Three Questions to Emma Palmér...
...who took her degree in textile economics at the University of Borås in 2007. She now runs Fangsi, a company that acts as a link between the Nordic textile companies and their Asian suppliers. The company's focus is on quality, sustainability, social responsibility and the environment.
Can you describe the courses in sustainable development when you attended the Swedish School of Textiles?
– There was not so much at that time. Some environmental knowledge as well as the social aspects of production conditions. I chose to write my thesis about what influences the development of the ethical clothing market, and was then pretty much alone in having such a focus.
Do you think it is important that students are taught about sustainable development?
– Yes! It is also important that this kind of teaching is integrated in different courses and not just something that you study separately.
You work as a consultant for Scandinavian fashion/textile companies. How would you describe their interest in sustainability issues?
– We see that companies want to, and must work more with these issues, so things are moving in the right direction, albeit slowly and not always totally or effectively. While some companies actually do more than what the public is generally aware of. I believe that more and more companies are starting to realise that sustainability work is also a tool to guarantee long-term product quality and deliveries. And because of this I believe that people with this type of knowledge, among others, will become even more in demand.
Text: Lena M Fredriksson