Out of Fashion – Aalto LASER Talks

Future visions and concrete steps towards the sufficiency paradigm in fashion
Out of Fashion event LaserTalk
Garment design: Sofia Ilmonen, photo: Diana Luganski and visual design: Merle Karp

Clothing is a crucial aspect of human identity and cultural expression. However, the fashion industry's environmental impact is alarming, as it generates 10% of global greenhouse gas emissions. The majority of garments end up incinerated or in landfills, and half a million tons of plastic microfibers enter the oceans annually.

Urgent systemic shifts are essential to counteract this. Out of Fashion discusses the steps we need to take to get rid of fast fashion.

Online stream starts at 16:00 (EET), Thursday 30 November

If you want to ask a question, open the stream chat in Youtube.

  Out of Fashion // Aalto LASER Talks
16:00 Introduction & welcome, professor Kirsi Niinimäki  

New fashion paradigm  
Professor Kirsi Niinimäki, Aalto University (Finland)  

Fashion means selling dreams to consumers without guilt, and Western consumers can act in as unsustainable a way as they wish, without consequences for their clothing consumption habits of themselves. Fashion means pollution, social and environmental injustice and the current global fashion system is based on colonial approach. We desperately need a new more sustainable and justice fashion paradigm. 

Abandon the concept of fashion  
Lecturer and reseacher Stephan Wallaschkowski, Leuphana University & Bochum University of Applied Sciences (Germany)  
The rise of fast fashion has led to a significant decline in the product lifetime of fashion items and a serious increase in the socio-ecological issues caused by the apparel industry. For a sustainable future, the concept of fashion must be abandoned.  

How smart can our future textiles be?    
Doctoral researcher Sofia Guridi, Aalto University Bioinnovation Center (Finland)  
Aiming for bio-based futures could bring the extra smartness we need to shift towards a more sustainable and adaptable material world.   


Fashion Futures 2040: scenarios and degrowth  
Lecturer and reseacher, Katia Dayan Vladimirova, University of Geneva (Switzerland)  
We need to radically rethink how we produce and consume fashion. The goal is to halve material throughput of the fashion system by 50% by 2030 and by 75% by 2050. Creativity blossoms under constraints, and which better limits to respect than the Planetary Boundaries? Fashion being at the forefront of creative pursuit should lead the way for other industries and sectors to transform towards more sustainable rails.  

17:25 Panel & questions from the audience 
18:00 Stage program ends, mingling begins
18:30  After party 

Drop by the Hybrid Stage on the Otaniemi campus or watch the live stream on Aalto’s YouTube channel. On campus, the evening continues with relaxed conversation over food and drinks – and music. The venue has places for 80 people.

LASER Talks welcome everyone who is interested in challenging conventions and advancing new ways of thinking and working. The event is particularly relevant for doctoral students and alumni who seek to broaden their horizons. The language of the event will be English.

Professor Kirsi Niinimäki standing on a chair

Our LASER Talks speakers

Kirsi Niinimäki 
Associate Professor, Fashion research at Aalto University 

Kirsi Niinimäki is a leading scholar in the field of sustainable fashion. 

Her Fashion/Textile FUTURES research group studies and integrates closed-loop, bio-economy, and circular economy approaches in fashion and textile systems, expanding our understanding of strategic sustainable design. 

Stephan Wallaschkowski

Stephan Wallaschkowski  
Researcher at Leuphana University & Bochum University of Applied Sciences 

Stephan Wallaschkowski’s research revolves around sustainable consumption, gender, and social change, with a particular focus on the area of fashion consumption. He is a sustainability scientist, originally trained in consumer psychology and consumer sociology. 

Stephan Wallaschkowskiworks as a researcher at the Leuphana University in Lüneburg and as the coordinator for sustainability education at Bochum University of Applied Sciences.  

Sofia Guridi

Sofia Guridi  
Doctoral researcher at Aalto University’s Bioinnovation Center 

Sofia Guridi is a designer specialized in the intersection of textiles, electronics and biomaterials for creating interactive surfaces. Combining traditional knowledge with material experimentation, her experience ranges from applied research to artistic installations. 

She is currently part of the Fashion/Textiles Futures research group and the Bioinnovation Center at Aalto University, where she is pursuing her PhD on Sustainable Smart Textiles. 

Portrait of Katia Dayan Vladimirova

Katia Dayan Vladimirova  
Researcher and lecturer at the University of Geneva 

Dr. Katia Dayan Vladimirova works on the topics of sustainable fashion consumption, sufficiency, degrowth, and social change. Trained as a political philosopher and political scientist, Dr. Dayan Vladimirova explores the challenges of transforming our societies to live within the Planetary Boundaries - through the lens of fashion and textiles. 

Katia is a founder of the International research network on Sustainable Fashion Consumption, a community with over 100 members from 20+ countries. 


Leonardo/ISAST LASER Talks is a program of international gatherings that bring artists, scientists, humanists and technologists together for informal presentations, performances and conversations with the wider public. The mission of LASER is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 50 cities and 5 continents worldwide.

Hybrid Stage events are tailored for simultaneous on-site and online participation. The venue has four robotic cameras that cover the whole event area. Please note that the audience might appear in the live stream and recordings.

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How to get to the Hybrid Stage?

  • The Hybrid Stage is at the Harald Herlin Learning Centre, on the Makerspace floor (K). Otaniementie 9, 02150 Espoo, Finland
  • Directions on Google Maps | Apple Maps | OpenStreetMap
Visual designer Merle Karp made this collage with AI, using photos by Mikko Raskinen, Anne Kinnunen and Aleksi Poutanen.


The mission of LASER is to encourage contribution to the cultural environment of a region by fostering interdisciplinary dialogue and opportunities for community building to over 40 cities worldwide.

Distorted reflection of two people outside at Otaniemi campus

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