If we look closely at the subject of “sustainable fashion”, we soon realize that there are many serious aspects that we have to take into account. The whole business starts with the raw materials, each with their own characteristics: man-made fibers being often blamed for being not eco-friendly, but natural fibers such as cotton also have their critics. We try to open up some of the arguments in this seminar. Then there is the manufacturing side with many people now emphasizing the importance of making clothes in a more environmentally friendly manner. 

Then we look at the retail side of the business where increasingly people are advocating secondhand/vintage sales or extolling the benefits of swapping, renting or borrowing clothes as opposed to purchasing newly produced clothes. All strategies promoting more environmentally, socially and ethically conscious production and consumption are important steps towards a more sustainable industry. 

More and more clothing companies are transforming their business models and improving their supply chains to reduce overall environmental impacts, improve social conditions in factories, and so on. But who are these sustainable players and who are the ‘bad guys’ still breaking the rules? 

To raise more awareness on this subject matter, on 31st July 2019, MVB Indonesia, an organization dedicated to empowering businesses to implement ‘Best Business Practices’ and an advocate of sustainability, together with BINUS University host a seminar on ‘Sustainable Fashion, Textiles and Retail’, the seminar will see discussion panels consisting of leading players within Indonesia’s textile and garment sector, retail industry sector and sustainable experts. 

Gambar oleh Bernadette V dari Pixabay

The seminar will be opened by Alistair Speirs, MVB Chairman who wants to raise the awareness and understanding of a huge economic sector which is increasingly under the consumer suspicion as an enemy in the war against environmental degradation. First to present is Camelia Harahap, Head of Arts and Creative Industries of British Council as the Keynote Speaker, who will talk about the overall view on educating consumers on sustainable fashion from manufacture to retail to reuse. 

Followed by a speech from Ratu Vashti Annisa, Miss Earth Indonesia ‘18 who is an activist in raising consumer awareness in the sustainability field. 

The next session will be discussion panels that provide insights on the various practices fashion brands and garment manufacturers are utilising to become more sustainable. The speakers presenting are Hitesh Chhaya of Pan Brothers Group, Marina Chahboune, Sustainability Specialist in Textile & Apparel, Winston A. Mulyadi, Head of Commercial SEA and Oceania PT. South Pacific Viscose and Dr. Alana James, Senior Lecturer in Fashion, Northumbria University. 

After the first discussion panels, Ratna Dewi Paramita, M. A., Head of Fashion Program BINUS Northumbria School of Design presents the works of four BINUS students on sustainable fashion. 

The session continued by a second panel, who bring together information about life-cycle sustainability impacts of fashion and lifestyle, practical alternatives on how to manage disposable clothing, design concepts on sustainable lifestyle and retail innovation. These subjects were presented by Dino Fabriant, Chairman Aliansi Desainer Produk Industri Indonesia (ADPII), Kanwarpreet Singh, Sustainability Manager for Purchasing Logistic Area, IKEA South East Asia, M. Bijaksana Junerosano, Founder of Waste4Change and Denia Isetianti, Founder & CEO Cleanomic. 

The seminar closed by case study sustainability report on TAUZIA by Sukma Putra and Dr. Adilla Anggreini, B. Bus., MBA. 

“We have brought together some of the leading thinkers and practicians on sustainable fashion, from manufacture to retail to try to find solutions to the challenges that the industry faces, ‘said Alistair Speirs, “we want to show consumers that the sector cares about the future and is self regulating because it realizes that this is the way of the future.”

The seminar aims to cover existing ideas about the scope and potential of sustainability issues in fashion, textiles and retail industries, and sets out a more pluralistic, engaging and forward-looking picture, human needs, local products, slow fashion and participatory design, as well as knowledge of materials.