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Klarna and Fashion for Good Inspire Shopping and Sustainability

Fashion for Good is giving consumers a chance to see iconic catwalk creations in person and learn about the industry’s cultural and environmental impact in the process as Klarna marked Memorial Day Weekend with a new shopping holiday.

A new exhibition dubbed Fashion Week: A New Era opened earlier this month at the global sustainability group’s Amsterdam museum, pulling together designer fashion from New York City, Milan and Paris. The experience delves into the history of Fashion Week, which began as a series of intimate salons at the end of the 19th century, as well as its continued evolution and significance to modern shoppers. The exhibition allows visitors to travel through a Fashion Week retrospective, illustrated by runway looks from Balenciaga, Versace, Moschino and more.

The experience also explores how Fashion Week attendees have morphed from mere spectators into a part of the sartorial spectacle. Street style has become integral to Fashion Week; the exhibit shows through images on display from legendary New York Times style photographer Bill Cunningham. The exhibit features a photo wall where museum visitors can pose for their own simulated street style photography, becoming a part of the imagery on display.

The exposition also encompasses the effect of the digital realm. Fashion for Good’s project explores the ways in which the internet empowered fashion brands to reach consumers even as physical events disappeared during the pandemic, from the online broadcasting of physical fashion shows to innovative virtual showcases. Museum visitors can experience shows from Tommy Hilfiger and The Fabricant, which took place at Decentraland’s Metaverse Fashion Week, and explore Helsinki Fashion Week’s fully virtual designer lineup. An interactive module allows museum-goers to build and style their own digital avatars to walk in a virtual fashion show.

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Visitors can experience past virtual fashion shows at the museum exhibition.
Visitors can experience past virtual fashion shows at the museum exhibition. Courtesy

Fashion Week: A New Era highlights sustainable innovations from materials to production processes. Fashion for Good collaborated with the Fashion for Good Museum and The Fashion Design Council of India (FDCI) and the country’s Lakmé Fashion Week to create a number of the exhibition’s eco-conscious ensembles. Viewers can also learn about how agricultural waste can be made into a new, usable material for garments, or how carbon dioxide is converted into dye.

While some critics have questioned Fashion Week’s relevance amid the industry’s ongoing commercialization, these high-profile events still have the potential to influence consumers’ purchasing behaviors, according to Fashion for Good.

A fixation on fast fashion has led luxury to try to keep pace with ever-shifting appetites, adding more collections to their traditional spring-summer and fall-winter calendars. “Consumers are used to this rapid output of new products in stores, buying more clothing and swiftly discarding them for the next trend,” Fashion for Good said.

While the waste-making nature of today’s fashion industry has been widely criticized, “on the other hand, fashion weeks have become more democratic” thanks to the see-now, buy-now movement making some collections immediately shoppable, it added.

Supported by the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts, sustainability group the Laudes Foundation, Kickstart Cultuurfonds and the European Union through the Allthings.bioPRO project, the museum aims to provide visibility for environmental advancements in the space.

“The museum tells the stories behind the clothes you wear and how your choices for those clothes can have a positive impact on the fashion industry,” the nonprofit said. “Fashion for Good believes that this industry can and must change, and helps to spread the right knowledge about this.”

Inside Klarna’s bid to pull market share from Walmart, Amazon

Meanwhile, Klarna is cashing in on the appeal of fashion-focused shopping events.

The payment solutions provider’s Dream Deal Days took place over a Memorial Day weekend, offering consumers deals from some of the platform’s biggest brands.

The May 27-29 shopping holiday marks the milestone of reaching 150 million users. Klarna, which works with 400,000 merchants, showcased discounts across apparel, footwear, beauty, electronics and home goods for consumers in North America and Europe visiting, the Klarna app, and participating brands’ websites.

A global survey of over 19,000 consumers from 19 countries revealed that 46 percent have an item in mind that they consider their “ideal dream purchase.” Klarna’s research showed that nearly as many (43 percent) would like to buy that item for someone else as a gift, but the top reason 62 percent of shoppers haven’t pulled the trigger is because their desired product is too pricy.

Dream Deal Days aimed to inspire consumers to buy, especially with inflation wreaking havoc on discretionary purchases. The three-day event featured competitions to win prizes, including global live experiences hosted by celebrities and influencers.

“To have reached 150 million Klarna consumers is an amazing achievement and there is no better way to mark this than the launch of Dream Deal Days,” David Sandström, chief marketing officer of Klarna, said, adding that the event helped the company “give back to our community, presenting our users with the chance to purchase exclusive deals at great prices whilst paying the way they want.”

“Klarna has come a long way since we started out, but we remain customer-obsessed and this is a further chance to repay our customers by helping them get closer to their dreams,” he said.

Klarna’s Dream Deal Days adds to a growing landscape for shopping extravaganzas. Walmart+ Weekend will take place in early June, giving the retailer’s membership digital access to limited-time promotions. Meanwhile, Amazon’s Prime Day is set to take place in July.