TCBL was one of the presenters at the RIFT (Responsible Innovators for Fashion & Textiles) Summit, held in Berlin in June 2017. Click here for an informative summary of the event.
Gullo filati was born as a wholesale warehouse and retail store in the heart of Palermo, its windows overlooking Sant'Anna Square and through first floor balconies you can enjoy a breathtaking view of the Palazzo Ganci terrace, the famous ball location in the movie "Il Gattopardo" (“The Leopard”) by Luchino Visconti. Piazza Sant'Anna was once the center of a district dedicated to the textile merchandise, with numerous wholesale grocery stores, those that sold the kapok produced in Palermo, fabrics shops, specialized drugstores in fabric colours, starch and potassium permanganate. For some years, the company suffered from the crisis in the sector, which began with the disappearance of retail stores scattered around the city, their main buyers. The crisis was then followed by the new city plan of pedestrianization of the city and the introduction of the ZTL, which confined the square in a too quiet island for the commerce.
However, the company owners did not discourage, and instead of closing down the business, they focused on two innovations:
• using e-commerce to sell goods in stock
• focusing on the clientele growth to encourage retail sales
This last wager was played with the Knit Café launch: free weekly days of knitting, crochet, weaving and embroidery in their shop, having expert tutors. The experience is completed by an annual event in the square: The world knitting day.
"People come here without paying," says Michele Gullo, "I also offer coffee and cookies so to create a nice atmosphere, I do not have a direct economic return, but in the end I gain because I increase my clientele, making them more conscious and interested in DIY."
Gullo filati is now a member of the TCBL network and it is preparing for the next call to become an associate. At the same time I see in this experience all the characteristics of a Pace Lab and soon with Luca Leonardi we will facilitate its insertion between TCBL Labs.
Abbiamo recentemente visitato Gullo Filati, un negozio di merceria a Palermo. Gullo filati nasce come magazzino di vendita all’ingrosso e dettaglio nel cuore di Palermo, le sue vetrine si affacciano su piazza Sant’Anna e dai balconi del primo piano, utilizzato come magazzino, si apprezza una vista mozzafiato della terrazza di Palazzo Ganci, la location del famoso ballo del film “Il Gattopardo” di Luchino Visconti. Piazza Sant’Anna era un tempo il centro di un distretto vocato alla merceologia del tessile, dai numerosi magazzini all’ingrosso di merceria, a quelli che vendevano il kapok prodotto nel palermitano, ai negozi di tessuti e corredi, a coloro che commerciavano abiti usati di provenienza militare, alle drogherie specializzate in superiride, amido e permanganato di potassio. Da qualche anno l’azienda soffriva la crisi del settore, iniziata con la scomparsa delle mercerie al dettaglio sparse per la città, loro principali acquirenti. La crisi è poi proseguita col nuovo piano di pedonalizzazione della città e l’introduzione della ZTL, che ha confinato la piazza in una isoletta troppo quieta per il commercio. I titolari dell’impresa però non si sono scoraggiati e, piuttosto che chiudere il proprio esercizio commerciale, hanno puntato su due innovazioni: • affidarsi all’e-commerce per vendere i grandi stock di merce in magazzino • dedicarsi alla crescita della propria clientela per incentivare la vendita al dettaglio Quest’ultima scommessa è stata giocata con il lancio del Knit Café: appuntamenti settimanali gratuiti della maglia, uncinetto, tessitura e ricamo all’interno dei propri locali, avvalendosi di tutor esperti. L’esperienza poi si completa con un evento annuale in piazza il “world knitting day”. “la gente viene qui senza pagare - dice Michele Gullo - offro anche caffè e pasticcini e si crea una bellissima atmosfera, non ho un ritorno economico diretto, ma alla fine ci guadagno perché aumento la mia clientela, la rendo più consapevole e interessata al fai-da-te.” Gullo filati è adesso membro del network TCBL e si prepara alla prossima call per diventare impresa associata. Al contempo io vedo nella sua esperienza tutte le caratteristiche di un Pace Lab e presto con Luca Leonardi faciliteremo il suo inserimento fra i Lab TCBL.
