We’re excited to bring you news of this powerful new eBook from our friends at Fashion Forward (New York-based not-for-profit think tank), and supported by the International Visegrad Fund.
Pioneering Sustainable Fashion Initiatives
Although Sustainable fashion has gained immense traction over the last few years, it is still overwhelmingly treated as a Western concept. This is both in commerce and academia. However, in the Autumn of 2021, a group of educators and activists from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, and Poland (aka Visegrad 4 or V4 region) joined forces, to show the world what pioneering initiatives take place in the Easter Central European region.
Fashion Forward Visegrad
Following the 3-day conference organised by Fashion Forward, a unique publication was conceived in the form of an ebook, consisting of the participants’ pieces.
Following the same format as the conference, the book was divided into three sections:
- Sustainability & Accountability
- Culture & Society
- Education & Training
These sections highlight the experience, insights, and knowledge of all eight partner organisations. I.e. Four universities and each of the V4 nations’ respective Fashion Revolution sections.
Amongst these book chapters, a wide array of subjects are being covered.
From the preservation of age-old arts and craft through the practice of garment swapping on a large scale to digital technologies aiming to mitigate the impact of fashion production, these pieces showcased ideas that are usually overlooked in the international discourse. Finding a unified platform for these unsung voices was not only a pursuit that allowed international audiences to be exposed to pioneering thoughts, but a necessity for regional actors to amplify and accelerate their messages, and establish themselves as thought-leaders, in a highly co-operative manner.
Some of these chapters bring deep relevance to our smoothmind community. Here, they reveal what sits at the intersection of digital technology, fashion, and sustainability.
Tell Me Your Story (TELLMYS)
Case in point, an entire chapter is dedicated to Slovakian initiative TELLMYS. Also known as ‘Tell Me Your Story’, TELLMYS is a Visegrad Fund backed program. It embraces blockchain technologies to highlight human stories and crafts behind garment production. As we know, blockchain is a technology that has long been used in the financial sector. As a tamper-proof ledger, it can log any type of action, transaction, or practice to ensure transparency.
There are numerous social ills and environmental effects of fast fashion. So let’s consider for a moment the associated unethical practices and often sweatshop-like conditions. Not to mention the second largest source of water pollution in the world being textile dyeing. Compounded with the fact that 85% of garments end-up in landfills, this presents a huge challenge. Ultimately, blockchain may offer a game-changing solution to the fashion world in helping solve these issues.
Ecosystem To Connect Designers, Producers and Customers
TELLMYS is an ecosystem that aims to connect designers, producers, and customers. It’s accessible via mobile app, web portal, and intertwines storytelling and radical transparency. As author and project
leader, Gabriela Mezeiova, points out, “many people have the intention to make responsible decisions, yet there is not enough information to do so. In today’s society, technology-powered solutions are considered the most effective way of obtaining information, and blockchain certainly has the potential to become the technology of the future”.
Interspersed between the partners’ delegates’ essays are “Worlds,” short fictional scenarios that “bring people together to generate, experience and reflect on engaging fictional visions of alternative fashion cultures and systems.” In a workshop hosted by Fashion Fictions, delegates wrote these Worlds. Fashion Fictions are a prototyping fashion project based in the United Kingdom.
Read Fashion Forward Visegrad For Free
Access the book for free via this link. It’s available on Google Books and Amazon Kindle Store.