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Melting Pot of Fashion Sustainability and Technology

Updated: Sep 9, 2023

The 9th Annual FASHINNOVATION Worldwide Talks


I am so pleased to share that I was able to experience my first FASHINNOVATION Worldwide Talks event. It was a fantastic experience where sustainability and technology came together to promote the common goal of being better for Mother Earth! I have so much to share and can't wait for everyone to absorb the powerful knowledge and energy that I felt.


model modeling at fashinnovation

During this day-long event, I was able to listen to over a dozen speakers sharing their industry knowledge and connect with like-minded professionals in the sustainability field. This event amplified voices that matter, including social justice advocates and diversity and inclusion champions. It was inspiring to witness the fashion industry's growing commitment to sustainability as well as new innovative technologies.


What Is Happening in Sustainability?

There is so much that I gained from this event just by listening to the speakers share their thoughts on what is occurring in sustainability, how companies can use technology and sustainability together to create a product that the conscious consumer is attracted to, and how to be open and honest with those who are purchasing from you. Each different panel gave you so much awareness of what the present and future of this industry looks like. Below are some of the panels that spoke to the most and I hope you find something valuable from them!


Fashion Is Always On Purpose

The Fashion Is Always On Purpose Panel, was led by Halie Lesavage who interviewed Kenneth Cole. Kenneth, being in the industry for 40 years now has always had a social impact commitment embedded in the main principle of his company. And now in 2023 Kenneth Cole is still supporting AIDs and is now partnered with The Mental Health Coalition NGO. Kenneth explained to us that it is super important to have genuine collaborations that will work overtime not just for that season, something that lasts and will stay with your target market. He exclaimed "Don't be afraid to pivot because pivoting works!" As well as pivoting when you are making that change you should be putting yourself in the shoes of who you are selling to— it's so crucial to be listening rather than just putting out what you think your market would appreciate.




Fashion Is Taking A Fresh Approach Toward Sustainability

This panel was led by Cassell Ferere who interviewed, Áwet Woldegebriel, Tracy Vontélle Green, and Louise Ulukaya. This panel touched on the importance of being transparent with whom you are selling your product to and how to make sure that your end goal is promoting your brand identity. New brands need to think of sustainability as a way to connect and find a larger way to care for the community. With a customer-altered approach, modern brands need to be actively thinking of modern sustainability ideals not just the product lifecycle process but also afterward and how their product is making an impact. Áwet, touched on multiple times about how sustainability is being used as a marketing tool, which is completely correct — it is a tool companies are using to attract customers even if they are not being fully sustainable.

He also talked about how not every company can be perfectly sustainable, as his company Áwet New York, is just openly being as sustainable as they can. Tracy's company Vontélle Eyewear is reusing glass and plastic from old glasses to be repurposed into their new product, with a focus on creating an eyeglass that is wearable for everyone. Their approach is to make everyone feel included as well as having a circular inventory. While Louise's approach to her business Mon Couer is a holistic approach, they are breathing sustainability and being transparent to their customer without greenwashing. It is also very impactful to the sustainability of the environment to use non-virgin fibers as well as the ethics and people's rights by supporting countries and people using sustainable technologies. Below is Louise speaking about Mon Couer and their sustainable practices.




Fashion is Embracing Inbox Commerce

In this panel, Jennifer Ortakales Dawkins interviewed Keynote speaker Pratik Bhadra who is the CEO of North America, NetCore Cloud & UNBXD. NetCore is key inbox commerce that uses cases to drive near-term growth. They are connecting Instagram and email shops to create inbox commerce. This concept certainly caught my eye because of how seamlessly it integrates the two and makes it a one-stop shop, imagine only just having to go into your inbox and check out from your cart there how cool!

Fashion is Retail, Generative & Internal AI

This group of individuals was interviewed by Marie Driscoll, panel included Chandra Subramanian CEO of ORS Group, Lori Schafer CEO of Digitial Wave Technology, and Sean Snyder President of Engagement Agents. I took a lot from this panel because AI is the future of basically everything that is to come in every industry and if we work together with AI it will help us more than hindering us our careers. As Lori mentioned "AI isn't as intelligent as we think it is, and that AI needs to be co-pilot on your journey", not in the driver's seat. That stood out to me as someone who is trying to integrate forms of AI into my work, it is refreshing to know that you can utilize it seamlessly by working with it. 20-30% of important conversion rates are based on using generative AI — which is extremely important to remember that AI is here to help us!


Fashion is Entrepreneurship Through Ethical Creation

Khary Simon Creative Director of Hearst interviewed Kimberly Carney Founder & CEO of Fashwire and Uddhav Bagrodia Co-Founder & President of Wastewear. This panel was awesome to listen to because both entrepreneurs had a lot of great information to share about how brands need to adapt to the newest technology — with a lack of utilizing the most recent technology companies will fall behind. It is important for sustainable brands to stay up to date with what is trending on the technology side because without implementing the new they will be stuck with outdated practices. Brands with a purpose will also sell more that is just a fact and you can see it today in modern companies! Uddhav, touched upon the gap in the supply chain explaining that manufacturers can not fully say that they are 100% sustainable because there is no way from start to finish that the process is at that point yet. It is more important to identify WHAT is sustainable in your brand and stick with that when promoting your company's ethos. Let us not forget as consumers and creators that waste is a powerful word.


Fashion Is Celebrities Democratizing Sustainability

The last panel was journalist Dana Thomas interviewing Sutton Stracke who is TV personality of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. I was able to chat with Sutton after her panel and it was so lovely to speak with her and connect with her beyond what Dana was asking her. It was super exciting to see a celebrity take the time to want to create a fashion house that has sustainability at the forefront of it and I'm truly excited to see how it goes for Sutton and her team!

sutton stracke sustainability event
Me with Sutton Stracke!

A Big THANK YOU!

There is so much more knowledge I absorbed beyond the panels I wrote about but just wanted to give a peek into what was spoken about and how important the future of fashion sustainability and technology are together. Thank You Jordana and Marcelo!



Video above is Eddie Ingle speaking about the Product Passport and how their company can track the fibers, yarn or materials throughout its whole life cycle.

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