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Trade Show: FashionSustain Berlin

Thinking outside the Box

A new design-thinking format celebrated its premiere during the previous Berlin Fashion Week: for the first time, Messe Frankfurt initiated a so-called Thinkathon as part of the FashionSustain conference, thereby setting an example for a forward-looking, collaborative understanding of business in the textile industry.

April 2018

On Tuesday 16 January 2018 at 10:30 am, the time had come for the 28 multidisciplinary participants of the first Thinkathon – who had travelled from no fewer than twelve European, Asian and North American countries – to start their two-day conclave. The participants, who described themselves as a “taskforce”, were rather nervous about the fact that on Wednesday evening they had to take to the stage of the conference duo FashionSustain and #Fashiontech, which was taking place at the same time, to present their concepts in the form of team pitches to the high-profile audience of international professionals.

Interdisciplinary discourse and a future-oriented understanding of business focusing on the topics of sustainability, innovation and technological progress; these were the underlying elements combining the two design challenges that were set by Zalando, as an industry partner, and the Fashion Council Germany. They were tackled by the participants in a radically direct and open design-thinking approach, creatively and in a solution and future-oriented way. The task set by Zalando was oriented on the challenges of a multi-label retailer: “How can we create an intelligent system that reveals hidden sustainability efforts like non-certified fair trade or the payment of living wages?” By contrast, the Fashion Council Germany’s challenge centred on the product development phase: “How can we innovate education and mentorship, so designers embrace new, sustainable technologies?”

The successful Thinkathon, organised by on behalf of Messe Frankfurt and curated by Thinktank Rift Berlin, resulted in four highly innovative solutions that challenge hosts Zalando and Fashion Council Germany can now put into action; the rights to the detailed presentation documents and their contents were exclusively handed over to the two hosts after the pitch. The next Thinkathon will take place during the upcoming Berlin Fashion Week with new challenges and will be part of the FashionSustain conference format once again.
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#Sustainability #Innovation #Germany #Berlin #FashionWeekBerlin #FashionSustain

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