Updated: Sep 5
On the 30th June I was lucky enough to attend the Future Fashion Factory’s annual showcase in Leeds. This was the first time since 2019 that the event had been in person and it was great to see designers, scientists, business experts and manufacturers all gathered under one roof to discuss the future of fashion.
One of the key themes of the talks throughout the day was the cross-industry collaboration that is needed to solve the fashion industry’s environmental and societal issues. In the industry, it is not uncommon to hear directors of brands say that they will only change once the pressure from consumers is high enough, so it was encouraging to hear brands (both small and large) talk about the pioneering work they are undertaking to push for change. Barefoot’s collaboration with The Boot Repair Company to offer ReVivo Repairs is probably my favourite example.
We also heard from amazing innovators such as Weffan and the Sustainable Sequins company who have partnered with researchers at Leeds to prove their concepts and commercialise their ideas.
UKFT Operations Director Judith Rosser-Davies explained in the closing remarks “The fashion and textile industry is at a critical turning point, and one which will redefine the sector and the opportunities within it for at least the next ten years. It will mean a fundamental change and one that needs to be delivered at pace and will call for new skills and new jobs. Industry, academia, government and consumers go hand in hand in solving this and need to create and maintain momentum around this agenda. Legislators, investors, researchers and consumers are all powerful drivers for change. But at its core it will be driven by research and development.”
At SAGES, we can get focused on the minute detail of our products and processes but it’s so important to remember that we are part of a bigger picture. At its core, our idea for food-waste derived dyes comes from an understanding that we have to change the way we approach innovation and collaboration in fashion. The industry needs systemic change at all levels and, although we are small at present, we are always looking to the future to see how we can make the biggest change possible.