Three University of Leeds students shared innovative ideas around fashion sustainability with experts in the fashion and textile industry at Global Fashion Marketplace’s Clubhouse Fashion round table in February.
Julian Chambers, Charles Dembey, and Joshua Watmuff spoke at the Future Fashion Factory partner’s event in Mayfair, London, where they shared insights into how industry 4.0 will impact sustainable fashion.
With examples such as the ‘Internet of Things’, machine learning and blockchain, they argued that industry 4.0 will have a major impact on how clothes are sourced, made and sold over the long term.
An expert panel then took over for the rest of the evening, discussing topics from mass customisation to traceability in manufacturing.
The students first got involved with Global Fashion Marketplace through their studies at the University of Leeds.
As part of the ‘Innovation Thinking and Practice’ module led by Professor Tony Morgan, industry partners set real-world challenges for which student groups develop innovative solutions. Each group then pitched their solution to a panel of the industry partners and academic experts.
Three Future Fashion Factory members took part in autumn 2019: luxury cashmere brand Joshua Ellis, fabric manufacturer Camira, and Global Fashion Marketplace, a technology-led consultancy for sustainable fashion led by Bukola Dagiloke.
Bukola was so impressed with the pitch given by Julian, Charlie and Josh in response to her challenge that she asked them to take part in Clubhouse Fashion.
“The students’ contributions were excellent and really informative to the industry professionals who analysed how viable the suggestions and possible solutions were,” she explained.
“I think everyone involved walked away more knowledgeable, with a better idea where to start with the technology solutions available to build a more sustainable fashion industry.”
Taking place in Mayfair during London Fashion Week, the evening led to challenging and wide-ranging discussions on how technology can be used responsibly to tackle issues such as supply chain transparency, data-driven models for design and product selection, and understanding consumer behaviour.
“Our conclusion from the event is that the collection of data is paramount to moving forward with any of the new technologies we discussed and that an investment in R&D and strategic planning to identify what problems can be solved and how is the next step to move brands and the industry forward,” Bukola added.
“This is actually great news for the Global Fashion Marketplace because our business development work is based around innovation, data collection and analysis.”