The theme of the 34th IAF World Fashion Convention in Maastricht is ‘Building a Smart Future for Fashion’. For a Convention that promises to inform and inspire, the choice of the convention theme is no light matter. So how did the event’s organizers, IAF and Modint, decide on this theme?
First of all, it is clear that the transition the apparel industry is in is really creating tremendous strain on the traditional supply chains. All across the world, people in the industry are working very hard, but profits do not necessarily match the efforts.
As we say in our introduction to the convention theme ‘In a world where prices cannot drop much lower, boats cannot go much faster and people cannot work much harder’, improvements are made only when the business is made smarter. This means that the industry has to innovate and find ways to implement all the new (digital) technology available to help raise productivity and profitability. Working smarter means using smarter technology, educating ourselves and our people and sometimes changing the way we are organized.
For the IAF, the convention theme remains close to its mission, which is to unite all stakeholders of the fashion and apparel industry from around the world to enable and promote smarter, stronger, more sustainable supply chains. For Modint, as Dutch industry association, it is clear that the Dutch apparel industry is in transition and requires smart solutions to maintain its position.
Everywhere we look in the supply chain, we feel under how much pressure the apparel industry is working. Smart means a way to break free from the constraints of traditional processes. Smart means speeding up processes in the supply chain by using technology, not working faster. Smart means systemic changes to really enable reuse of materials and less waste. And smart means reaching out to new consumers and creating value by using new sales platforms across the globe.
So this convention will show many inspiring examples of a smarter apparel supply chain and in the next newsletters, we are proud to announce many of our speakers who will explain their connection to the ‘smart’ theme.