Wij Inholland award 2018: Greenpact (ENG)

“My Passion? To make information accessible to everyone.”

A man with a vision. Gonçalo Melo de Magalhães, currently in his second year of International Business Innovation at Inholland Amsterdam, is keen to change the fashion industry with his company Greenpact. “Did you know that fashion is the second most pollutant industry in the world?” asks Gonçalo. “I realized I didn’t know anything about my clothes. Where are they from? Who made them? I had no idea. So, I asked myself: what can I do about this?” A school project last year gave rise to his innovative project. Today, Gonçalo found a partner in crime in his more practical-minded fellow student Thayse Matedo. “I’m more creative and she is very organized. We’re a perfect team.”

Greenpact: fashion certification
Dream big or go home. The two students want to change today’s fashion industry. How? By evaluating the environmental footprint of clothes. Gonçalo: “Imagine buying a t-shirt at your favourite clothing store. Wouldn’t it be great if this shirt had a label providing accurate information about the environmental impact of this particular piece of clothing? That’s what Greenpact is all about. You could say it’s similar to the system of Dutch energy labels for homes, complete with colours and letters.”

Photo: Thayse Matedo

Labels A+++ to D
These different labels provide very concrete information. The labels show how an outfit ranks on a scale from A to D according to its environmental impact. A (green) is the most environmentally friendly and class D (red) the least. Gonçalo: “For example, the label A+++ means that your piece of clothing is very green: it’s good for the environment, made with organic materials, and produced by people who work in outstanding work conditions. However, ‘bad’ clothes receive the C or D label. The ‘U label’ is for unidentified production processes due to a lack of information.”

The future is here
Gonçalo has a clear vision of his future company. “You see, the fashion industry is going to become more worried about the environment, chemicals and eco-friendly materials. We all care about clothes and people are starting to care more and more about the environment. Greenpact is the future. I just know it’s going to succeed.” And success comes with a good business plan. Gonçalo and Thayse are constantly trying to find new ways on how to make all the information accessible. “Each label will have a code for people to scan with our Greenpact app. This app provides the buyer with an immediate overview of the entire production process: the use of chemicals, eco-friendly materials, working conditions, etc. Today, all this information is hidden for consumers. I want to make this accessible for everyone.”

Wij Inholland
Wij Inholland gives students the opportunity to raise awareness for their projects. A platform on which they can distinguish themselves with an innovative and multidisciplinary project. This project should focus on either health, sustainability or creativity. Moreover, it should also add a regional value by working in close collaboration with a (local) company, institution or community. The winning team receives practical support and a € 2000, - cheque.