26 Feb 2010

"The world is changing, and we must change with it!"

Coco Chanel once said, “Fashion is made to become unfashionable.”
So how can an industry become sustainable when the ‘we loved it, but now we shun it’ cycle is embedded so deeply? Do we have to change everything we love about fashion to make it a sustainable, fair industry? Not necessarily...

Earlier this week I attended the launch of 'Forum for the futures' Fashion futures project, in partnership with Livi Strauss & Co, a great event crammed full of people who share my passion and commitment to a sustainable fashion industry whilst protecting the creative spirit of fashion.

I have just spent a couple of hours reading the full report and learning about the four future scenarios proposed by fashion futures, these are different situations we are likely to find ourselves in if we continue to consume and live as we are today:
1. Slow is Beautiful
2. Community couture
3. Techno Chick
4. Patchwork planet
... each scenario has it's own short animation which I suggest you take a loom at here. Each different outcome houses masses of creative problem solving, ideals of new community living and benefits for a more fulfilling life, if we each adopt an outcome and addressed it within our own lives/businesses or rituals, we would benefit massively as a whole!

These ideas hold an enormous empowering and innovative potential for all people not just fashion industry people, we are all consumers after all! Through having an innovative and open mind we can start to explore different routes, systems and communities that will not only lead business into a sustainable and successful future, but that will also improve the lives of customers, workers and suppliers locally and globally.

"For the fashion industry to be sustainable economically, it needs to be sustainable socially and environmentally too."

This all reminds me of Anita Roddick's then unique approach to business, trading and social responsibility, which she wrote about at length over ten years ago in her 'Business as Unusual' book:
"The business of business should not just be about money, it should be about responsibility. It should be about public good not private greed."

It has also been extensively proved that companies who invest in the welfare and education of their workers, community and product lifestyle benefit in terms of loyalty, respect and are considered pioneers and trail blazers of industry! I am happy to now be part of this growing revolution of people committed to doing things differently! I personally don't want to succeed by keeping others in poverty, and am currently striving to develop my business with a huge emphasis on a multi-faceted approach to sustainability and community. Even good old Albert Einstein once commented:

"It is high time the ideal of success should be replaced with the ideal of service."

This really excites me! and I welcome everyone to join me in this revolution!!!
(Image above from this years Fashion and the Environment MA show, from LCF)

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