Fashion and sustainability are two terms that, for quite some time now, try to shake hands. The importance of an industry, which for years has been highly polluting, finding green alternatives, is a must prevailing in the world in which we move. Thanks to technological advances and the growing interest of brands to join this wave of sustainable solutions, very interesting dialogue spaces have been opened up.
Under this premise, on October 3rd and 4th, the second edition of The Circular Fashion Summit was held in the framework of Paris Fashion Week. A virtual reality event in which sustainable fashion was at the heart of the conversation. During two days of panels and seminars, the largest experts in design, technology and sustainability met in the same (digital) space.
After a weekend full of knowledge, these were the main ideas we left with:
- Extending the life cycle
For the fashion industry to become sustainable, it is essential to extend the product lifecycle. It is not possible to continue living under the traditional paradigm of using and discarding what we consume, without first implementing mechanisms that allow us to reuse and give garments second chances.
Through tools of care, repair, exchange, rental and resale, it is possible to extend the time of use of the products. In this sense, companies must ensure that they manufacture designs suitable to withstand such processes, as well as the persons who are willing to carry them out.
This will not only promote more responsible and conscious consumption, in which consumers make purchasing decisions taking into account economic and environmental factors, but will also contribute to reducing carbon emissions and, therefore, the ecological footprint of the industry.
The equation is very simple: consumption less, I produce less, I consume less.
- From linear to circular economy
In line with the above, there must be a transformation from a linear economy to a circular economy.
Under this model, as the name implies, the processes are continuous and circular, without room for the generation of waste beyond those strictly necessary. It’s about optimizing resources, wasting less, and being more efficient.
- Rething design and temporary collections
Additionally, the current fashion system must be re-thought out. It is indisputable that after the Covid-19 pandemic, nothing will ever be the same again. And this has been a reality especially in sectors such as fashion, which for so long was disconnected from many of the social realities happening in the world.
In 2020 it was clear that the fashion calendar, as it had been working, is not sustainable over time. The superproduction of increasingly extravagant and recurring fashion shows and weeks of the year was about to implod. This frenzy of production and consumption was not only extremely costly economically, but also environmentally.
It is therefore necessary to devise a sustainable formula over time and to rethly the way in how and what it is designed for.
- Consistent communication
Stories are the way we people understand the world we live in. How we tell stories is going to be a determining factor for brands. From the creation of the products to how they are presented to consumers. After seventy years of consumer society, the term “brand” has a bad reputation, is more related to the ‘appear’ or ‘deceive’ industry, but new forms of consumption also need new forms of communication.
In this sense, the creation of much more coherent relationships and connections must be pursued. This narrative value of integrity is why from Audiovisual Innovation and International School of Film and Television of Cuba (EICTV) we have created, in collaboration The WUM, the online course “Brands also count,”where we teach a method for weaving a narrative of ethical exchange, based on coherence between sayings and facts.
- Traceability and transparency
Product traceability, driven by blockchain technology, isa latent need. In the search for responsible consumption awareness, it is essential that consumers have clarity about the production chain of what they acquire.
To conceive of a more sustainable fashion industry, there must be complete transparency around the origin of materials and design, manufacturing and production processes. This, in turn, forces companies to respect standards of sustainability and fair work.
As market confidence increases, so will sales.
Speakers and guests included important figures such as Sara Sozzani of Vogue Italia and Vogue Talents; Caroline Rush of the British Fashion Council; Carlo Capasa, president of the Italian National Fashion Chamber; Pascal Morand, executive chairman of the Federation of Fashion Haute Couture; Steve Kolb, President and CEO of the CFDA; Nina Shariati of the H&M group; Alexandre Capelli of the LVMH group; among many more important names in the sector.
In this way, the Circular Fashion Summit was a space to exchange ideas and information about a sustainable future in fashion, the only possible way to conceive.
We stick with these five ideas to continue building the future of fashion and lifestyle with a focus on ethical and aesthetic hybridization.