#FashionTechRevolution Talks: The Latest Technology Helping Our Industry Work Toward Sustainability

By Fashion Revolution

3 weeks ago

Irene San Segundo

Our #FashionTechRevolution debuted this year via Instagram live with three amazing panelists that helped us shed more light on issues that included supply chain in times of COVID, the use of cloud-based technology in sustainable fashion, what blockchain exactly means and how to grow a huge business from unused fabric. 

We started things off with Juliette Barre, Director of Business Development at @sourcemap , who guided us through how the company operates and the positive impact their system brings to manufacturers all around the world regarding transparency.

Sourcemap is a software that helps other businesses track their supply chain by creating a database that works basically as a social network. Think of it like Linkedin but focused on supply chain. “It is being able to understand who is on your supply chain, who are all the different companies that are involved making your product,” explains Barre. “There are factories, and behind the factory there are mills and a farmer… If you could understand who everyone is involved then everyone is accountable.”

Besides knowing who everyone involved in the process is, brands can benefit from this service by being able to share their story and their manufacturing process with their clients. Besides working with Fashion brands like Vans, Timberland or Eastpack, they are now also working with cosmetic companies, such as Beauty Counter and also food industry companies that work with coffee and cocoa.

Don´t miss the complete talk on our IGTV on Instagram if you want to know more about how they do this and some interesting examples on the impact that really knowing who is involved in the making of products has in companies.

On the second session of #FashionTechRevolution series we talked to Resonance cofounder Lawrence Lenihan (@creationdriven) who designed a new cloud-based technology to create clothing on demand in a very short time period and with a transparent process. They operate in two factories in the Dominican Republic and have plans to open another two facilities in the United States with no water nor energy footprint, in upstate New York.

Taking into consideration the fact that about 30 per cent of the clothes that are manufactured every year are never sold and end up in landfill or incinerated, the company that has already worked with brands like Tucker, Little Minkoff, JCRT and even a collaboration with Pyer Moss, aims to fight overproduction by their on-demand system and having no inventory.

“One of the reasons this industry is in free fall is because of the inventory […] When you are throwing away 30 per cent of the product you are making, how can you be sustainable?” Lenihan asks. “You can´t fix fashion just by having sustainable manufacturing. Every element of what you do has to be sustainable [and that means] the ability to design, sell and make one unit as efficiently but sustainably as legacy manufacturers and brands make a thousand units over many months.”

The series ended with the amazing Stephanie Benedetto from @queenofraw who explained how the company uses blockchain-based technology and what that means for sustainability in a very easy to understand way.

For those that are not familiar with this platform, Queen of Raw is a global marketplace for anyone from a student to an independent designer or a big brand to be able to buy and sell used textiles, keeping their fabric out of landfill and helping turn something that would be pollution into profit. 

“From a business sustainability and supply chain perspective, blockchain means that when you are buying something digitally we have integrity to the data and information we are giving you,” Benedetto explains. “If you go to our website and are searching for organic cotton, we know, because of the blockchain technology that we implement, that it is indeed organic, and where it came from and who it goes to and how much was paid for. [With that information] we create a record and a story that can´t be erased, edited, whipped apart or destroyed.”

And if you are interested in a career in sustainability, don´t miss her complete talk on our IGTV on Instagram, where she also touched on new job opportunities that are emerging due to the changes that are happening in the industry toward sustainability and diversity.

See you on the next Fashion Tech Revolution Series!