Key stakeholders in Fashion came together at the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce New York’s for their initiative Impact Track’s first Sustainable Fashion Forum, joining forces to crowd-source ideas on how to urgently transform the fashion industry.

In the aftermath of Sweden recently becoming the first country to cancel its fashion week “due to the future”, the global fashion industry is now picking up the pace when it comes to acting on transformation and innovation in a sustainable way. This forum proved that Sweden, “The Sustainable Fashion Capital of the World”, is leading the conversation and is now taking it to the most needed global level.

At the event, Michael Ferraro of the Fashion Institute of Technology showcased ongoing innovative projects with some of the biggest fashion brands as well as with other industries. Such as the already epic self-loving glove made by Ann-Sofie Back for the New York fashion week as part of the #MeToo Movement.  

Michael Ferraro, Executive Director, Fashion Institute of Technology/Infor dTech Lab

Jennie Rosén, CEO of the Swedish Fashion Council, announced a new approach to Stockholm Fashion Week, a platform for the foundation and focus of which is to facilitate innovation and cross-sectoral collaborations.  

Jennie Rosén, CEO of Swedish Fashion Council, and Emil Frid, Co-Founder of Fashion Innovation Center

“We will find partners in each industry and invite them to innovate and disrupt fashion projects, in a cross-border environment where each company provides their expertise. When a trillion-dollar business needs to make a paradigm shift and enter the digital world, the opportunities are endless”, said Emil Frid, Co-Founder of Fashion Innovation Center.

Speakers and panelists from big brands, business and finance all gave their view on who is – and should be – driving the agenda. The key issue was the new demands from today’s conscious consumers on transparency and two-way communication. The urgency for a shift for the fashion industry to re-invent itself was clear, and it will need global participation, education and access to the right tools.

Emily Scarlett, Head of Communications & Public Relations, H&M USA

Emily Scarlett, Head of Communications and Public Relations, H&M USA, stated that the fashion industry isn’t going anywhere, and that these next conversations must be about moving the industry forward. Instead of competing with one another, the industry must come together as a whole to share ideas, hold one another accountable, and shape the future together. “It’s an industry that is demanding of resources – how can we continue to look at new economies by turning old things into new things – how do we integrate technologies into things?” she asked.

“Sweden has chosen to do more than other countries regarding energy, climate and also in the fashion industry,” says Helena Waker, CEO, Association of Trade Partners Sweden and Founder, Stockholm Fashion District. For more than a decade, Sweden has been in the top ten of the globally respected Environmental Performance Index produced by Columbia and Yale universities.

The Impact Track Sustainable Fashion Forum was organized by the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce in New York and was presented in partnership with Visit Sweden, Invest Stockholm, Visit Stockholm, the Consulate General of Sweden in New York, The Swedish Villa, Fjällräven, Nudie Jeans, Gudrun Sjödén, re:newcell, UBS, We aRe Spindye, DEDICATED, and Arctic Design of Sweden.

For more information or to schedule interviews, email Yasmina Backström at yasmina.backstrom@saccny.org

Download high-res photos from the event at myalbum.com/album/QvJ5MWwQgzar
Photo credit: Johannes Berg & Nicholas Sosin

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