Sustainability in all things; it is essential to Laura’s life

A sustainability approach is a recurrent theme in all her courses and has become an important part of both her studies and her free time. Laura Brüggen comes from Germany and is a Textile and Clothing Management graduate. She came to Borås as an exchange student two years ago and the university’s focus on sustainable development suited her perfectly. She became so attached to the university and its people that after taking her bachelor, she applied for the Master Programme in Fashion Marketing and Management.

“I felt at home as soon as I came here, Laura says. Everyone’s so happy and nice. The mentality is very different to that in Germany because the gap between teachers and students is so incredibly small”.

During her time as an exchange student, Laura was an active member of the Hållbar Student association, which arranges several different projects at the university and neighbouring locations in Borås.

“We had a really great time that term. Among other things we arranged courses in urban cultivation, planted a garden in Scandic Plaza’s courtyard, and treated the university’s students with sustainable smoothies”.

Sustainable development – a recurring theme

The University of Borås is a leading researcher on sustainable development and the subject is therefore a recurring theme in all courses at the Swedish School of Textiles.

“The fashion industry is difficult: it’s the second biggest environmental villain on the planet and the most tangible industry for all of us. Clothes are something we all use and that not only for practical reasons but also for communication. Over-consumption is a societal issue that demands a drastic change rather sooner than later”.

When asked if she thinks people will buy fewer clothes in the future, she says that the trend is rather in the direction of a sharing economy where people borrow from and collaborate with each other to save resources. It doesn’t need to be difficult or complicated at all. According to Laura, shopping second-hand is more environmentally-friendly, cheaper and more fun than buying new things.

Student association and sustainable development

When she began her master’s programme last autumn, it was natural for Laura to get involved in Hållbar Student once again.

 “Almost all members from my time as an exchange student have moved or graduated so that during the autumn I was eager to help rebuilding the association again, Laura says”.

Today, Hållbar Student has about fifteen members who are working to make 2018 an eventful year. The association has already taken part in a national workshop in Jönköping together with other student associations committed to sustainability where participants were able to hold discussions and exchange experiences.

“The participants had a very good time, she says. The atmosphere at our meetings is relaxed and the distribution of responsibilities is fair. New members are very welcomed. Hållbar Student has a Facebook page and an Instagram channel where we publish interesting news and events. We also get a lot of support from the university because they understand that our work is important”.

The year’s first activity took place on 30 January, at which the association showed the documentary Home revealing the diversity of life on Earth and how humanity is threatening the ecological balance of the planet. According to Laura, the film convinces with thought-provoking impulses.

“We had many visitors and everyone had a great time. The film was totally focused on having faith in the future, unlike many other films about environmental impact and you could feel that it had the desired effect”.

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Text and photo: Emma Lindh