On June 17th, CFDA held its yearly education summit in NYC, this time on the lengthy theme of “Diversity + Inclusion. Regenerating + Maintaining. Sustainability + Circularity: Identifying Shared Needs and Priorities and Developing an Action Plan.”
Lynda Grose and Otto von Busch were invited to discuss the topic “Reflections on sustainability + circularity – where are we? Where do we need to be?” at the CFDA education summit in NYC. After a shared presentation and discussion, Lynda and Otto held a workshop on the theme with participants, where a sense of urgency around the topic was noticeable.
The following notes were highlighted by the participants;
On the theme of Business:
- a need to move away from single unit sale metrics to open up for other economic relationships in fashion business,
- a need for reviews of alternative or complementary business models for fashion companies, small and large, including companies at the fringes of fashion,
- facilitate new ways of costing/values analytics, that is, not just revenue and upfront costs of new units, but more varied metrics to open up for experiences, services etc, that can also include longer user commitments and behaviors,
- a need to gather and disseminate case studies of a range of businesses in fashion, from sharing, lending, repair, repurposing, upcycling etc. Without business cases it is hard to get these new business models evaluated and into business courses.
On the theme of Education:
- bring more values of fashion into education (not only new units). Examples can be Buen Vivir, Just transition, Eudaimonia, etc,
- training students to use reframing and restrictions to approach fashion anew (ex. requiring limits in material or sourcing, or emphasis on composting or laundry, etc)
- using more field trips to new, as well as old, businesses so students can see and understand the differences (organizing access and exposure out of the classroom),
- developing new aesthetics and sensibilities that do not reference unethical materials (fur, leather, etc).
On the theme of Agency and Change:
- leveraging interest in sustainability to not only learn about corporate responsibility, but also affecting and changing policy (political leverage and mandates, op-eds and activism, unions and protests, etc)
- inviting policy-makers to schools to discuss the political side of sustainability.
We would like to thank the participants of the summit and workshop, as well as the CFDA for inviting us to the summit.