In the opening speech of this year’s World Fashion Congress, presented by the International Apparel Federation and Sewing Products Equipment and Suppliers of the Americas (SPESA), Altan underlined that the fashion industry has never faced this much pressure due to wars, legislation and climate change. . However, he points out that “fashion manufacturers cannot act green when they are in the red.”
The president believes that the fashion industry has been constructive in coming up with solutions, but the transition has been too slow.
He says: “This conference will not spend too much time explaining the problems; we are focused on solutions that will make apparel supply chains smarter and more sustainable,” and continues: “There is no point in talking about sustainability without talking about models, which will require change.”
Altan shares that the sector needs cooperation; We need to create and trial new sourcing models based on sharing and reward, and he points out that the IAF is busy trying to practice what it preaches through an agreement with the Sustainable Trading Conditions Initiative (STTI).
“This demonstrated the global manufacturing industry’s ability to act and speak with a single voice,” he says. “By representing the global manufacturing community, we created connections between suppliers, brands and retailers to make solutions more readily available.” Done.”
He also announced that the IAF has signed agreements with the Spanish fashion brand conglomerate InditexInternational Trade Center and Better Buying among others.
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He explains that the challenge facing the industry is to collaborate across the supply chain to create more value, especially given that the state of the economy is “not very good” due to high interest rates, inflation and declining consumer confidence due to war.
But SPESA president Ed Gribbin is positive about the direction the fashion industry is heading. He argues: “When I am asked about the outlook for our industry – barring some geopolitical or climate disasters – I am optimistic about where we are heading.
“The brands and manufacturers I spoke to are cautiously optimistic about resolving the industry issues holding back 2022.
“But the events of the last few weeks highlight the need for resilience in an increasingly dangerous world.”
For SPESA president Michael McDonald, it is very important that the World Fashion Congress reaches the USA. He explains that the event featured more speakers than previously used at a SPESA event, with an audience from all over the world. He says: “This is the first time in 23 years since the IAF came to the United States, and we are honored that it is happening now and with SPESA.”