Polestar turns to fashion to drive towards its moon-shot goal
When the fashion industry gathered in Copenhagen for the Global Fashion Summit, they did so together with the electric performance car brand, Polestar. The EV company aims to produce a climate-neutral car by 2030 and bids on fashion to get there.
By OLIVER DAHLE
June 17, 2022
The two-day conference, that is Global Fashion Summit, gathered people from all over the fashion industry — brands, NGOs, innovators, manufacturers, investors and so on. Together they met to discuss the pressing challenges fashion has when it comes to sustainability.
The theme of the summit was ”Alliances for a New Era”. Focusing on how to create new collaborations, partnerships and how the industry together could achieve the Sustainability Development Goals by 2030. With that in mind, the rather unexpected alliance of fashion and cars could be seen in a different light.
— The important thing for us to come here, was really for everyone to understand that we in the automotive industry are also using textiles and we can be a partner with fashion in developing more sustainable textiles. So, we hope that that’s an aftermath of this. That we will see even more and maybe businesses coming up to us with ideas and so on. But we have definitely met some great potential collaborators here, explained Fredrika Klarén, Head of Sustainability at Polestar.
In 2021, Polestar announced its moon-shot goal; that by 2030 they will be creating a truly climate-neutral car. Called Polestar 0 project, the aim is to have a car that has a zero-carbon footprint. Without relying on off-setting and eliminating all emissions across the whole supply chain. A bold decision, that takes a completely new approach to what it takes to produce a car.
— In our industry, there is a lot of dependency on the big suppliers, because it’s such a complex process to get to the requirements that our materials have — for longevity, durability, all of that. You rely on the suppliers that have the experience to make that happen. So I guess, or at least that was my crazy good luck to them and say, okay, what’s on offer? What do you have? What’s the most sustainable option? Explains Max Missoni, Head of Design at Polestar.
Fashion and vehicles, are two industries that account for a large share of global emissions. The two have one thing or another they could learn from each other. Missoni, continues,
— What happens in fashion, since things are much more fluid and flexible, and they are collaborating with lots of start-ups that try different things. I think we have to find a way how we re-purpose our product or the way how it might go to the customers and back in order to be more flexible to work with these small and exciting start-ups as fashion does. I think so far we haven’t been daring to do that because we knew of the challenges. But now with Project Zero, we are in a place where we know there’s no other option. We have to go as radical as finding completely new solutions, and not just the extrapolation of what we do today, in order to get to zero.
The need for collaboration and joint actions was stressed many times during the GFS. An exercise that Polestar has been through and is very much doing. Together with SSAB steel, Hydro renewable energy, ZF electric powertrains, ZKW control systems and Autoliv safety equipment, Polestar have found research partners, that have signed a letter of intent to be part and develop project 0. Polestar has also announced a call to action to researchers having a solution that could contribute to project 0 and that could help in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
In order to achieve and find collaborations, Klarén has one piece of advice for other companies.
— Be outspoken, pledging. I heard that word the other day, making a pledge that is very clear and intentional. And obviously, that will mean you will find the right collaborators.
To learn more about Polestar and their sustainability work, listen to our podcast episode with Max Missoni here.