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The European Fashion Alliance Hosts the Status of European Fashion in Brussels

LONDON — The European Fashion Alliance held its The Status of European Fashion conference in Brussels earlier this week to discuss consumer education, sustainable business models and the upcoming European Union regulations.

Scott Lipinski, chairman of the European Fashion Alliance, opened the event with a speech reminding everyone that they are there to be “an alliance of knowledge sharing, an alliance of shared interests, and a big ambition to create a better fashion ecosystem,” he said.

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SMEs, or small and medium-sized enterprises, were the focus of a panel led by Simone Cipriani from the U.N. Alliance for Sustainable Fashion with Guy Morgan, director of sustainability at Chanel; Henrik Vibskov, Danish fashion designer; Ruth Reichstein, policy coordinator at Cabinet von der Leyen, and Julia Aruni Kirschner, director of impact and innovation at Armedangels.

Carlota Barrera
Carlota Barrera

“How do we ensure that sustainability is simple but not simplistic? It gets really complicated when you consider the holistic sustainability of different product categories, all the savoir faire, the craftsmanship and how many thousands of companies and SMEs actually support this industry. They are the heartbeat of the sector when we legislate the performance of different categories,” said Morgan.

Another panel explored how education systems can promote sustainability to young talent and entrepreneurs.

Part of the alliance’s goal is to involve young talents and voices in engaging roles and activities within the fashion industry alongside brands and organizations.

“We need to teach in schools how to develop the capabilities for thinking about value in cultural terms, social terms, in economic terms and in environmental terms. That means a curriculum that talks about the aesthetics, the technical expertise, material know-how and suitability of materials more deeply than that to think about our perceptions of ourselves in the world,” said Prof. Dilys Williams, director of the Center of Sustainable Fashion.

During the event, an industry-wide survey was conducted, with the results scheduled to come out at the end of April.

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