MBFWA: Future Talks #2 Discusses Collaboration and Ethical Practices

Yesterday's second edition of 'Future Talks' presented by Clean Cut explored themes around translating brand values through principle-driven design and business. The seminar focused on collaboration and the power of working together towards a shared goal, future proofing our industry through innovation and ethical practices. You can watch the entire panel discussion right now. Photo captured by Jess Brohier.

CLEAN CUT presented the second of their “Future Talks” series yesterday, in partnership with Ethical Clothing Australia.

Lucky for us, I’ve found out that Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week have uploaded the entire seminar for you to watch. All you have to do is press play on the video above. The audio is not the greatest in the beginning but it’s not completely inaudible.

The forward-thinking panel was moderated by Kellie Hush (Harper’s Bazaar) and featured Ramon Martin (TOME), Lucy King (Group Sustainability Manager, Country Road Group) and Sigrid McCarthy (Ethical Clothing Australia).

Lasting over an hour, the panel explored the themes and key values of collaboration, innovation and education and how labels and consumers are starting to embrace sustainable fashion.

Some key points/quotes we jotted down are as follows:

  • Collaboration is bringing together different ideas and different perspectives from different people.
  • Vivienne Westwood’s quote “Buy less. Choose well. Make it last. Quality, not quantity. Everybody’s buying far too many clothes” was celebrated more than once.
  • “There has definitely been an increase in customer’s expectations of transparency – they want to know how clothes are made, where they are made, the conditions and the factories in which we’re making them in, and the understanding of how the clothes they’re buying is really great. There’s been a shift globally but more and more recently in Australia’s retail industry to embed sustainability.” – Lucy King
  • “There’s been an increase in consumers wanting to know how the clothes are made and under what conditions. Brands are starting to learn the unethical process and exploring local manufacturing opportunities.” – Sigrid McCarthy
  • “Fashion is getting faster and faster, and demand is getting higher and higher. It’s been an education in itself to learn how garments are made, who is making them for you, where they are made and how they are helping the environment.” – Ramon Martin
  • “People are scared to say that they are an ethical brand or that they celebrate sustainability” – Ramon Martin
  • Collaboration is about sharing their knowledge, ideas and contacts that celebrate the influence of sustainability, regarding organics, ethical fashion and fair trading.
  • Lucy King touched on “The True Cost” documentary which essentially looks at the clothes we wear, the people who make them, and the impact the industry is having on our world.
    The price of clothing has been decreasing for decades; while the human and environmental costs have grown dramatically. “The True Cost” is a groundbreaking documentary film that pulls back the curtain on the untold story and asks us to consider, who really pays the price for our clothing? Watch the trailer below and find out where you can watch it here.

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  • Even if something is made of 100% organic material, it is a complete waste if no-one is going to wear it.
  • “Have a mission to say what you’re going to do and that being sustainable or ethical will be part of the process. Say it out loud and manifest it. Then, share it. Bring things to the table. It’s a group effort. You’re not gonna be able to do it on your own.” – Ramon Martin
  • “It’s an exciting time for the industry – there’s an openness to talk about it and wanting to collaborate with other labels who are doing the same.” – Sigrid McCarthy
  • “Storytelling is very important. People buy into the brand because they want to be part of the story that the brand is telling.” – Ramon Martin
  • “Consider the costs involved and don’t just turn a blind eye.” – Sigrid Mccarthy