The #TCBL_2017 event in Athens has come to a close, and we extend our thanks to our Greek partners for their great organisation, as well as the over 120 participants and 50 speakers to made the event such a great success! We'll be posting the powerpoint presentations to the pages on the special section of this website during this week, and during the summer we hope to begin releasing the videos of each presentation. Stay tuned for further updates.
Partners from Prato, the Textile Centre and the Veneto met businesses in the Prato district last week in order to cement progress towards the construction of a programme of short run opportunities. TCoE representative Bill Macbeth spoke to around twenty local textile companies at the Textile Museum in Prato: short run slides (English) or short run slides (Italian). He provided a succinct summary of opportunities being created by TCBL by bringing designers and manufacturers together across Europe, including via the local pratoexpo site. Individual meetings also took place with Trafi and Lottozero. Finally, Slovenian partner eZavod identified further opportunities for collaboration.
Here are just a few of the possible short run opportunities under discussion:
1. An artisan designer in Yorkshire providing patterns to a short run producer in London with the transaction to be facilitated by the TCoE
2. A British designer working with a specialist dyer and textile recycling house in Prato, Italy. This will be facilitated by the TCoE (UK) and Prato (Italy).
3. A designer in Sicily working with a print producer in the Veneto, facilitated by UCV
4. A group of designers around the Prato region working and collaborating in a shared space with access to business and textile support. This will be facilitated by Prato.
5. DALi Sport is interested in producing textiles for helicopter pilots from material with fire-proof characteristics. This will be facilitated by eZavod in Slovenia.
If you have your own ideas for innovative or practical ideas for collaborations on short run productions, please let us know.
Bill Macbeth, of TCBL partner The Textile Centre of Excellence, visited the fashion fabric show, held at One Marylebone on 14th & 15th March, to gauge the reaction of the design and fabric buying community to an idea - put forward by the industry - to reduce some of the barriers to short run production. It's widely recognised as an issue for much of the industry so TCBL partners are in the process of developing a platform capable of bringing designers and manufacturers together and help them to do business. Aggregating demand from smaller designers to meet minmum thresholds, offering a trade floor for surplus stock and providing access to online design and business tools to improve communications and quality control between designers and manufacturers are just three of the elements that Bill discussed with exhibitors.
The results? There was genuine excitement that this could make a real difference! Sites exist that offer individual elements but no one was aware of any existing provision for the industry with such breadth.
Partners will be working hard over the next three months to demonstrate a working model with real business examples.
Following the Open Procedure that was launched on this website last November, the consortium members of the EU TCBL Project have identified seven new organisations that will be proposed to the European Commission as new partners in the coming weeks. The proposed new partners are as follows.
Partners bringing new Labs and Enterprises to TCBL
- Reginnova is a Regional Innovation, R&D, Technology transfer, Human Resources and Community Support Association for the NE Region in Romania. Driven by TCBL Associate Katty Fashion of Iasi, their plans in TCBL include value chains based on hemp as well as linking TCBL partners with the industrial T&C ecosystem in eastern Romania.
- CenTexBel is the Research & Development, testing, certification, consultancy, and training association for the Belgian textile industry. They plan to collaborate with TCBL Associate Michel Byvouet to develop "Second Life" value chain scenarios for the re-use and recycling of clothing, as well as engage with innovators and businesses in the Benelux area.
- Institut Français de la Mode is, according to Business of Fashion, the #3 ranking Fashion School in the world. With three of the current TCBL Advisory Board members, IFM plans to connect with fashion innovation laboratories across France, starting with their own R3iLab, and experiment an internship programme with TCBL Associate Enterprises.
- Fashion Enter is a London-based centre of excellence for skills development and a resource for fast track production for leading retailers, etailers, designers and start up own label businesses. They bring to TCBL their experience in the lab-based approach to innovation in the fashion industry as well as connections with the South England innovation ecosystem and leading retail brands and ecommerce websites.
