Industries |

The Business of Fashion, Shifted

Industries | 5 September 2019

The MVB seminar about sustainable fashion in Indonesia invited experts and industry players to discuss the potential movement towards sustainability from textile to garment business.

The Business of Fashion, Shifted
During MVB Seminar in July, Sustainability Specialist, Marina Chahboune said that the shift to a circular fashion system has already begun with 12.5 per cent of the fashion industry committing to circularity, including the biggest retailers. Photos by Raditya Fadilla/NOWJAKARTA

In July, a Most Valued Business (MVB) Indonesia seminar on Sustainable Fashion, Textiles, and Retail addressed the future of the fashion industry through an interactive discussion with experts and key industry players. MVB Indonesia invited various speakers representing British Council, Pan Brothers Group, Lenzing, Northumbria University, BNSD, ADPII, IKEA, Waste4Change, Cleanomic, and other institutions. The two-session panel discussion also opened collaboration within industry circle to commit to sustainable movement. 

The seminar responded to the fact that global clothing production has more than doubled with fashion industry growth, and it is projected to reach over 100 million tonnes of apparel and footwear purchased each year by 2030 (Bloomberg, 2018). Indonesia holds a pivotal position as the country is an integral part of the global supply chain as a major textile producer and also a big market for fashion product consumption. The existing linear model with long supply chains has generated a substantial amount of capital and profit at the expense of the environment and lack of human development.  As the global fashion industry receives more criticism in the last few years, more and more Indonesian companies within the supply chain are transforming their business models to reduce overall environmental impacts, improve social conditions in factories and so on.

Indonesia holds a pivotal position as the country is an integral part of the global supply chain as a major textile producer and also a big market for fashion product consumption.

Sustainability Specialist, Marina Chahboune said that the shift to a circular fashion system has already begun with 12.5 per cent of the fashion industry committing to circularity, including the biggest retailers, such as Hennes & Mauritz AB, ASOS, Gap Inc. and Inditex.

“Circular fashion will create a new role of each stakeholder and new business opportunities, such as e-commerce for garment resellers. In a business perspective, it is actually possible to reduce operating costs,” said Chahboune during her presentation in the seminar.

Senior Lecturer in Fashion at Northumbria University, Dr Alana James encourage students to establish sustainable fashion label on their business model. 

Indonesia’s largest listed garment manufacturer PT Pan Brothers Tbk (PBRX) has committed to eco-sustainability with their green office in Boyolali, which was awarded the Greenship Awards primarily thanks to its energy and water-saving features. Pan Brother’s recent project combines recycled nylon fabrics with garment dyeing in Eco Laundry. Furthermore, Lenzing arrived in Indonesia as the first carbon-neutral fiber producer in the world through its Renewable Raw Material Wood.

“We invite experts, business players, and entrepreneurs to find the solution and identify current challenges towards sustainability. We urge customers to be proactive and look at the company’s commitment towards sustainable fashion,” Alistair Speirs stated as Chairman of MVB Indonesia.

Three woman sitting discussing about sustainable fashion
Experts and key industry players all gathered at the Sustainable Fashion, Textiles, and Retail seminar held by MVB Indonesia. 

Camelia Harahap, Head of Arts and Creative Industries at British Council Indonesia pointed out that three elements, model, material and mindset, are needed to achieve a cohesive plan towards sustainable fashion. “Designers should enforce the fashion business model to be more sustainable, and start conversations with their consumer and vise versa,” Harahap explained.

In the university, Bina Nusantara Northumbria School of Design (BNSD) have been developing curriculum on sustainable fashion as well as putting projects utilising eco-friendly and fair model to prepare the next talent of Indonesian designers. “The fashion industry needs a bottom-up approach to successfully embed sustainable principles. Educating the next generation of industry professionals is key,” said Senior Lecturer in Fashion at Northumbria University, Dr Alana James.

Miss Earth Indonesia 2018, Ratu Vashti Annisa has joined the campaign with MVB Indonesia to raise awareness about sustainable fashion through a personal approach and put herself as a role model for eco movements in the country.