Sustainability is not a trend, it’s a much-needed shift in values for both consumers and businesses. The fashion industry has a big part to play, since it’s often pointed to as the second most polluting industry on the planet next to oil and gas, and has recently been found to be responsible for 5% of global carbon emissions. Thankfully, new technologies and materials are emerging that can make a big difference. Swapping out animal skins for pineapple leather, or creating denim custom and on-demand, as opposed to mass manufacturing, are two examples that come to mind.
At Electric Runway, we look at sustainability as a necessary byproduct of innovation. As fashion continues to teach the technology industry how to design for the human body and consider aesthetics, technology can, in turn, teach fashion how to modernize and move century-old practices and processes into the digital age. The result could be a more sustainable manufacturing process, a more personalized product for end consumers, and, yes, even a bigger bottom line for brands.
If you’re interested in learning more about themes of sustainability, the circular economy, radical transparency, and growth, here are five events on sustainable fashion to attend this year:
1. Interfiliere ~ March 20 & 21st, Hong Kong
A two-day event bringing together top brands and a selection of the most innovative mills and suppliers from all over the world, Interfiliere Hong Kong welcomes 1,000 attendees from 30 countries. Eighty exhibitors will show off the latest innovations in fibres, fabrics, accessories, embroideries, and beyond. While Interfiliere may seem like a regular textile tradeshow, they’re increasingly putting an emphasis on sustainability with a number of talks and workshops addressing issues of circularity, recyclability, and a lower carbon footprint for the fashion industry. Details here.
2.The Australian Circular Fashion Conference ~ March 21st & 22nd, Melbourne
Shifting our fashion system from linear to a circular model requires rethinking how our apparel is designed, worn, and recycled. We had the chance to learn all about the circular economy and how its reshaping business models and consumer behavior when we interviewed Camille Reed on the Electric Runway podcast. She’s the founder of the Australian Circular Fashion Conference, an upcoming event dedicated entirely to a more sustainable fashion industry in Australia and beyond. This two-day conference has been expanded on last year’s one-day format to allow more time for workshops, networking, and access to key experts. The agenda covers everything from best practices for procurement to end-of-life processing. Tickets and details here.
3. Fashion Revolution Week ~ April 22nd – 28th, Global
In 2013, the Rana Plaza factory collapse, which killed 1,138 people and injured many more, shook the fashion world and ignited the world’s biggest fashion activism moment for a fairer, safer fashion industry. Each year since Fashion Revolution Week encourages millions of people to ask brands #whomademyclothes and demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. Fashion Takes Action, the organizing body behind Fashion Revolution Week, encourages citizens to print posters, share on social media, and encourage others to become curious about the often hidden side of manufacturing. Learn more about the worldwide movement and how to get involved here.
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We’re kind of obsessed with illustrator @anahardesign and are in love with these t-shirts! Fashion leaders are climate leaders! Let’s lead by example and collectively take action 💚💚#fashionactivism #thereisnoplanetb #climatechange #behaviourchange #agentofchange #fashiontakesaction #climateleadership #7rsoffashion #fashrev
4. Copenhagen Fashion Summit ~ May 15th & 16th, Copenhagen
Over the past decade, Copenhagen’s Fashion Summit has established itself as a key event steering the conversation on sustainability. The gathering brings together 1,300 key players from more than 50 countries from around the world to represent the fashion sector, politics, NGOs, academia, and the media. The two-day event is comprised of talks, networking, and exhibits. Past speakers include the Crown Princess Mary of Denmark and Stella McCartney, to name a few. More information here.
5. REMODE – October 29th & 30th, Los Angeles
REMODE is an event that brings the entire industry’s brightest and boldest minds together to change fashion for the better. In a world where the fashion industry is the second largest polluter and the consumer is the new channel, the industry must evolve with clear purpose and transparency. Over this two-day event, attendees will listen to talks, explore exhibits, network, and discover innovative solutions across various sectors. Attendees include established and upcoming fashion brands, raw material suppliers, emerging technology companies, investors, and media. More information here.
Do you know about another sustainable fashion event we should have on our radar? Let us know in the comments below, or tweet us @Electric_Runway.
This article was created in partnership with the Australian Circular Fashion Conference. Electric Runway is a proud media partner of the event and supports its vision to transform fashion beyond tomorrow.