- IAAC FabLabBarcelona is one of the leading laboratories of the worldwide network of Fab Labs, and enters TCBL with the FabTextiles department, specifically dedicated to building innovation capacity in the T&C sector. They will further integrate TCBL into the FabLab network (of which partner Waag is a member) and its growing interest in textiles, as well as the Catalonia T&C business and innovation ecosystem.
Partners bringing new Business Services to TCBL
- Cleviria is a Prato-based software house that develops management applications mainly for the T&C sector. They will integrate Thela, a supply chain management service specifically designed for the fashion industry, into the TCBL open platform and explore new approaches to certification of environmental and social practice.
- Sqetch is a Dutch start-up with an online marketplace that helps brands large and small connect with the most suited manufacturer. They will integrate their services into the TCBL open platform, experiment new roles in building innovative value chains, and connect smoothly with the other TCBL Business Services.
The TCBL partners thank these organisations for the interest shown and look forward to collaborating in the near future, upon successful completion of the EU's approval and contract amendment process.
We at TCBL also wish to extend our thanks to the organisations who applied through the Open Procedure but for whom the limited resources available did not allow us to extend the invitation to join the project partnership. We have extended an invitation to join the 124 TCBL Associates in the forthcoming 2017 Call, and are happy to say that we have been receiving positive responses from all of the unsuccessful applicants.
It looks to be an exciting year with all of these new energies giving new impulse to the growth and development of the TCBL ecosystem, and we're looking forward to collaborating with all of you in 2017.
An article on TCBL has been published in the prestigious Italian financial daily "Il Sole 20 Ore". For those of you who don't speak Italian, suffice it to say the article specifically mentions a number of TCBL Partners and Associates, including:
- Lanifico Paoletti
- Orange Fiber
- Thrakika Ekkokistiria
- AW Hainsworth
- Crimi (described)
- Nido di seta
Editor's note: we normally reserve this blog for 'official' project news and updates, but this report on #TCBL-2016 from a 14-year old attendant is probably better than anything we could write. Thanks Eva!
The TCBL Conference at the Textile Centre of Excellence featured speakers, Professor Filipe Barata, Sue Alderson, Kate Hills, Dr Fridolin Wild, Bill Macbeth and Mark Shayler. All of whom spoke about their sustainability concerns and technology’s growing involvement whilst some touched on subjects like leadership and becoming aware of smaller companies/organisations in the national and international industry. Their talks were very beneficial as they linked to business, computing and obviously textiles – 3 out of the 4 subjects I chose to study at GCSE level. It was also beneficial as the need for young people to become involved within the industry was showcased.
The conference also opened my eyes regarding the production of everyday clothes, especially regarding jeans, blue jeans. Every year 80 billion garments are produced – 2 billion of which are blue jeans. This statistic is worrying because for each pair of those jeans, 7000 litres of water are used in the production process. This situation is made even worse when 10% of all garments made are taken straight to landfill. Because of this, it shows you why clothes should be bought to last rather than being bought frequently to keep in fashion so there would be a smaller impact.
Throughout the two full days, I learnt many different facts but one that stood out to me was how Burberry were looking to employ a minimum of 500 machinists. At first, this took a while for me to fully register. This was because before, when looking at a career within a company like Burberry, jobs that were talked about the most were designers and stylists rather than being part of the production team. It then occurred to me that not enough young people are desiring to be machinists because not only do they feel that being a designer/stylists allows them to be more creative but becoming a machinist is not discussed in detail within school. If I were never able to go the conference, I would never have known that Burberry were looking for 500 machinists. Something else that hasn’t been discussed within school is the past, present and future of Huddersfield’s involvement within the industry. When Paul Johnson spoke about Huddersfield, he said how it was the only town in the World to add value to fabric or garment with the use of it’s name. This then put it into perspective of how there is no better time or place for my generation to enter the textiles industry.
