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Fashion & Trends, Tech

The Intensity of It All

MILAN, ITALY – With winds of 298 km/h, Hurricane Irma unleashed liquid hell last month on Florida, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Saint Martin and Puerto Rico. The damage was so widespread that even the biggest global warming naysayers and sceptics were jolted out of their state of stubborn disbelief.

As the world’s top culprit of environmental pollution, second to oil, fashion felt the heat too, as the disaster reminded the industry of its participation in the deterioration of the planet.

Fortunately, with the same intensity as Irma, a wave of change has been ripping through our industry, faster than we can say “polyester”.

Following the Milan ready-to-wear-shows, the Green Carpet Awards put fashion’s heavy hitters on the spot like never before – urging them to pledge their allegiance to the cause in front of Hollywood stars and the global press.

Immediately following, at the tail-end of Paris fashion week, fashion investor Miroslava Duma launched the FASHION TECH LAB (FTL), an incubator and showcase of the latest startups that will aid the fashion world in succeeding in the creation of a 360-degree sustainable industry. Duma's event garnered global media coverage, as well as the attention of major players like François-Henri Pinault and his wife, Salma Hayek and designers like Diane von Furstenberg and Stella McCartney.

In tandem, McCartney amped up her commitment to the environment by reducing waste caused by discarded garments, vis-a-vis a new partnership with luxury resale site The Real Real. Images of the designer's fall advertising campaign showed a model atop a mountain of forgotten fashion trash.

“We’re using up the planet’s resources at a rate that’s truly unsustainable,” Real Real founder and Chief Executive Officer Julie Wainwright told WWD, adding that more than 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced worldwide each year, with 75 percent ending up in landfills.

Through organisations like Duma’s Fashion Tech Lab, Fashion and Tech forums like the upcoming Decoded Milano and academic organisations like MIT’s Media Lab, there have been bold strides in bridging the gap between three parallel worlds: fashion, technology and science.

The advent of this new era begs the question: Will runway shows unfurl gowns made of spider silk and accessories made of orange peel leather any time soon?

Probably not, as the notion is not yet a financially viable one. Most consumers have yet to understand the urgency of buying up-cycled or biodegradable clothing. And vanguard leaders are still waiting for scientists to render eco materials more captivating and more luxurious.

As we venture into this new age, the industry's top challenge will be resolving that dilemma.

   

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.

MILAN, ITALY – With winds of 298 km/h, Hurricane Irma unleashed liquid hell last month on Florida, Cuba, Turks and Caicos, Saint Martin and Puerto Rico. The damage was so widespread that even the biggest global warming naysayers and sceptics were jolted out of their state of stubborn disbelief.

As the world’s top culprit of environmental pollution, second to oil, fashion felt the heat too, as the disaster reminded the industry of its participation in the deterioration of the planet.

Fortunately, with the same intensity as Irma, a wave of change has been ripping through our industry, faster than we can say “polyester”.

Following the Milan ready-to-wear-shows, the Green Carpet Awards put fashion’s heavy hitters on the spot like never before – urging them to pledge their allegiance to the cause in front of Hollywood stars and the global press.

Immediately following, at the tail-end of Paris fashion week, fashion investor Miroslava Duma launched the FASHION TECH LAB (FTL), an incubator and showcase of the latest startups that will aid the fashion world in succeeding in the creation of a 360-degree sustainable industry. Duma's event garnered global media coverage, as well as the attention of major players like François-Henri Pinault and his wife, Salma Hayek and designers like Diane von Furstenberg and Stella McCartney.

In tandem, McCartney amped up her commitment to the environment by reducing waste caused by discarded garments, vis-a-vis a new partnership with luxury resale site The Real Real. Images of the designer's fall advertising campaign showed a model atop a mountain of forgotten fashion trash.

“We’re using up the planet’s resources at a rate that’s truly unsustainable,” Real Real founder and Chief Executive Officer Julie Wainwright told WWD, adding that more than 80 billion pieces of clothing are produced worldwide each year, with 75 percent ending up in landfills.

Through organisations like Duma’s Fashion Tech Lab, Fashion and Tech forums like the upcoming Decoded Milano and academic organisations like MIT’s Media Lab, there have been bold strides in bridging the gap between three parallel worlds: fashion, technology and science.

The advent of this new era begs the question: Will runway shows unfurl gowns made of spider silk and accessories made of orange peel leather any time soon?

Probably not, as the notion is not yet a financially viable one. Most consumers have yet to understand the urgency of buying up-cycled or biodegradable clothing. And vanguard leaders are still waiting for scientists to render eco materials more captivating and more luxurious.

As we venture into this new age, the industry's top challenge will be resolving that dilemma.

   

 



Sofia Celeste
FAIRPLAY Editor-in-Chief

When she is not hunting down the latest in tech and fashion, Sofia Celeste is scouting artisan talent for her online magazine bacoluxury.com. Born in the US and raised on the Pacific Island of Guam, she went on to write for Dow Jones Newswires and the Wall Street Journal. Her work is now regularly published in top fashion publications NOWFASHION and WWD.