27th January Remote access runways? MP4 Models?
Fashion Week is one of the biggest events in the fashion calendar, if not the biggest. It is a time for designers to showcase their latest collections to the world, and for fashion industry professionals to network and connect. However, with growing concerns about the environmental impact of the fashion industry, there have been calls to rethink the traditional format of fashion shows.
The signs are there that the fashion industry is listening. In 2020, the Copenhagen Fashion Summit introduced an action plan for meeting 18 sustainability criteria by the A/W 23 season. These criteria included smart material choices, working conditions, design and show production. One of the biggest challenges for sustainable fashion weeks is international travel, which accounts for a significant portion of the event’s carbon footprint. To address this, some have suggested grouping locations for fashion weeks, in order to reduce the need for travel.
The pandemic has further accelerated the shift towards digital fashion weeks. Many physical shows were cancelled or held online, leading to a lack of engagement and a sense of disconnection from the live event. To combat this, some designers have been experimenting with adding engaging content, such as close-up details and behind-the-scenes footage, to their digital shows.
Digital fashion weeks have also been praised for their ability to condense the time and cost of attending shows, and for providing more accessibility to audiences around the world. However, there is a risk that traditional brands may get left behind in the digital nomad times, as they struggle to adapt to the new format.
The environmental impact of fashion weeks is significant. A 2020 study estimated the damage from fashion week to be over 240,000 tons of CO2 a year, equivalent to that of a small country. Even travel during New York Fashion week accounted for 37% of total annual emissions. In addition to the environmental impact, there are also significant economic impacts. During the pandemic, when shows were held online, cities such as London and Paris lost over $600 million in economic activity, and hundreds of thousands of jobs were lost.
Paris, in particular, is taking steps to become the capital of sustainable fashion by 2024, and is discussing shortening their event by several days to decrease emissions and costs. Other initiatives such as the FHCM (Federation of Haute Couture and Fashion), which measures the environmental, social and economic impacts of fashion events using 120 key performance indicators, and Gucci, who have been hosting carbon-neutral fashion shows since S/S 2020, are also taking steps to make fashion week more sustainable.
It is clear that the traditional format of fashion week is being reenvisioned as the industry moves towards sustainability. While the pandemic has accelerated the shift towards digital fashion weeks, there is still a need for physical events to bring the industry together and to support jobs and the economy. With initiatives such as the FHCM and Gucci’s carbon-neutral shows, it is exciting to see the industry taking steps towards a more sustainable future.
**Disclaimer: This blog post was generated by ChatGPT from notes Izzie and Dopplle had made. We then instructed ChatGPT to create a blog post from the notes we collected. It just goes to show how creative industries are changing with the introduction of AI, including the fact it will be introduced into fashion shows in the near future.**
Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed the ironic fact this blog post was made by AI while its focus was on the virtual catwalk. 🧡