Home / Fashion/ Responsible Fashion Summit 2nd edition kicks off with designer perspective

Responsible Fashion Summit 2nd edition kicks off with designer perspective

Comments / {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}} Views / Monday, 30 July 2018 00:00

Designer Panel: Sharleen Ernster (US), Heidi Klein (UK), David Abraham (India) with Moderator Mihirini De Zoysa

  • Important international designers discuss disposal strategy in design

The theme for the second Responsible Fashion Summit held was ‘Earth Sensitive’, with nearly every stakeholder of the fashion supply chain sharing knowledge of direction. It commenced with three key international designers, David Abraham, Sharleen Ernster and Heidi Gosman, who shared important perspectives, including disposal of the garments being considered, as part of the design thought process, which is something that has not been strongly followed by designers, resulting in landfill issues.

Sharleen Ernster on the vision behind ‘We-are-HAH’: One of the purposes behind this brand was to slow down the fashion cycle and create a product with purpose and to utilise product processes that were sustainable, in order to leave a better planet and legacy for the next generation. I have had the great privilege of working for some of the biggest brands in the world and that introduced me to some of the most incredible manufacturers in the world. One of the most beautiful things about working for the larger corporations is that it exposes you to the latest technology and advancements. Sri Lanka has always been on the forefront of green technology. With the introduction to technology particularly from this region, I was able to start a business founded on three pillars – sustainability, good to the consumer and transparency.”

Heidi Gosman of Heidi Klein Swim spoke on how her team approaches a design: “As a team we always start with the design. We consider the impact on the environment at each stage of manufacture and then work backwards in coming up with the design. In the UK we do not recycle clothes as much as we should be, and it adds to the landfills, but this is something me and my team are looking at.”

David Abraham shared his insight into values he holds close and how to achieve the right balance between design, sustainability and disposability; three things that don’t support each other. “The world is divided into consumers and producers; largely we consider the producers in the East and the consumers in the West. So we are paying the price for the consumption in the west and as designers we cannot influence the trends as the trends are produced by the consumers. It will be a slow change and in a few years the situation will change as the East is on the rise. Hopefully we will learn from this and learn from the mistakes we have made and hopefully we will learn that this is something we need to be aware of.”

Responsible Fashion Summit is part of The Responsible Fashion Movement that focuses on responsibility, accountability and transparency. It has defined eight impact areas as the basis of solutions to issues that the global fashion industry faces. The Responsible Fashion Movement has modelled itself on the most relevant aspect of solutions and longevity. Fashion currently ranks among the top three most polluting industries in the world is drawing attention and yet the action to reduce negative impact is still slow in gaining momentum. 

The sustainable fashion products continue to grow at a steady pace. It is led by an ever increasing population of aware and discerning consumers in US, Europe and parts of Asia which is beginning to put pressure on global fashion brands to open their doors to clean fashion. The manufacturers who will move in this direction earlier will have an advantage. There also exists a wide gap between the action of designers and manufacturers; hence so far every action is resting with the manufacturers. The designers are in a position to lead the corrective action.

The Responsible Fashion Movement is endorsed by The Commonwealth Fashion Council (CFC), London. Daniel Hatton, Director and CEO of the CFC is in Colombo to speak at the forum. Responsible Fashion Summit is presented by MAS Holdings, hosted at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo, in association with Hirdaramani Group, Beira Group, BMW i3 and The Design Development Corporation.

For registrations mail connect@responsiblefashion.org. For more information please visit the official website responsiblefashion.org. Stay informed of the latest on the Responsible Fashion Movement by using #responsiblefashionmovement and #responsiblefashionsummit on Facebook (www.facebook.com/responsiblefashionmovement/) and Instagram (@responsiblefashionmovement) for the latest updates, photos, videos and more. 

Share This Article


1. All comments will be moderated by the Daily FT Web Editor.

2. Comments that are abusive, obscene, incendiary, defamatory or irrelevant will not be published.

3. We may remove hyperlinks within comments.

4. Kindly use a genuine email ID and provide your name.

5. Spamming the comments section under different user names may result in being blacklisted.


Today's Columnists

Politicians and cricketers: Expected role, selection and performance evaluation (Part 2)

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Before commenting on the selection process, it is better to understand the ground realities and the nature of the beasts. Sri Lanka has a good theoretical education system. This system prompts students to ‘Cram-Remember-Express’ or ‘Read-Rememb

Open letter to M.A. Sumanthiran, MP

Thursday, 17 January 2019

Happy Pongal, Mr Sumanthiran! You and I are from two very different generations. In fact you belong to my uncle’s generation (sadly I don’t get along very well with my uncle). You are a child of the ’70s. I’m a child of the 90s. In a more tex

Why Gota gave me a ‘Gotler’ feeling

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Bourgeoisie venues It is no accident that presidential-candidate hopeful Gotabaya Rajapaksa holds his Viyathmaga meetings in bourgeoisie spots. Once, it had been Shangri-La. Last Saturday, 12 January, it had been Waters Edge. Gota’s speech offered

A lie is also a truth

Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Gotabaya Rajapaksa is a determined contender for the presidency. His trenchant lecture to activists of the Viyathmaga forum demonstrated the man’s spiritedness and impulse to act. He is a driven man. What drives him?

Columnists More