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We kicked off New York Fashion Week (NYFW) with Elucid Magazine’s “FashionHub: Fashion Meets Technology.” The event brought together fashion industry professionals, aspiring and current designers, writers, photographers and fashion enthusiasts who contributed to a future-forward conversation about the fashion and tech communities.

The first panel, “Fashiontech & Sustainability,” was moderated by Charles Beckwith, producer and host of American Fashion Podcast. Beckwith, along with panelists Stephanie Benedetto, founder/CEO, Queen of Raw; Deb Johnson, executive director, Pratt Institute; and Michael Parker of PrintFX/FabLab. The panelists discussed the demand for social, ecological and economic sustainability in fashion.

So, within a conversation of virtual reality, big data, blockchain, production and manufacturing, what stuck out most? The need to redefine fashion.

Panelists discussed how brands will burn clothes before allowing them to be discounted, and questioned what consumers really want to wear versus what brands want to offer. Benedetto also brought up the need to redefine fashion in terms of sustainability. The panelists concluded that styles must appeal primarily to both brands and consumers in order to be marketable and avoid the pits of deadstock. To make a move in a new direction—a more eco-friendly direction—we must redefine the standards of fashion.

It starts with addressing the clear need for sustainability that both brands and consumers demand. What does this need look like in the world of fashion? And what are the necessary standards? Sustainable choices are being implemented today by the often-overlooked manufacturers, mills and textile solutions providers, who are already providing and continuously improving the following solutions:

  • Moving from mass market to mass customization
  • Providing sustainable options
  • Building in services and color to fabrics that heighten benefits and maintain quality
  • Developing certifications and digitally-tracked databases

We left NYFW feeling more motivated than ever to redefine fashion by redesigning our approach to it. We’re committed to further our mission of creating a better tomorrow. Continue to follow our journey as we work to redefine sustainability in fashion.