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A conversation which has dominated the fashion industry over the past few years has centred around how to tackle the environmental issues embedded within it. Yet, despite most designers admitting that something needs to be done, little agreement has been reached so far on exactly how to enact real change. We may be one step closer to that this week though with a number of major fashion brands signing an open letter which proposes a clear plan to transform the fashion industry.
Signed by the likes of Dries van Noten, Erdem Moralioglu, Gabriela Hearst, Joseph Altuzarra, Tory Burch, Craig Green, and the designers behind Proenza Schouler, the letter
presents an idea to shift the structure of the fashion seasons.
“Put the autumn/winter season back in winter (August/January) and spring/summer season back in summer (February/July). Create a more balanced flow of deliveries through the season to provide newness but also time for products to create desire. Finally, discount at the end of the season in order to allow for more full-price selling – January for autumn/winter and July for spring/summer.”
In addition to this, the proposal hopes to “review and adapt fashion shows” as well as “making use of digital showrooms” and encouraging “less travel” and “less waste in fabrics and inventory”.
The proposal came to fruition through a number of conversations between some of big names in the industry, including CEOs and buyers, as well as creative directors. Together, they have put together a plan, which they hope will dramatically change the current flawed system.
“We agreed that the current environment, although challenging, presents an opportunity for a fundamental and welcome change that will simplify our businesses, making them more environmentally and socially sustainable and ultimately align them more closely with customers’ needs.”
The team behind the proposal aims to enact this change for the upcoming autumn/winter 2020 season, for which the shows have already taken place, with product landing in a few months. The spring/summer 2021 shows are scheduled to take place in July for men and September for women.
As stated in the letter, in many ways, this is the perfect time to start making changes in the industry, with the ongoing global pandemic resulting in the cancellation, postponement or digitalisation of many shows. As well as allowing the industry time to pause and think, these forced changes surely help to highlight whether or not the current system really lends itself to the modern world.
“Working together, we hope these steps will allow our industry to become more responsible for our impact on our customers, on the planet and on the fashion community, and bring back the magic and creativity that has made fashion such an important part of our world.”
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