The Business of Fashion has gained a global following as an essential daily resource for fashion creatives, executives and entrepreneurs in over 200 countries. It is frequently described as “indispensable,” “required reading” and “an addiction.”
Li Edelkoort’s ‘Anti-Fashion’ Manifesto
The fashion system has been broken for some time, said trend forecaster Li Edelkoort at VOICES 2016. But, it can still regain its cultural cachet, and fix its exploitative practices.
What Defines a Luxury Product Today? | Transforming Luxury
CEO of NTWRK Aaron Levant, Emmy Award-winning fashion stylist and founder of Black Owned Everything Zerina Akers, menswear designer Bethany Williams, and crypto artist Fewocious discuss the evolution of luxury products to include previously unimaginable categories, from NFTs to mass-produced items.
The Green Global Age of the Information Revolution
The world is in the middle of an information revolution, and it’s a situation, economist Carlota Perez says, we’ve been in before. Capitalism resets every few decades, and follows a familiar pattern: An investment frenzy boosts new technologies that change how people live and interact, but when that craze eventually collapses, it leaves behind social upheaval and resentment.
To stop that cycle, this time, Perez says on the latest episode of The BoF Podcast, we need to deliberately disassemble society’s most harmful systems and ingrained beliefs so that every country and every person is included in the sustainable future of the earth.
“We can shape the Information Revolution into a green golden age,” said Perez. She added that the fashion industry has a huge role to play, saying, “It’s up to you to reinvent what we understand by fashion… and it’s up to you to rethink, reinvent, redesign.”
That reinvention and redesigning means interrogating what wealth, well-being, and pleasure are — and untethering those ideas from physical things. Perez joined Imran Amed last year at VOICES, BoF’s annual gathering for big thinkers, to discuss what needs to happen to harness the information revolution to become more sustainable and inclusive.
Globalisation is happening, but it needs to be reworked to include all people and nations. Until now, globalisation has seen businesses chasing lower costs, and has been concentrated in Asia. “We need to discover what each area of the world, what each country can do, and re-invent, but with consensus — not just with government deciding but working together with business to re-conceptualise each bit of territory, each city,” says Perez.
Both individual lifestyle changes as well as government action are required to create a greener, more sustainable future — which benefits businesses and the whole of society, not just the one percent. “We need to work together… Every golden age has been a win-win... with the government staging the game,” says Perez.
The fashion industry needs to stop perpetuating a cycle of waste and instead focus on creating high-quality, long-lasting products that can be reused and redesigned. That requires completely rethinking the clothing industry — a daunting but feasible and necessary task. “If you put your brilliant heads to solving this problem and making money along the way, you will succeed,” concludes Perez. “But you’ve got to recognise the obstacles. If you deny it, you’re going to die, and you can’t die — we need you.”
To learn more about BoF VOICES 2021, to be held from Dec 1-3, 2021, please click here.
The Definitive Guide: How to Build a Sustainable Fashion Brand
Fashion’s Greenwashing Problem Begins with Bad Data
How to Avoid the Greenwashing Trap
Join BoF Professional for the analysis and advice you need. Get 30 days for just $1 or explore group subscriptions for your business.
How Did 2020 Impact Luxury? | Transforming Luxury
Pulitzer-prize winning critic Robin Givhan, research analyst Luca Solca, author Dana Thomas and Métier founder Melissa Morris discuss how luxury became a winners-take-all market and how growing consumer scrutiny is driving change.
Chasing the Holy Grail of Circularity
The modern, fast-paced fashion industry feeds a culture of waste that results in millions of tonnes of textiles burned or sent to landfill every year. Brands are acknowledging the problem, increasingly labelling products with buzzwords like “circular” and marketing bags made from recycled fishing nets or shoes crafted from plastic bottles. But the industry still needs to find scalable solutions to its waste problem.
This week on The BoF Podcast, chief correspondent Lauren Sherman speaks with chief executive of the Hong Kong Research Institute of Textiles and Apparel (HKRITA), Edwin Keh, about ways fashion can tackle the waste challenge.
Recycling innovations that could turn old clothes back into new materials are on the horizon. But alongside investments to scale up new technologies, fashion must rethink its approach to design, Keh said. “We make stuff, we use it and we want it to go away, and we take new material and we repeat that process,” says Keh. “But not built into that process is circularity and the design intent for it to be recycled.”
New recycling technologies must also have a compelling business case to be able to compete with established ways of doing business, says Keh. “If you solve the science problem and you don’t make the business case for it or you don’t create the logistics for it, then you have sort of like a half-baked solution that makes you feel good, works well in the lab, but doesn’t have a real-world application.”
The fashion industry also needs to get smarter about data analytics to understand consumer trends and manage production accordingly, Keh says. “There’s a lot of opportunity to work on more intelligent ways to do analytics and… not to make [overproduction mistakes] in the first place,” he adds.
The Waste Opportunity: How Fashion Could Turn Trash to Treasure
Chasing The Holy Grail of Circular Fashion
A More Circular Fashion Industry Will Require a Collective Effort
Welcome to Transforming Luxury
BoF speaks to 22 experts from the worlds of business, technology and science, creative leaders and renowned ecologists, to investigate the forces driving transformative change in the luxury goods market. The six-part series, created in partnership with Klarna, explores the future of the $300 billion industry, from new consumer behaviour to the next-gen technology and the urgent need to create a more sustainable industry. Subscribe now to never miss an episode.