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CEO Agenda 2019 launches at Davos, urges fashion industry to address climate change?

Sustainable organisation Global Fashion Agenda has released the second edition of its CEO Agenda at Davos this week, presenting the eight sustainability priorities every fashion CEO needs to address in order to become more sustainable – including climate change. Presented at Davos House during the World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, the report was developed in collaboration with leading players in the fashion sustainability field, including brands such as Bestseller, H&M Group, Kering and Target.

Sustainability is no longer a trend, but a business imperative, says the Agenda. With that sense of urgency, the report has been updated from 2018 to add climate change as one of its core priorities, echoing what other sustainability experts have been saying at major conferences over the past few months.

“Climate change is an unprecedented threat to people and the planet. We only have 11 years to rectify the catastrophic impact we’ve had on our planet or we’ll miss the objective of the Paris Agreement to keep global warming below 1.5 degree Celsius,” said Eva Kruse, CEO and president of the Global Fashion Agenda. “We know that change is not easy, but overall progress is too slow, and we simply can’t afford to lose another year. The fashion industry is one of the world’s largest and most powerful industries. Therefore, we need to take leadership to secure the future of our industry – and our planet.”

The report further explains that although fashion has increasingly been working on pressing issues such as chemical usage and circularity, it must also address the impact on climate change more proactively. At present, new research by UNFCCC states that total greenhouse gas emissions from textile production amount to 1.2bn tonnes annually, which is more than all international flights and maritime shipping combined.

The updated Agenda now highlights four core priorities for immediate implementation, with climate change being the new addition. This includes: supply chain traceability; efficient use of water, energy and chemicals; respectful and secure work environments; and lastly, combating climate change. The other four transformational priorities for fundamental change remain the same from 2018, as follows: sustainable material mix; circular fashion system; promotion of better wage systems; and fourth industrial revolution.

The report also directly speaks to fashion leaders and asks them to further engage in the topic of conversation in light with how slow progress has been: at present, only 50% of the industry has taken any action on sustainability. “As fashion leaders you’re in a unique position to turn things around, holding the power to make sustainability an integral part of your business strategy, and thus of the fashion industry as a whole,” reads the report.

The organization has also announced ASOS, Nike and PVH Corp. as new Strategic Partners who will be working with the Global Fashion Agenda on providing expert opinions to help shape the agenda and play a role in developing though leadership content. 

“We believe that the world needs to urgently work towards creating a sustainable future – one where everyone thrives on a healthy planet and a level-playing field,” adds Nike CEO Mark Parker. “We are committed to innovating our way into that future, both within Nike and in partnership with others.”

The CEO Agenda 2019 is available to read online.

How are you thinking about sustainability? We’re all about finding you the perfect partners to do so. TheCurrent Global is a consultancy transforming how fashion, beauty and consumer retail brands intersect with technology. We deliver innovative integrations and experiences, powered by a network of top technologies and startups. Get in touch to learn more.

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technology

Ikea is betting on AI, as well as virtual and augmented realities

Ikea's augmented reality app
Ikea’s augmented reality app

Ikea is looking at both artificial intelligence and digital realities as big opportunities for its future.

CEO Jesper Brodin, said a “major shift” in technology over recent years has prompted the retailer to start looking at both for how they can impact business. During the World Economic Forum in Davos, he told CNBC: “(What) we haven’t been able to do before is to find easier ways to connect with people so digital opens up massive opportunities for us.”

Last month, the retailer tested virtual reality in its Dallas, Texas, store. Shoppers were given access to a fully immersive experience that allowed to them play a pillow toss game with a coffee table or hang out with a panda inside a bamboo lamp.

Its also been playing with augmented reality. Using Apple’s ARkit, its new Ikea Place app now allows consumers to virtually try out what furniture looks like in their homes before buying.

Artificial intelligence, meanwhile, is an area many retailers are turning to in a bid to stay ahead of competition from mega players like Amazon. Ikea previously announced research into the idea of its own AI virtual assistant, for instance, that would be able to help customers with “smart furniture”.

AI was also a big focus in Davos at large with Google’s chief executive Sundar Pichai, referring to it as more important than fire or electricity.

“Like most retailers, we don’t know exactly where we will land at the end of it, but our curiosity and willingness to create will be a guide for us,” Brodin added.

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ICYMI: Fashion themes from Davos, Bitcoin bubble, social media’s black market

The seven female co-chairs of the 2018 World Economic Forum at Davos
The seven female co-chairs of the 2018 World Economic Forum

A round-up of everything you might have missed in relevant fashion, retail and tech industry news over the past week.

TOP STORIES
  • 4 Davos themes fashion needs to watch [BoF]
  • Beyond the Bitcoin bubble [NY Times]
  • The follower factory: Inside social media’s black market [NY Times]
  • How box logos and the blockchain reveal our anxieties about an uncertain future [Ssense]
TECHNOLOGY
  • I got chipped: a dispatch from the frontier of wearable tech [Fast Company]
  • Sewing a mechanical future [RobotRabbi]
  • Inside the race to create an AI-powered virtual Elton John [Wired]
  • L’Oréal launches 3D AR hair color simulation app [FashionNetwork]
SUSTAINABILITY
  • The world’s most sustainable companies 2018 [Forbes]
  • Napapijri launches new form of digital manufacturing [FashionUnited]
RETAIL & E-COMMERCE
  • Prada debuts new pop-up retail project in Macau [WWD]
  • Fashion retailers in China go cashier free using facial recognition payment [Jing Daily]
  • How customers decide whether to buy from your website [HBR]
SOCIAL MEDIA
  • Inside Balmain’s digital revolution [BoF]
  • Neiman Marcus looks to associates for social media commerce [Pymnts]
PRODUCT
  • How Nike used algorithms to help design its latest running shoe [Wired]
  • Couture that combines Japanese craftsmanship with the science of space travel [CNN]
BUSINESS
  • Richemont offers €2.7 billion for full control of Yoox Net-a-Porter [BoF]
  • Asos sales soar driven by ‘exceptional’ UK performance [Retail Week]
  • Will Hedi Slimane be a blessing or a curse for Céline? [HighSnobiety]
  • Kering, Stella McCartney in talks to end partnership [BoF]
  • Abercrombie and Fitch might actually be pulling off its comeback [Glossy]