Press | CFDA: How REMODE Addresses Design, Innovation, Sustainability and Technology
By: Cal McNeil on November 11, 2018
REMODE, a two-day meeting of fashion’s top minds across design, innovation, sustainability and technology, took place at the Los Angeles Convention Center over two days earlier this month. The more than 75 exclusive keynote presentations, sessions and workshops aimed at educating attendees on creating impactful change industry-wide.
The organization’s four pillars are ReMarket, ReMake, ReInvest and ReThink, and speakers presented key topics related to trends and changes in the industry –all to help attendees start, grow and transform their businesses. These included:
- - the importance of transparency
- - sustainability as a business strategy
- - building customer- centric brands through technology
- - funding direct-to-consumer brands
- - transforming retail through Al and big data
- - cross border commerce
Speakers included CFDA members Rebecca Minkoff, Sue Stemp of St. Roche, Nicole Miller and Kristy Caylor of For Days, as well as representatives from alice & olivia, Eileen Fisher, Kate Spade, Lectra, Parsons School of Design, Fashion Institute of Technology, Kering, Maison de Mode and CFDA partners AfterPay, Nineteenth Amendment and Tmall.
Additionally, CFDA President and CEO Steven Kolb spoke with CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative winners Abrima Erwiah and Rosario Dawson of Studio One Eighty Nine about the brand’s success, its dedication to sustainability and the future of ethical design in the fashion industry. The morning fireside chat was powered by Maison de Mode. Here, the highlights:
On successes they discovered through the CFDA + Lexus Fashion* Initiative:
Abrima Erwiah: The CFDA encouraged us to ask questions and also put a lot of information on the table for us. It gave us the tools and language to really rethink the work that we were doing and get to a point where we could say How can we take traditional techniques in the work that is currently being done in local communities, collaborate with advances in technology and bridge the gap between what’s going on in this traditional past way and the future by thinking about what the world will look like over the next 50-100 years?” That’s a gift we got through this partnership with the CFDA and Lexus.
On the growing sustainability community:
Rosario Dawson: How grateful, beautiful and powerful is it to see the family that is being created, because I think competition has driven so much around why there is so much waste and why there are so many issues with the whole process. The more that we communicate with each other and share with each other and work as a family, the more that we can create an ethos that recognizes that we’re all in this together and that a bottom line isn’t enough to keep pushing us forward.
On questions the industry should be asking to further sustainable practices:
Rosario Dawson: What are we going to do about what’s already in the market with potentially upcycling, recycling, swapping? What are we going to do with the new things that are coming in and the technologies we have so that it still has a Cradle to Cradle philosophy embedded? What are we going to about the innovation and who the people from the farming techniques and everything, the access to the work and what that’s actually doing?
On the importance of integrating the consumer in to the sustainability conversation:
Abrima Erwiah: Who is the consumer going to be in the future? The reason why this is an exciting moment and why we all have an opportunity to make change is because the consumer is going to change. Billions and billions more people are going to enter the consumption/production space over the next 30-40 years and they have access to technology. they’re young, they are hungry for the same content that everybody else is hungry for and we can’t control the way they’re going to consume, but we can educate and create solutions. We have to include all those people in the conversation.
On the future of sustainability:
Abrima Erwiah: Collaboration is key. Also, education and investing in future generations as early as possible is critical for the development of future leaders and change-makers within organizations, as well as ensuring a more inclusive environment.
Rosario Dawson: We’re looking at real-life problems and we’re coming at it with creativity and passion and excitement and love. There is another way out of this and it can be exciting and fun. It can be a huge success story and it will be absolutely disruptive to the status quo. It creates a whole new pathway for many more people have access to that dream.
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