Responsible Businesses, A Conversation with Frederik Larsen, Consultant and Academic Researcher

Responsible Business- ELLE Education fernando aguileta la garza
An insightful conversation with PhD Frederik Larsen, co-founder of Infuturum, about his career as a researcher on fashion, sustainable business practices, design, second-hand markets, and strategic consultancy; helping organizations to prepare for a just and sustainable future.
ELLE Education Business
TopicSustainability / Responsible Businesses / Fashion Industry

A path towards sustainability is a long-term approach, however, it demands immediate actions to reach the final goal. A diffuse perspective for some businesses who that want to get into the action, though do not know where, and how to start. 

The compulsiveness of the current fashion system is an end-road, a systemic change is mandatory in order to build new ways of doing business. This purpose is rooted at strategic consultancy, In Futurum, founded by Frederik Larsen and Moussa Mchangama. A tandem with complementary backgrounds, advising companies and brands on how to be sustainable in an effective and clear way. 

Their method is to create strategies in a research-based scenario, finding valuable knowledge that can drive immediate change. Additionally, they make an analysis to improve all business processes, and communication inside and outside of the company. 

Recently, they published the report, New Ways for Responsible Business: Sustainable Fashion in Action: a study covering business models and sustainability practices in Scandinavian fashion companies, with significant conclusions and insights about key elements for mapping strategies inside companies, and frameworks to work with.

Mchangama, is MA in Modern Culture & Communications from The University of Copenhagen, he has spent the last decade combining writing, critique, branding and concept development with social activism. Larsen, holds a PhD from the Copenhagen Business School in Organizational Anthropology, does academic research and has worked with responsible businesses for a decade.


Frederik Larsen: The work we did for Copenhagen Fashion Week reflects a lot of those concepts that we have worked with. There has been a tendency to focus on one area;that can be a good place to start for a lot of fashion and lifestyle businesses, for example, areas can include materials, textiles or plastic use. 

We wanted to unfold or to open up the discussion to all different areas that are necessary, and with the focus on the technical side of sustainability

A lot of brands, fashion designers, and companies tend to think that everything is about what you can measure, and how you can lower your carbon emission, for example, it is part of the picture for sure, but if we do not start talking about consumption, if we do not talk about design, if we do not talk about lifestyles and strategy when we are in a business setting, things will not change fundamentally. 

Therefore, we have to approach it from a much more holistic point of view. It is about the environmental aspects; it is about from technical solutions, to technical problems, and cultural problems as well, about consumption levels. 

Sustainability has to do with the way we think about business. This paradigm of focusing on economic growth as the main driver of innovation and development, has to change. What we are proposing is not in opposition to creating a solid economy or a solid company, it is about changing the mindset. 

The simple focus on economic growth limits what you can do in terms of creating a new set of products and innovation, as well as in terms of reaching your audience. Nevertheless, we do see many companies focusing exclusively on environmental sustainability, and overlooking the fact that there is also a huge social aspect within, such as consumption and fair wages, especially in the fashion industry.

 “It all comes down to looking at the big picture, and that essentially means to understand that there is an environmental sustainability side, an economic sustainability side and a social side inside of the companies”

Full Interview at: ELLE Education BusinessResponsible Businesses, A Conversation with Frederik Larsen…