Keeping With the Times: Fashion Weeks Unite in Plotting Course For Sustainability (source: Fashion Emergency Magazine)

Industry: Fashion

With seismic changes rocking the fashion week paradigm, most revered fashion institutions have found it difficult to adapt, with the concept of seasonal shows being put under scrutiny in recent months.

Chicago, IL (PRUnderground) September 18th, 2020

While this challenge to the global fashion industry is unprecedented in its spread and socioeconomic scale, the fashion weeks we have come to love and value for being the crystallized form of the zeitgeist are refusing to back down – opting to adapt to the changing reality.

In fact, the regional fashion weeks are surprisingly leading the charge in terms of furthering the cause of sustainability in the industry – a hot-button issue that has come to be somewhat of a paradox for the press, with the textile industry being one of the biggest industrial offenders.

With a single cotton T-shirt requiring up to 700 gallons of water and may travel across a dozen countries during its lifespan, and the next generation will have to survive with a shortage of resources and the consequences of consumerism in a way that current designers never have.

Big ideas (like gathering the most sustainable brands – whether it comes to reusing garments or zero-waste production – in a movement that would spearhead a new generation of revolutionary designers) demand a bigger platform.

Fortunately, the fashion week network is a perfect fit for giving a voice to talents that could change the very fabric of the fashion week system.

Seven major fashion organisations from four continents – all with their own history of managing ecological issues – have come together this season for Global Talents Digital based in Moscow – a pioneering achievement in this difficult year. Russian Fashion Council together with Japan Fashion Week Organization, South African Fashion Week, Kampala Fashion Week, Lagos Fashion Week, São Paolo Fashion Week, Indonesian Fashion Designers Association, Fashion Design Council of India have highlighted more than 67 fashion brands from 23 countries in a concentrated effort to support ethical production.

This hybrid event, broadcast on hundreds of websites, including the official Japan Fashion Week website at, isn’t just for industry insiders and designers – in fact, the main goal of Global Talents Digital is changing the way the viewers think of their garments as a whole.

Such a tectonic shift in thinking isn’t easy to achieve, but it’s working – with the Global Fashion Sustainability Summit in Copenhagen taking place this October, and the Innovation in Technology Summit taking place by the end of September, the focus is on productions that are ethical and – first and foremost – put their ethics before profits.

Despite a global lockdown, these collaborations give hope to those who previously thought the fashion industry to be all but in a state of collapse. All of us possess a part in making this era come true, but only through coming together can we ensure the endured survival of the industry – and more than that, make it beneficial to everyone who is passionate about fashion.

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