It’s been a wild ride for Jeroen van der Heide. It started by him noticing that 30% of all clothing produced worldwide are not bought by consumers. That is 25 billion pieces each year, meaning 32.000 Boeing 747s in kilograms. YES, you read that right. AND in addition to that the vast majority of high-end clothing is made with poor materials.
Due to his work in the fashion industry for the past 20 years, Jeroen van der Heide knows the in’s and out’s of the fashion world. He has mainly worked with high-end brands like Carl Lagerfeld or Tommy Hilfiger, and laughingly he admits “Yes, I was a fast-fashion addict”.
But now the tall blond guy with the short ponytail wants to make things a little different. That’s why he started Tshared, a concept that combines the best of different worlds: creative designs, responsible products and technology of the 21st century.
Let’s go zero waste, fair trade and slow fashion
Jeroen’s dream is a world where Zero Waste Fashion is the status quo. But he also knows that he cannot get there by himself. With their project Tshared, he and his team want to show the big players in the fashion industry that there is a better way, a smarter way of producing clothes.
So how does it work? Tshared is an online platform were designers can upload their T-shirt designs. The Tshared community will then vote which shirts will be produced. Tshared then produces exactly 111 pieces of every t-shirt that makes it through the vote. Since it is always a limited stock, you are basically buying a piece of art.
But that is not everything. The ecopreneur wants to make everything circular. “The fabrics are high-quality, recyclable cotton, which will be produced fair-trade in a certified factory in Lisbon,” Jeroen tells me during our interview. “And if you at one point do not want the shirt anymore you can send it back and we will give you a 11% discount on a new shirt.”
To get the first production round started, Jeroen started a crowdfunding campaign on Indigogo. Make sure to check it out here.
I asked Jeroen about his vision of the future? How would he like to see the fashion-industry in 10-20 years? And what would make him really happy? He said:
“The business model we currently see in the fashion industry is from the 19 century. It comes down to “take, make and waste”. Which is funny, because if you look at the fashion itself, it’s mainly about having new, new and new. That should change. Luckily, there are some nice examples already. I also wish that consumer can make more educated decisions about what they buy. That they know where their products come from and what they are made.”
Where do you buy your clothes right now? Are they zero waste and fair-trade? Do you know any good places that offer sustainable fashion? We are looking forward to your tips in the comment box below.