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Global Fashion Agenda hosts its first online event

Fashion leaders come together to find ways to future-proof their brands

On May 12 2021, Danish leadership forum, Global Fashion Agenda (GFA) hosted its first online Fashion CEO Agenda event. The event provided a strategic guide for industry executives to future-proof their companies. Brand leaders such as Patrik Silén chief strategy officer of ASOS, Helena Helmersson, H&M Group’s CEO and Kerry Huang strategy and chief of staff at Pangaia attended the virtual event.

Fashion Agenda publishes a yearly framework co-authored by ASOS, Bestseller, Fung Group, H&M Group, Kering, Nike, PVH, Sustainable Apparel Coalition and Target. The forum hosted a public event offering a conversation on the actions needed to be made to create circular industry models.

In the second opening statement Dr Kirsten Dunlip CEO of EIT Climate-KIC warned: “The greatest risk to any CEO running a business in 2021 and looking forward into the next ten years, is not the risk of dramatic change. It’s the risk of attachment to the way you’re doing business now.” She urged that business models should evolve now “before it’s too expensive, too late and too punitive”.

We spoke to CEO of Lone Design Club prior to the event, Rebecca Morter, who was set to attend the event for the first time this year. Lone Design club is a forward-thinking retail company focused on bringing together sustainable independent brands and connecting them to conscious global consumers.  When asking what Morter anticipated from the event she said, “I am particularly interested to hear thoughts and comments on circular economy and how this can be integrated mainstream, how brands can adopt a fully circular model without taking away from workers.”

During the event there was a strong emphasis on collaboration and collective action. Amina Razvi – executive director of Sustainable Apparel Coalition – spoke on the aims of the GFA. “Set priorities for the fashion industry so that we can work together in unison driving towards the same goals ultimately aligning our efforts and achieving greater impacts together then we can alone.”

It was eye opening to see how popular, mainstream brands are taking responsibility for their environmental and ethical impacts. Patrik Silén CSO at ASOS acknowledged that to reach the etailer’s goal of being the “number one destination for 20 something fashion lovers” it need to be transparent, responsible and inclusive with its approach to business.

The event offered information for how brands can implement change in their production. From textiles to fair pay. The digital GFA event offered a promising insight into the future of fashion.

Image courtesy of Global Fashion Agenda annual report.

You can watch the full event here

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