Ecological fashion event FaKtory Infini wants to stimulate co-creation within the sector
Kortrijk - The ecological fashion & lifestyle event FaKtory Infini in Kortrijk can be visited until 9 December. The main mission of the event is to stimulate co-creation within the local circular fashion and textile industry. FashionUnited listened to the B2B panel discussion during the opening night.
No coincidence that FaKtory Infini is taking place in the Kortrijk coworkingspace Hangar K, this site should make the link to the set-up of this event that wants to put the local circular fashion and textile industry in the spotlight and to encourage different players to work together. West Flanders has a centuries-long tradition in textiles, which is why the event was organised in the region.
Workshops, panel discussions and side activities are intended to make the visitor think about the textile and fashion industry of the future. In addition, young entrepreneurs, students, companies and designers can meet here and brainstorm about possible collaborations. For this reason, the entire chain - from raw material suppliers to textile producers, to brands and retailers - was involved in the event. In addition, the public can also discover the existing innovations in the sustainable textile industry.
The initiative comes from Niki De Schryver, founder of COSH and previously employed by Bruno Pieters' (recently defunct) transparent label Honest By. She immediately introduced this digital tool that makes sustainable online shopping easier. Co-organiser Julie Lietaer is the third generation within the family business European Spinning Group (ESG), a Flemish SME active in the production and distribution of textile yarn. The weekend started with a panel discussion between founder of sustainable jeans label HNST Tom Duhoux, Julie Lietaer, co-fouder Resortecs Cédric Vanhoeck, Jean-Patrice Gros van Lectra and CEO Alsico Vincent Siau.
During the discussion, four observations, or challenges, emerged with regard to sustainable co-creations. The first is that established textile companies are increasingly collaborating with start-ups. They can learn a lot from each other and also become customers of each other. For example, denim brand HNST worked with ESG to develop sustainable yarns. The start-ups come up with ideas, the established values with years of expertise. Second fact: these established textile companies are often underexposed in the reports, while they have the knowledge, innovative talent and expertise they need in those collaborations with brands, designers and start-ups.
In addition, not only is the development of the technology a major challenge, co-creation also comes with a legal component. How the various companies working together on a new product organise themselves legally is an obstacle that the established producers have had to deal with very little in the past and that unnecessarily slows down the process. Here, it is precisely the start-ups that often have more expertise in this area than the mastodons.
A fourth point concerns the need for sustainability. Not only is textiles, or fashion, the second most polluting industry, and it is important to leave the earth clean for future generations, but in the long term the industry itself will be faced with scarcity of raw materials and water. The fact that fast-fashion consumers generally no longer want to pay for an ecological product is true, but the government can do its bit by taxing green products - including fashion - less.
Niki De Schryver then introduced her new app Cosh. The good intentions of the consumer after the Rana Plaza incident in Bangladesh soon ebbed away, she says. After all, once in the shop, consumers easily lose sight of their good intentions. The app and plug-in Cosh helps them to make conscious choices without effort during online and offline shopping. De Schryver wants to bridge the gap between consumers looking for sustainable products and retailers with sustainable offerings.