At IFA Paris, we endeavour to be on the forefront of education around fashion sustainability and technology, specifically with our newest programs, MBA Fashion Technology and Bachelor Fashion Sustainability. They are quite often seen as separate disciplines, but there are strong connections as to why these two subjects go hand-in-hand to create the future of fashion.
Technology is an enabler. Therefore, technology can, and will, be able to guide the industry into a more sustainable future. For example, connected supply chains using technologies such as blockchain, AI and automation will enable brands to create better efficiencies, cut carbon emissions and handle waste more effectively than ever before. Innovators such as Ioncell and Synflux are two great examples of companies that are tackling the waste within the various parts of the product development phase. Although early-stage developments, with enough resources and talent joining their missions, the future looks brighter for a very dirty industry.
Last term, IFA Paris Bachelor Sustainability students, were given the opportunity to work with RoundRack, a startup that is creating a platform to help fashion brands manage the usage of innovative textiles within their collections. Students were given the task of creating a taxonomy of sustainability, fashion and innovation to fall in line with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Coincidently, RoundRack is a previous incubatee on the Startup Program that is delivered inside our fashion innovation lab, Foundry Powered by IFA Paris. This provided the students with a chance to marry theory and real-life context together.
Another great example where technological barriers have been lowered are at the end of the fashion value chain. Specifically dealing with consumer and the end of a like of garment. A multitude of services and online platforms have been able to emerge due to the ease of launching ecommerce sites without the need to code. Companies such as Rent The Runway and Vestiaire Collective are the poster children of such re-commerce solutions tackling the tonnes of clothing that are thrown into the landfill every year.
The examples in this article are just the tip of the iceberg and the dawn of an innovation revolution. We encourage the new generation of fashion professionals to reflect how sustainability and technology can help fight the climate crisis.