Transparency, communication, honesty. At the Fashion Changers conference, various aspects of sustainability were addressed and examined in more detail in lectures, panel discussions and questions and answer sessions, focusing on ten items on the agenda. A rethink is needed for fashion to take responsibility. Slower production cycles are needed as well as less consumption of clothing and the realisation that fast fashion does not serve as a model for fair fashion. In her lecture, Christina Eckert, head of marketing at Wildling Shoes, talked about what the building blocks of a company with a purpose are and confirmed once again that providence and a critical view are essential to create a positive impact. Sabinna Rachimova, designer at Sabinna, made clear that the future of fashion needs changes in design processes, production and showcasing. Her key message to the participants in the conference was: “Think sustainable. Slow down. Reset the runway. Address inclusivity and unity.”
How is it possible to communicate sustainable issues when – all of a sudden – everybody is already “sustainable”? Kay Alexander Plonka, journalist with style in progress, took a close look at that question during his lecture on the communication of sustainability aspects. He made it very clear that the fashion business wants to be seen in a good light and is actively engaged in greenwashing. Because sustainability is cool, is easy to sell and is happily accepted by customers, who often do not know what the true sustainable alternatives are. Sustainable brands can stand out only by communicating clearly and transparently, informing customers thoroughly and being honest to them. Plonka believes that the Internet could be a good tool to do this, mentioning examples like social media platforms such as LinkedIn or Vimeo, digital tours through factories as offered by Tatonka or the publication of all press releases as Vaude has started to do. Other measures Plonka believes can contribute to a transparent communication are interactive events, lectures in schools or at universities or the participation in trades shows like Neonyt, the global hub for fashion, sustainability and innovation.
It is worthwhile to accept impulses that can also be integrated into every-day business and to offer honest communication and transparency to consumers. These measures make it possible to initiate positive changes in the fashion industry together.
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