themes of nature and urbanization. We connect the supply chain of the fashion industry directly to our everyday lifestyles and communicate the results based on the experiences. In living fairly, we lay out the framework to a successful modern
    lifestyle; discussing how investing in fair resources, clean materials and
    individual well-being should be the core focus of our communities and how to
    redefine the consumer as the citizen to develop our society. Finally, by enabling intersections of digital and physical, we create a smarter world through the creation of more meaningful experiences, better problem-solving, knowledge-sharing and functionality for its people and audiences.

    The following chapters consist of a collection of thoughts and industry insights provided by our organization and our partners. These articles, written by our guest co-authors, have been intended for professionals and individuals alike and
    focus on generating a strong know-how to influence personal lifestyles and communities through the evidence given by the Eco Village platform. Furthermore, intended as a general guideline and thought-provoking publication, the contents of this e-book are encouraged to be contradicted and argued over. As such anthologies envision and seek to accomplish different things, we strongly recommend reflecting these findings to those of other studies, as one of our goals is to provide readers with case-based evidence to stimulate the imagination. Furthermore, the work presented herein represents the organization’s thoughts and dialogue formed over years of work, field experience and research in fashion and the environment—all as interlinked concepts. However, the research conducted has not followed the scientific method and is more of a free-form source of information.

    It is ideal that this information be available to a maximum number of readers
    whether or not they are familiar with fashion or the other subjects covered during the course of this publication or within the Eco Village. Ultimately, we think that the most important feature provided here is the opportunity to discover and question; allowing for self-observation and the organization of different pieces into a cohesive vision for a desired lifestyle—simply put, the opportunity to adopt a more sustainable vision. This way, the reader can come to understand how every action matters and how we can each contribute to environmental decision-making through our daily choices and take concrete actions towards a circular future. We believe that effective decision-making in respect to the environment and sustainability must incorporate perspectives from everything including economic and social influence, metaphysics, psychology and philosophy in order to generate whole solutions. We should create sustainable income, focus on individual well-being while considering the well-being of others and design spaces and our surroundings to respond better to our needs as humans—all while being mindful of our actions. Thus, we hope that from 2018 onwards an increasing amount of businesses, governments and communities will benefit from the foundation of a formula found through the Helsinki Fashion Week Eco Village.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2018
    MoE publication typeD4 Published development or research report or study

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