The London School of Economics is holding a festival, Beveridge 2.0, in honour of the Beveridge Report, which was published in 1942. The report focused on social equality and poverty issues in Britain at that time and put forward proposals for reform that would make Britain a more equal society. Beveridge 2.0 focuses on issues prevalent in the 21st century and in the global context, such as poverty, health and social care, education, housing and future of work.
As Chief of Business Longevity at Global Bright Futures, I have been invited to speak on a panel Helen Newcombe, founder of swimwear brand Davy J and Roger Williams, an award winning film director and producer, at an upcoming event at the London School of Economics, where we will be discussing ‘The Future of Fashion’ and whether the fashion industry can be in vogue and sustainable.
In preparation for this event, I watched the film RiverBlue, produced and directed by Roger Williams, which is also being screened at the Festival. While watching the film, I was reminded of the negative social and environmental externalities created by the fashion industry and why we set up Global Bright Futures. It inspired me to keep pushing the boundaries and continue working with companies to help them develop and adapt the way business is done.
Most people know of the destructive nature of the extractive industries, but few know that the fashion industry is one of the most polluting and socially unequal industries on the planet.
The fashion industry is waking up to the negative environmental and social externalities it creates and the responsibility it has to change its ways. There are clear signals that a new way of ‘doing’ fashion is emerging. Leaders in the industry are investing in research and partnering with fashion institutions to come up with innovative solutions, by combining design creativity, science and technology to develop new alternatives to typically environmentally destructive raw materials currently used. New business models that adopt a circular economy approach are also being developed and adopted. Consumers are waking up to the fact that they have a role to play in their consumption behaviours and choices.
Without giving too much away in this blog, I am hoping for a lively and thought provoking discussion and debate on how the fashion industry can take responsibility for its impacts and be profitable at the same time, and also look deeper into the role consumers play in this debate. In other words, can the fashion industry have its cake and eat it too?
The panel discussion will take place on February 24th at the LSE. I look forward to seeing you at the event!