How serious is the fashion industry when it comes to sustainability? And what role does professional journalism play?

In this space, we’ve talked a lot about sustainability, the supply chain, and the need for radical change in the textile and apparel industry. In today’s article, we look at some of the important research and journalism organizations that are helping to drive this change, the important role they play, and some of their upcoming events.

Driving change in a large but fragmented industry like textiles and apparel is, to use a cliched expression, transforming the Titanic. We all know how it ended. Is fashion taking the same path?

In such a vast industry, change seems to come at a snail’s pace. But there are encouraging signs. And independent sources such as The Sourcing Journal, the World Textile Information Network (WTIN) and, we hope, WhatTheyThink are key drivers of this change. In this article, we highlight some of the events and content that emphasize the need for change in the industry. While there are many aspects where changes need to occur, not the least of which is the protection of workers which is so critical to the success of the industry, today we are focusing on the aspect of sustainability – how industry can create less pollution and waste, protect precious freshwater resources, keep harmful microfibers out of the ocean, and more. To do this, we highlight the efforts of these organizations to bring the problems – and perhaps some solutions – to the fore.

It should be noted that even though the organizations I have mentioned above are for-profit organizations, they and others, both for-profit and non-profit, operate with a sincere intention to drive change in the world. ‘industry. WhatTheyThink launched its Textiles section in late 2018, and it’s been an honor for me to run it and hopefully bring our readers educational journalism focused on the analog-to-digital transformation that’s key to the future of industry. If you’re not a member of WhatTheyThink, maybe a visit to our Member Center is worth it. We have both Free and Premium content on the site; for example, all of our videos are free. But our Premium content is for members only. (Normally this article would be Premium members only, but we’ve “unblocked” it for readers who may not have become Premium members…yet.) And I hope you’ll join us and you will share your thoughts in the form of comments on the various articles and videos we have built over the years.

I would also like to thank WTIN. Not only does WTIN conduct significant research, it offers nearly four million pieces of content organized around a number of key innovation topics and hosts major events. For example, WTIN hosts the Global Digital Textile Conference 2022 October 5-6 at Lake Como in Italy. The event is hybrid, which means you can participate virtually or in person. Offering hybrid events is important and not just a relic of the pandemic, as it allows more people to participate than they might otherwise. And it has a wide range of expert speakers on all industry-related digital topics.

  • A panel discussion on whether sustainability is within reach of digital textile printers will bring together representatives from print service providers, digital textile equipment manufacturers, ink manufacturers and brands to understand how the ecosystem digital textile can reduce its environmental impact.
  • Jana van den Bergen, Fashion for Good’s Innovation Associate, will present a session titled Moving from wet to dry processes: the D(R)YE factor of the future, identify incremental and disruptive innovations that can significantly reduce carbon emissions within the fashion supply chain.
  • Lutz Walter, Secretary General of the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textiles and Clothing (ETP), will present a session on technological and legislative trends that enable reshoring, an important aspect of sustainability for the industry that has the potential to significantly reduce the industry’s carbon footprint while benefiting brands, manufacturers and consumers.
  • And Edward Hertzman, Founder and President of Sourcing Journal, will present a session on the supply chain crisis, sharing how brands and retailers can build scalable customer-centric supply chains.

And that only scratches the surface. Be sure to check out the agenda and find out how the conference can help your organization move towards a more sustainable and digital future.

The Sourcing Journal is another great resource. We recently interviewed its founder, Edward Hertzman, who will also be speaking at the WTIN conference, as noted. He shares the results of an in-person sustainability summit he hosted in New York, The road to 2030. I appreciate receiving his newsletters, which always have timely, relevant and thought-provoking content about the state of the industry and its efforts to reinvent itself. Hertzman will host the Sourcing Journal Fall Summit in New York on October 18, touted as providing strategic solutions for complex challenges. It also features a thought-provoking agenda, ranging from discussions of how consumers and the market as a whole are responding to the current environment of tight credit and escalating prices, to the need for brands to build social capital. and a commodities perspective.

Whether you prefer to get information about your industry from newsletters, research, events, or a combination of the above, these are great resources.

Finally, there has been a lot of talk about the state of journalism around the world lately, from the local news deserts created by newspaper closures and the reduction in the number of reporters available to cover important local news, to the partisan division that is growing in the American information industry.

What doesn’t get much attention, however, is the importance of business journalism in providing industry-specific communities with the information they need to navigate an increasingly fast and confusing road. especially with regards to sustainability, workers’ rights, supply chain. , and more.

Whichever source or sources you choose to support, we hope you will genuinely support specialist journalism in the textiles and clothing industry, which faces many challenges. These sources are indispensable in helping everyone in the industry find the way forward. Without them, progress towards a fairer and more sustainable future for the industry will be slower and may even come to a halt.

About Ryan Headley

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