Fashion Girls for Humanity Webinar 05/27/20
Thanks you all for those who joined us! You can also watch from here.
Fashion Girls for Humanity addressed how the business is changing in a virtual talk.
Fashion Girls For Humanity’s founders discussed COVID-19 relief efforts and how the fashion industry is changing.
Presented by the School of General Studies at Columbia University, the panel was moderated by Cecilia Dean. FGFH’s Kikka Hanazawa, Julie Gilhart, Miki Higasa and Tomoko Ogura offered insights about supply chain transparency, sustainability and effective cost-cutting, among other issues weighing on the industry. They also talked about the ever-increasing influence of e-commerce on sales and brands adopting platforms to sell direct-to-consumer and to drive traffic to their own site. More than 100 people Zoomed or called in.
Fashion weeks, the way that clothing is being sold and the absence of any big events for at least the next six months are among the changes underfoot, Gilhart said. “So much of what fed the fashion industry has stopped,” she said. “We have to focus on it [the glass] being half-full. We’re a community and like Cecilia said, a trillion-dollar business. We’re going to go through some rocky waters over the next six months, but I feel 100 percent sure that we can reinvent ourselves. It has fast-forwarded technology. What might have taken us 10 years to get to — all of a sudden we are here. We’re forced to change.”
Expecting an upswing in sustainable practices, Gilhart advised the audience to support their local businesses and to try to really know who they are buying from. “Buy from people rather than brands. Know what is behind your purchases. It really counts now,” she said.
Hanazawa addressed how supply chain transparency can help minimize risk, especially in terms of shortages in relation to PPE.Whether some of the fall trade shows will have on-location events in New York will probably depend on any spikes in COVID-19 cases this summer. With travel upended, buyers will need to learn to buy a collection that they see in Paris here rather than fly to Paris, Gilhart said. While the fashion industry used to be full of extravagances, “There are no more extravagances. We’re having to pull back, but we’re just having to be more creative,” she said.