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  • Zoe Norton and Jen Igiri

Nurturing radical thinking and action – putting earth and equity first


four people posed under Global Fashion Summit banners
CSF’s Fashion Values team at the Global Fashion Summit. Image Credit: Olivia Pinnock.
“The ambition of Fashion Values is to nurture radical thinking and action that puts earth and equity at the forefront of fashion practice. Through our programme, including a portfolio of four online courses, we are building a community of fashion voices that are not only calling for change, but developing the skills to enact it.”

– Nina Stevenson, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, LCF, UAL.


Fashion Values: Society
people sitting at round tables listening to a talk
Guests at the Fashion Values Showcase. Image Credit: Global Fashion Agenda.

On 26 June 2023, this year’s Fashion Values Challenge came to a close as the Programme showcased its six finalists and announced the two winners at an exclusive event during the Global Fashion Summit in Copenhagen.

The 2022/23 Challenge asked ‘How can Fashion value Society?’, calling for applicants to demonstrate an idea or business that will help shift the fashion industry towards a more sustainable future. The selected projects include made-to-order genderless garments working alongside communities and artisans, inclusive and adaptive fashion, a social enterprise repurposing surplus fabric, and sustainable fashion technology to celebrate and elevate tradition.

We were thrilled to announce industry winner Misaki Tanaka from SOLIT, and student winner Prakriti Choubey with her project Avatirna. Both demonstrated how their ideas would benefit society, with a holistic understanding of fashion and sustainability, and with impact measurement carefully considered. Read more about the winners and their projects on Fashion Values Voices.



The Showcase event also included the introduction to next year’s Challenge theme – ‘How can Fashion value Cultures?’. Cultural sustainability looks at ways fashion can nurture wellbeing and equity, respecting nature’s limits and the diversity of cultures that we have, in enthralling and awe-inspiring ways. It considers the power of words and imagery in fashion, exploring how its language and imagery can carry stories of what really is valued in our lives.


four speakers on a stage
Panel discussion at Showcase event. Image Credit: Global Fashion Agenda.

Stories are so important to fashion because they articulate our histories, our identities, our connections to each other, our hopes, where we come from, who we are, and something about where we’re going. They also help us to make sense of ourselves in the world, and they keep cultures alive.

“We need to understand how people talk fashion to each other.”

– Samata Pattinson


A panel of changemakers explored how fashion can visualise and narrate stories of the ingenuity and creativity of humanity in its many forms. The discussion was chaired by CSF’s Prof Dilys Williams, with Géraldine Vallejo (Sustainability Programme Director at Kering), Samata Pattinson (Sustainability Pioneer, Producer and Author), and Aditi Mayer (Activist and GFA Next Gen Ambassador) as panellists.


Next Gen Assembly
eight people, the Next Gen Assembly, posed and smiling at the camera
Next Gen Assembly with Aditi Mayer. Image Credit: Global Fashion Agenda.

The Next Gen Assembly, launched in collaboration with Global Fashion Agenda convenes talented students and young professionals in an impactful advocacy programme. Our goal is to enable the next generation of sustainability changemakers to gain access to the industry, have their voices heard, and their ideas nurtured. They have been supported by the Fashion Values team in developing advocacy and communications skills to foster their development.

“Here at the Global Fashion Summit it has shown me that, as youth, I have power and I have a voice, and I’m super glad for that.”

– Pedro Ferreira, Next Gen Assembly member.


The Assembly participated in a closed-door roundtable discussion with leading fashion executives at the Summit, fostering connections to inspire action for radical systems change in and through fashion.The roundtable explored the power of storytelling for driving change in the fashion industry, taking inspiration from the experiences of the participating industry leaders.

“It was an amazing opportunity for us to have this close, raw environment with industry leaders to share our concerns and have a meaningful and transparent conversation about the barriers and opportunities. I think it’s very important to have these kinds of spaces at every kind of event or conference, to put together on the same table youth and voices from all over the world with industry leaders to try to build solutions.”

– Clara Tomé, Next Gen Assembly member.


The Assembly were also given access to the full Summit programme of talks and panels, as well as their own Q&A sessions with leaders in fashion, media and sustainability from Nike, H&M Group, BBC StoryWorks and Earthshot Prize.

large audience seated round five panellists in conversation
Kaja Grujuc’s Panel. Image Credit: Olivia Pinnock.

Speaking on a panel about European policy on day two, Next Gen Assembly participant Kaja Grujic, a recent graduate of the MA Fashion Futures course at London College of Fashion, said: “It's important to acknowledge that the people that feel the effects of these policies are not the ones making the decisions. They're not the ones at the table. So, when we make EU policy, how can we engage them, these marginalised voices, in these conversations?”

“Never be defeated by imposter syndrome, it’s your ideas that will shape the industry, go ahead and be the disrupters of the future.”

Hannah Jones, CEO of Earth Shot Prize speaking to our Next Gen Assembly.


 
Read More about the Challenge and Next Gen Assembly

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