Creating Shared Value In Fashion is the title of a meeting held recently at the Bocconi University of Milan. The meeting focused on sustainability and its multiple implications on the world of fashion, a world where the high and low range converge, from ready-to-wear to fast fashion, and where the voice of Millennials and Generation Z, who tend to be more sensitive to environmental issues compared to the previous generations, is stronger.
Several players are at stake in this period of profound change
said Francesca Romana Rinaldi, Csr in Fashion & Luxury Coordinator of Mafed Sda Bocconi, during her opening speech.
Businesses, of course, but also universities, start-ups, journalists and associations: multiple stakeholders who must commit themselves to promote a different and better way to consume fashion as well as to train a new generation of managers
Rinaldi highlighted that, in the face of growing consumption of clothing at a global level, (“it is projected to increase from 62 to 102 million tonnes from 2015 to 2030, + 63%”), young people are willing to pay more for sustainable products, according to research from PwC. The number of Lohas, or Lifestyle of Health and Sustainability consumers, is also steadily increasing across the five continents. “In this context, technology plays a central role, and together with artificial intelligence it can help develop business models based on traceability”, she pointed out.
Matteo Marzotto (chairman of Dondup), also made a speech focusing on the responsibility that brands have towards their clients:
we are required to provide clear information and a high degree of transparency, and it’s up to us to guarantee them
Chicco Barina, head of the designer team for the same brand, added that “we designers can no longer limit ourselves to designing clothes, but we must closely observe the world that we live in before starting our work. I am convinced that fashion can be part of a necessary change.
Simon Giuliani, marketing director of Candiani denim, clarified: “Communicating sustainability is one thing, promoting and fostering this value is another – the latter requires significant up- and down-stream investments throughout the entire supply chain. We all have to get involved. ”
Sara Sozzani Maino, deputy director of Special Projects of Vogue Italia, as well as head of Vogue Talents and international brand ambassador of Camera Moda, focused her attention on the role of fashion magazines, which are
at the forefront when it comes to creating a virtuous circle to support true sustainability
Luca Testoni, founder of EticaNews, compared the current situation to 2010, the year when his book The Last Fashion Show was first published:
Since then, everything has changed, and the values of sustainability have made an impression on the market, the consumers, and the companies. The point now is to ensure that fashion people embrace corporate social responsibility, which is nothing but a new way of doing business
Marc Sondermann, CEO and director of Fashion magazine, reiterated the key role of the media who
must be able to distinguish between the really virtuous and those who are only greenwashing; especially now that the public is becoming more and more informed on the topic of sustainability. This has led fashion companies to commit themselves to greater transparency in their production processes. Small steps in the right direction should be encouraged, but also assessed in relation to the overall environmental impact of a company
Chiara Campione, the corporate unit head of Greenpeace Italy, has brought to the fore the results of the Detox campaign, “launched seven years ago to denounce the use of dangerous chemicals in the clothing manufacturing industry and to challenge the major fashion brands, asking them to commit themselves to reduce the impact of these substances entirely by 2020. ”
Challenge accepted: “80 brands and suppliers, from fashion to sportswear, to outdoor, luxury and retail, have responded to our appeal. Many results have already been achieved, but now we must not stop: we need to continue working for something that may seem impossible, but that really is not ».