Ethical, responsible, ingenious: let’s be SMART

From left to right: Giusy Bettoni, founding president of C.L.A.S.S.; Carlo Capasa, president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda; Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council; and Chantal Malingrey, Director of Marketing and Development at Première Vision

“Today, we are talking about the future. Because sustainable development is the future …” Carlo Capasa, President of the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana

“Fashion is an ecosys tem that must strengthen the sy nergy between all sectors, from yarn to finished product, with transparency and responsibility.” Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council

These will dramatically change production and sales approaches in textiles and fashion. It’s been in the air for a long ago, today it’s a certainty.
As a privileged observer of textile innovation for some 42 years, Première Vision is on the front lines of this process of renewal. Its Smart Creation program proposes both concrete actions and a platform providing both a study tool and a way to communications channel to promote different approaches in the field of responsible creation. For Première Vision, this program is the expression of a specific stance and a long-term strategy.
Its first undertakings: the “Smart Facts” questionnaire (see box) and the first Smart Conversation Master Class, held yesterday. Many more will follow. Invited by Première Vision CEO Philippe Pasquet to address the issues facing tomorrow’s fashions were: Carlo Capasa, Italy’s president of the Camera Nazionale della Moda; Caroline Rush, Chief Executive of the British Fashion Council; Chantal Malingrey, Director of Marketing and Development at Première Vision; and Giusy Bettoni, founding president of C.L.A.S.S. All agreed: today, “smart” is synonymous with responsibility. This is an ethical question emerging from the intersection of supply and demand, but the issue is not limited to ethics. Transparency and sustainability are also paramount economic and marketing issues. “According to a 2014 study by Boston Consulting, 13% of shoppers weighed ethical responsibility in their decision making. Two years earlier, only 2% did,” commented Carlo Capasa. “The fashion and textile industry are one and the same system, which the issue of responsibility is currently unifying, from the creative stage to production and the choice of raw materials. The important thing is to showcase innovations and share our knowledge, especially in terms of reducing chemical and environmental impacts.” It is in this vein that in 2012, the Camera della Moda put forward a manifesto for sustainable development. Today this group works in collaboration with ten major Italian brands to put in place common standards concerning chemical and energy emissions. For Caroline Rush, “The example of designer Christopher Raeburn demonstrates that responsible creation is a form of excellence that we have to identify, assist and support.” This first Smart Conversation provided a space for discussion, to consolidate and give a rightful place to values destined to redefine the fashions of tomorrow. It also provided a place to exchange ideas, to confirm a desire for collaboration between the upstream textile sector and the fashion universe. An understanding built on a respect for the environment and people; with responsibility and transparency as standards of quality, but also as powerful drivers of innovation.

Discover the Smart Facts
Nearly 150 exhibitors answered the online questionnaire concerning sustainable development sent out by Première Vision as part of the Première Vision Smart Creation program. The heart of the survey are each company’s “Smart Facts”. Small everyday gestures and major activities all demonstrate exhibitors’ commitments in terms of sustainable production methods and responsible sourcing. The full list of involved companies can already be found on the Première Vision app.


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