To kick off our new meetup season, we ran our first 2019 monthly meetup on February 27th, and this time topic was all things fashion technology!
Using the latest technology can give a fashion brand access to unlimited possibilities when it comes to communication. Biotechnology has enabled us to come up with progressive ideas such as bioengineering using spider silk, 3D printing has affected the traditional design process, the materials, and the production of jewellery and accessories, while brands like Burberry, Alexander Wang and Ralph Lauren are using technology to further elevate the customer experience.
But, the fashion industry is also one of the world’s most polluting. Reportedly topped only by oil, the fashion industry is contributing to major environmental destruction – mainly because consumers insist on buying so many clothes at such cheap prices. Alternatives do exist. The solution lies in buying less and choosing better quality items that are made as ethically as possible.
In order to raise awareness about some of the challenges of fashion industry, as well as possible solutions and upcoming trends, Women of Wearables brought together five speakers - entrepreneurs, technologists, designers, legal professionals and journalists, who shared their views on all things fashion tech, sustainability, smart textiles and everything in between!
Before the panel, our partners and sponsors MHPC Communications and their Head of Health Innovation team - Rachel Rowson - gave educational and very inspiring presentation on the latest achievements in the world of wearable and fashion technology.
As a digital agency, MHPC’s specialist health communications team work with clients to translate complex healthcare challenges into creative and evidence-based programmes to deliver meaningful and positive change for patients and healthcare systems worldwide. So far, they have provided unparalleled insight and counsel to the world’s leading health and life sciences companies, patient organisations and professional bodies and their expertise span medical education, public policy, government affairs, media relations and digital strategy and activation, affording their clients a more rounded view of their communications challenges and how to solve them.
Laurenti Arnault is co-founder and the CEO of WTVOX - an online media platform that fosters innovation in fashion and raises awareness of alternatives for a more sustainable industry - overseeing strategic partnerships and alliances with academics, tech entrepreneurs, key players, and decision makers. He is member of the advisory board at the Innovation Lab OBU and TEDxOBU co-founder, mentoring fashion startups interested in emerging consumer behaviour and the adoption of innovative materials to create the fashion garments of tomorrow. Laurenti is also keynote speaker, covering emerging consumer segments/behaviour and the role of sustainable innovation in luxury fashion.
Marianna Ferro has lived and worked in Europe, South America and China. She has been an ambassador for Acumen Fund and a mentor for Virgin Start-Up. She holds a BSc and MSc in Business Administration and Finance from Milan’s Bocconi University and an MSc in History from the London School of Economics. She is the founder and CEO of Flair Atelier, a platform that enables each woman to customise online garments that reflect her style and fit, with a new sustainable production model.
Rosie Burbidge is an intellectual property lawyer and partner at Gunnercooke LLP. Rosie has worked for a wide range of technology and fashion clients from Nintendo to Superdry. She has been a longstanding supporter of the WoW community and has an excellent practical understanding of the issues that face businesses (large and small) and the ways in which IP can be used to either complement and support business strategy or totally undermine it. She has written a book on European Fashion Law (Edward Elgar Publishing). She regularly writes for popular IP blogs and professional publications.
Kirsty Emery is the Chief Customer Success Officer and Co-founder of Unmade. Focusing on the production and manufacturing side of the business, she started Unmade in 2013 alongside Hal Watts and Ben Alun-Jones. In 2015 they raised investment from Connect Ventures, Felix Capital and Local Globe and launched to the public as Unmade. Today the team of 26 is based in Somerset House in London. With a Masters degree from London’s Royal College of Art in womenswear knitwear, Kirsty channels her expertise in production and is the driving force behind the manufacturing of customised items through Unmade’s innovative software technology. Prior to Unmade, she was a designer for Aganovich, where she collaborated on collections that have been sold in a number of well-known stockists, including Dover Street Market, Joyce, and Blake.
Our panelists engaged us into very lively discussion, educated and inspired us. Moderator of the panel was our CEO, Marija Butkovic.
Giveaway - winner of European Fashion Law book
We were honoured that our WoW woman Rosie Burbidge has donated one copy of her book as a prize giveaway on the night! Click here to buy - use code FSHN35 to claim your 35% discount!
Many thanks to our sponsors and partners MHP Communications for hosting us, providing us with food and refreshments and for their support during this event!
This blog was written by Marija Butkovic, Digital Marketing and PR strategist, founder and CEO of Women of Wearables and co-founder of Kisha Smart Umbrella. She regularly writes and speaks on topics of wearable tech, fashion tech, IoT, entrepreneurship and diversity. Visit marijabutkovic.co.uk or follow Marija on Twitter @MarijaButkovic @Women_Wearables @GetKisha.