Read in 4 mins

Open Perspectives: A message from the future of fashion

In an emerald ocean of smoke and lasers, we showed brands, stakeholders, and decision-makers what a radically transformed textile industry can look like in 2063. Dive in.

Watch the live stream of Open Perspectives, either the entire program or selected sessions.

Watch Open Perspectives on YouTube.

A message from 2063

Seeing is believing. That’s why Open Perspectives opened with a story told by a future generation, aimed at the changemakers of today. The science-backed scenario – made in collaboration with Planethon – illustrated what a possible future textile industry could look like if we dare to transform ourselves and the system.

In 2063, the textile industry can be inclusive and serve Earth for all. It requires radical transformation. But it is possible. The scenario is based on large numbers of industry reports, brimming innovations, and interdisciplinary papers from sustainability science, the planetary boundaries framework and the book Earth for All: A Survival Guide for Humanity.

It’s now in our hands to make it happen.

Unleashing exponential transformation

Climate scientist, Professor Johan Rockström, opened the summit by sharing the state of knowledge and the urgent actions required to hold the 1,5 degrees Celsius limit, halt biodiversity loss, and ensure a safe landing for both planet and people. We have less than seven years until the window closes.

“The planet is so small, and the world has become so big that nothing but exponential transformation at scale is now required. It is possible, not only necessary, and requires all hands on deck and a pathway that is accelerated.”

Prof. Johan Rockström

Watch Johan Rockström’s keynote (10 mins).

Change the narrative – change the system

Anna Gedda, Global Manager at H&M Foundation, sent a call to action to the brands, suppliers, innovators, academia, investors, NGOs and decision-makers in the audience.

“Continue to listen to the experts, be guided by their insights, support and scale innovation in the way you can, address the systems and not the silos, and be that story of change that helps others to act. It all comes down to us.” – Anna Gedda.

Watch Anna Gedda’s opening remarks (10 mins).

Pitching for the planet

Anish Malpani, Founder of Ashaya and winner of innovation challenge Techtonic backed by H&M Foundation.

Throughout Open Perspectives, an array of Global Change Award alumni and social entrepreneurs backed by H&M Foundation took the primetime opportunity to pitch their solutions to the stakeholders watching. The audience were introduced to

  • Werewool – Creating fabrics on DNA level with natural colours, stretch and other features
  • Resortecs – A dissolvable thread that makes repairing and recycling a breeze
  • Phool – Vegan leather made from discarded temple flowers, in collaboration with waste pickers
  • GALY – Using biotechnology to create lab-grown cotton
  • Ashaya – Sunglasses from packets of chips, made in collaboration with waste pickers
  • BIORESTORE – A laundry solution that restores old and worn garments to mint condition

After the summit, new and previous GCA winners, as well as social entrepreneurs, showcased their innovations to investors, brands and industry stakeholders capable of accelerating their journey from lab to launch.

Turning ideas into impact

Miles Kubheka, Caroline Brown and Christiane Dolva.

Panel discussion on innovation’s role in transforming the textile industry with impact advisor Linda Greer, food entrepreneur Miles Kubheka, and Closed Loop Partners’ Caroline Brown. Moderated by Christiane Dolva, H&M Foundation.

“Follow the tons. How much impact are you going to be able to have, how fast are you going to be able to have it, and make the case that this is going to be a significant innovation to help the world,” says Linda Greer in a call to action to every innovator in the room.

Watch the panel (15 mins).

Addressing systems change

Ann Runnel, Anant Ahuja, Ronna Chao and Jasmin Malik Chua.

Panel discussion on systems change with Resortecs’ Ann Runnel, The Good Business Lab’s Anant Ahuja and Novetex Textiles Limited’s Ronna Chau. Moderated by Jasmin Malik Chua, Sourcing Journal.

“I would like to be put out of business, because there’s no longer any excess inventory and not because people aren’t willing to talk about their excess. Right now though, there are a lot of brands with a lot of excess, that don’t know how to deal with it because it’s been accumulating over years. The changes aren’t happening quickly enough, we need to go at it all angles, help and provide more solutions.” – Ronna Chau.

Watch the panel (15 mins).

Storytelling for a sustainable future

Rachel Arthur
Rachel Arthur.

Rachel Arthur, advocacy lead at the UN Environment Programme, called on the fashion industry’s unsung heroes to step forward and dare to tell new stories, stories that shift narratives and show what a possible fashion future can look like.

“We need every piece of talent this industry has. And that starts with bringing those who get these stories in front of consumers to join us at the table: Marketers, storytellers, artists, image makers, role models, writers, creators, designers, influencers, advocates and more. We need them to help us envision what this new world looks like.”

Rachel Arthur

Watch Rachel Arthur’s keynote (10 mins).

Watch the live stream from Open Perspectives to learn more from Professor Johan Rockström, Ronna Chao, Miles Kubehka, Caroline Brown, Linda Greer, Rachel Arthur, entrepreneurs and many other brilliant minds.