Next Wave Fashion Tech: Sustainability & Smart Textiles

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Fashion Revolution Week is a week of campaigns and action to demand greater transparency in the fashion supply chain. It takes place during the week of 24 April, the date of the Rana Plaza building collapse, in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Rana Plaza housed a number of garment factories, and when the building collapsed on 24 April 2013, 1,138 people were killed and many more were injured. The tragedy highlighted the dreadful conditions that many people in the garment industry were working in. (resource)

The campaigning organisation Fashion Revolution is working to end exploitation in the fashion industry. During Fashion Revolution Week it encourages people around the globe to ask fashion and clothing brands ‘Who made my clothes?’, using the hashtag #whomademyclothes. For more information and teaching resources visit http://fashionrevolution.org/education 

The fashion industry is 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.

Some of the most exciting developments in fashion aren't happening on the runway — they're happening in the lab. Bacteria-produced dyes, lab-grown leather, kelp-based textiles, chemistry-driven recycling and self-heating fabrics are only some of the new discoveries that are cropping up.

So for our April Women of Wearables event, in a true spirit of #FashionRevolutionWeek, we decided to explore topic of fashion technology, particularly sustainability and smart textiles. 

Our panelists

Rana Nakhal Solset is the founder and CEO of EMEL+ARIS. From her teenage years, she was fascinated with magazines, supermodels and fashion and fabrics. Ever since she went to university, the idea of technology in fashion was interesting to her. With her love and appreciation of fashion, design and fabrics she have created the perfect coat that heats and embodies all her passions.

Marta Waydel is a social entrepreneur, researcher and Influencer in the field of Fashion Tech and Sustainability. She is a Co-Founder of iKLEID - an experience platform that not only is trying to solve the problem of fashion overconsumption but also aim to activate new concepts and abilities to experiment how to better use clothes. Her main area of interests and research include Fashion Tech, IoT, Smart Textiles, Circular Economy and Consumer Behaviour.

Hasna Kourda is the co-founder and CEO of Save Your Wardrobe. She always had a strong interest in fashion both the design and the business aspects and grew up with the entrepreneurial mindset. Hasna worked in retail for a luxury brand where she found out that most of her clients didn’t know or forgot what they had in their wardrobe, or didn’t know how to style a particular item so they stop wearing it. She saw the opportunity to find a more efficient way to make the most of one’s wardrobe and that’s how the idea of Save Your Wardrobe was born.

Ann-Marie Buckley is Brand Marketing Consultant for Butterfly Twists. Butterfly Twists is a UK based shoe brand which specialises in affordable, comfortable flat shoes for all occasions. It launched in 2009 with the infamous folding ballerina shoe and last year sold over half a million pairs of shoes. Their shoes are lightweight and versatile and their point of difference is the 'Twist Tech' technology in each and every shoe - a memory foam insole that delivers great comfort and cushioning under foot.

As an 'Identity Developer 'Janne Baetsen is renowned for introducing a more human approach towards branding, design and technology. She has created MINDFASHION.today: a growing multi-disciplinary Plug-In [Re] Framework for Fashion, connecting minds in - among others - Design, Psychology, Cultural Economics, Technology and Branding, challenging conventions about the way we think, behave and communicate as well as today's definition of progress.

Joanna Dai is the founder and CEO of womenswear fashion brand, Dai. Dai is performance wear for women who mean business, balancing eco-certified technical fabrics with elegant tailoring. The brand advocates for sustainability and social impact that empowers women. Joanna is a US expat based in London, and was previously an investment banker for 8 years at a global financial services firm in New York and London.

Our panelists engaged us into very lively discussion, educated and inspired us. Moderator of the panel was our CEO, Marija Butkovic. 

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Giveaway - winners of Butterfly Twists flats

After the panel, Butterfly Twists team selected five lucky winners for five pairs of their beautiful flats! All our panelists and our moderator also received a pair of flats as a gift! Thank you so much Butterfly Twists for your generosity and for sponsoring this event! 

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Many thanks to our sponsors and partners Browne Jacobson LLP for hosting us and for their continuous support during this event!

  All our speakers and sponsors

All our speakers and sponsors

And last, but not least, big Thank you! goes to lovely Hope Chauland, WoW supporter and member, for her help and support during the event, we couldn't have done it without her!   


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If you’re interested in speaking at or sponsoring our events and meetups, then get in touch via email at hello@womenofwearables.com.

 

Join us for our upcoming event - Redefining Consumer Goods Industry with AI and Machine Learning, London 30 May!

 

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.