Q&A with Kim Brink, Love by Kim
We spoke to the Copenhagen-based model, freelance writer and sustainability activist Kim Brink about her thoughts on sustainability in the media and how she first got involved.1. What got you into ethical and sustainable fashion? Why were you drawn to it and why do you stick to it?
After a decade working in the fashion industry as a model, I’ve noticed the large amount of production and its effect on our environment. About 3 years ago, I decided to start my platform LOVEBYKIM and dedicate my profile working as model towards sustainable brands and designers.
I wanted to highlight and showcase the amazing options around the globe, collaborate with them and change the entire fashion industry as much as possible, creating a world of conscious fashion instead of the mainstream fashion harming our beautiful planet
2. Do you believe a lot of big brands greenwash (pretend to be sustainable when they aren't through 'initiatives')? Why do you think they get away with it?
Of course. As in any industry, it’s all about money. Some brands see the opportunity to make more money as well as polish their conscious a little with being “green”. It’s of course great PR to join this, as some might call it a "trend”. However, sustainable fashion is not a trend but the only way to approach fashion. There should be stricter guidelines in order for a brand to call themselves “sustainable” and some form of organisation controlling this too.
Certifications are one thing, but the terms “sustainable, ethical and conscious fashion” are blurred and it’s easy for a brand to market themselves as sustainable even if they aren’t. It’s more or less up to us as consumers to do the research prior to “sustainable” purchase.
3. Why is it important for people to buy sustainably and ethically? What changes when people choose to?
It’s all connected, I often use the word “circular fashion”. We see that clothing made with sustainability in mind – meaning a fair production, conscious materials and so on are simply better for the environment than polyester garments made by workers in poor conditions. Buying ethically also means that the garments are a little more expensive (if not second hand of course) which also means that you will take care of your clothing better and value them. This is of course a better way of approaching fashion, just imagine the amount of resources needed to provide on-going collections, around the entire globe. I always say to purchase with your head (research/ facts) and with your heart (clothing you will actually wear, cherish and care for) and you’ll create a better future for everyone.
4. What are some of your favourite ethical fashion brands? How do you discover them?
For sure WORON, they offer the most amazing fashion basics ever. This Danish delight works with modal fabric - soft, luxurious and one of the most environmentally sustainable options available. It’s made out of beech wood and I have both lingerie and turtlenecks at home made by WORON.
I’m also a fan of Nudie jeans, organic cotton and they also promote a closed circle, offering repairs and more. I’m very drawn to the Scandinavian brands and designers- they seem to be very keen on sustainability and I’ve always adored Scandi fashion, it symbolises quality, clean aesthetics, functionally and a hint of fun. I like to explore my style, so even though I’m a fan of simplicity, I combine colour block and patterns, always adding something fun to my styles. Fashion should be fun and reflect who you are – individuality is key. I discover lots of new brands via social media, mostly Instagram and via my network.
5. What media do you regularly read? What do you like about the media you do read?
I’m mostly into books actually. I get enough facts and info from brands and designers from social media and on their own websites. I feed my soul from books and if anything, maybe older vintage fashion, photography and art magazines.
6. How do you think the media should improve on promoting ethical fashion?
It’s simple, promote ethical fashion as much as possible and try to make ethical fashion “mainstream” fashion. Ethical fashion should be a norm and we need to attract the younger audience as well.
7. Do you think ethical and sustainable fashion needs to be rebranded? And how does this happen?
They need to promote themselves as a sustainable brand and inform consumers how they work within sustainability – in detail. People tend to do their research and you need to deliver facts. But in terms of aesthetics they also need to up the ante, sustainable clothing needs to look just as gorgeous as mainstream fashion, if not even more gorgeous. There’s the opportunity to enlighten consumers who wants to be enlightened but there is also the opportunity to draw attention towards the younger crowd by offering amazing styles, worth the extra amount of money.
8. If you were reading a site purely about ethical fashion, what would you like it to include and what would you like it to look like?
It should be informative and inspiring. I’m not a fan of sites telling me what to do or being too much of an education site – I love facts and it’s much needed (especially when it comes to ethical fashion) but it should always be fun to look at and aesthetic wise I’m super picky. I know lots of sites about sustainable fashion, some are great in terms of facts but I’m rarely inspired clothing wise- it should always be inspiring and creative- if not, I’m not going to follow that blogger, magazine or site. We sure need nerds and facts but people also needs to be inspired and there’s no need turning sustainable fashion into something doll- it should be fashionable and stylish- most importantly since its possible and there are so many wonderful brands and designers on the market. So I would definitely follow a site with the right amount of facts, but most of all, a site that will inspire my style and creativity within ethical fashion.