Jeddah: Sustainability, diversity and inclusiveness, entrepreneurship and innovative solutions in the global fashion industry were the highlights of the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Culture’s second fashion futures initiative.
The Ministry of Culture’s Fashion Commission gathered global and regional fashion leaders at Riad and New York studios on Thursday through a hybrid model that was virtually worldwide to discuss issues related to the future of the industry. Hosted an event How to build a suitable ecosystem for it.
“Our mission is to enable the development of the thriving Saudi Arabian fashion industry, to be sustainable and inclusive, to maximize local talent, experience and abilities. This is the initiative and ours. It will be achieved through our flagship event, Fashion Futures, “said Princess Noura Binto Faisal Alsaud, Sector Development Director of the Fashion Commission, in her opening speech.
The program “Fashion Futures: Moving Towards Sustainability, Diversity & Innovation” is the result of a collaboration with US-based Fashion innovation, a multimedia platform focused on sustainability innovation and entrepreneurship led by Jordana Guimaraes.
Chantal Line Carpentier, chief of the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), said creative industries such as the fashion business are worth more than $ 2.5 trillion worldwide. The fashion product market has the potential to significantly increase the employment of developing countries, SMEs, and many women and young entrepreneurs.
However, the industry was responsible for 8-10% of the world’s carbon dioxide emissions and 20% of the world’s industrial wastewater pollution, creating a large environmental footprint.
Carpentier discussed fashion possibilities for sustainable development and economic growth. She said the 2021 Declaration of the International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development is an opportunity to raise awareness and promote cooperation and networking. It will encourage sharing of best practices and experiences to strengthen the capacity of human resources, tackle challenges and promote an environment that enables us to take advantage of creative economy opportunities.
The content of the meeting was divided into four parts. Entrepreneurship and experimentation, cultural and style diversity, investment in new business models and innovation solutions, Sustainable Development Goals. Each part of the event had four different sessions, including keynotes and panel discussions.
Notable international speakers included Susan Rockefeller, chairman and trustee of Oceana, a non-profit marine conservation foundation. Rebecca Minkov, a fashion designer and author of “Fearless: A New Rule for Unleashing Creativity, Courage and Success”. Oskar Metsavaht, an environmental activist and founder of fashion brand Osklen. Helen Aboah, CEO of luxury lifestyle brand Urban Zen. Abrima Erwiah, co-founder of Studio One Eighty-Nine, a social enterprise that promotes and curates African fashion.
Chief Susability Officer of the Global Fashion Agenda, Morten Lehmann embraces and encourages change in the global fashion industry to overcome the challenges faced in terms of more sustainability, environmental, social and human rights. Emphasized the need.
“If you can change a very complex and fragmented fashion, you can change everything,” Lehman said. “We can encourage other industries to do the same, and we can encourage citizens to participate in the movement.”
Designer and entrepreneur Arwa Al-Ammari, designer Youssef Akbar, entrepreneur and runway supermodel Bandar Hawsawi, fashion designer and head of women’s clothing for Lamia Al-Otaishan Aydin’s Les Benjamins will be at the event. Major fashion leaders from Saudi Arabia such as participated.
In addition to addressing issues related to education, business models, fashion design, transparency and women’s empowerment, the discussion of diversity and inclusiveness was a major highlight of almost every talk throughout the conference.
For Youssef Akbar, being a Saudi Arabian fashion designer was a unique selling point. However, it was very difficult to start his business and establish his name. Nevertheless, for players in the minority of the global fashion industry, such as Akbar, diversity and inclusiveness arose from instinct.
Akbar was critical of the shallow expression of diversity. “The entire corporate culture, not just campaigns, photography and runways, needs to reflect these values. Companies should start with diversity from the inside, not from the outside,” he said. ..
The conference ended with an interview with Saudi Arabia’s Ambassador to the United States, Princess Rema Bandar Alsaud, highlighting how Saudi Arabia will become a sustainable fashion leader in the coming years.
“Today, the work of our fashion committee brings not only fashion background and education, but also fashion sustainability, so we are really proud to welcome Burak Cakmak as our CEO,” she said. Said. “And what he can do for us is to go our way through essentially sustainability and leaps that everyone else started because we don’t have a historic fashion industry.”
The concepts of sustainability, reuse and recycling were important foundations of the Commission’s thinking. But it was also built on Saudi culture and heritage, Princess Reamer said.
The Fashion Commission launched the Fashion Future Initiative in 2019 as the first fashion-focused event in the Kingdom, and in 2021, the leading digital fashion sector accessible worldwide at https://fashionfutures.com. Redesigned as a platform. / en / home
The main goal of this initiative is to support the building of a fashion ecosystem in the Kingdom while leading the way to a more globally sustainable fashion sector.
The Fashion Commission is one of 11 Saudi cultural organizations established in February last year by the Ministry of Culture to oversee the development and success of the cultural subsector.