This experience has given me the opportunity to interact with people that before I had no idea even existed. I was able to talk to Maria Adele about computers and their ever-growing involvement in textiles but especially focusing on pattern work. I also spoke to Cecilia, Ista and Marc from the WAAG Society in Amsterdam about how they are able to connect to their local communities and inform them about their local textile industry with their labs (which are used to connect to other labs around the world and share their experiences).
My knowledge of textiles has improved immensely and my knowledge of the past and present has been broadened whilst visons of the future have been introduced and explained to me. The industry had become to appeal to me more as a career so I can say that I have become more aware of the industry. It made me realise that the demand for young people to go into the industry is higher but less young people are seeing it as something that is more than a hobby. So I want to thank TCBL, WAAG, Maria and everyone that spoke to me and taught me something new for a memorable, educational and fantastic experience and that I hope you continue with all your missions!
Even though I had many of my earlier questions answered over the two days, I have thought some more and have found a gap for certain pieces so I leave some of my unanswered questions and would love to receive any answers or thoughts – firstname.lastname@example.org
Before coming to this conference, as a young person I had no idea about the range of careers that were available in the textile industry. When textile careers where mentioned, the first things that come to mind are jobs that have involvement with fashion designers and models. So, how do you aim to inform the next generation of young people about the range of jobs that are involved within the industry?
As a young person, I find that it is easy to get involved in a hobby and then after being obsessed for 2 weeks, something new is found and the other is forgotten. So, how are you going to be able to keep the interest in the textile industry throughout them growing up and discovering new opportunities?
Many schools today do not inform students about the different career choices and miss out on their desired path as they do not even know that their desired path even exists! Is there a way of reaching out to these students by contacting local schools and giving workshops/talks? Or would it even be possible to get a TCBL group that is run by student ambassadors and focuses on young people being introduced into the career path of textiles?
The next generation is becoming more and more involved with technology so it is becoming part of their everyday life and is used as a tool that is almost compulsory. Because of this increasing usage of technology among young people, is there a way of addressing this need to use it to be innovative for the progress of tech within textiles?
The first edition of the TCBL_Zine, a semestral e-publication produced from article contributions of TCBL Partners and Associates in the Knowledge Spaces, is now available for download from iTunes.
If you're interesting in contributing content or an article to the next edition of the TCBL_Zine, just contact Fridolin Wild.
(Like everywhere else on the TCBL website, when you see a member's name in boldface as above, you can click on it to go to his profile page. There, you can leave a message on his Comment Wall (we all have one) Or if you're friends with that person, you can leave a private message. If you don't want to do any of this you can always write Fridolin an email at his email address.)
There is growing societal, market and policy impetus to have quicker and broader impact on global sustainability, particularly across many basic humanitarian needs such as water sanitation, energy poverty, food shortage, transport, finance and healthcare. Policy-makers and companies are challenged with renewing efforts to reduce the carbon footprint and dramatically eliminate wastage of resources. As such, the Circular Economy is becoming an agenda setting item in global sustainability with the European Commission launching ‘The Circular Economy Package’ – an action plan that includes revised legislative proposals on waste. China has enacted several legislative polices that are in line with the promotion of a Circular Economy and the World Economic Forum’s Community of Young Global Leaders is the host of a fledgling annual Circular Economy awards ceremony - ‘The Circulars”. Moreover, the Ellen McArthur Foundation has played an instrumental leadership role in researching and championing The Circular Economy in schools, universities, businesses and public bodies across the globe.
The Circular economy rejects the linear model of take-use-dispose in favour of a circular pathway that streamlines the use and lifetime of materials. Industrialists are already adopting practices that facilitate the circular economy, such as re-manufacturing, closed loop recycling and servitization. The pervasiveness and connectivity of disruptive technologies continues to reframe the multiple roles that consumers play in a business model and it is against this context of industrial change and global sustainability imperative that raises the potential for further extrapolation of the circular economy.
Universities are contributing to this research agenda and embedding the Circular economy in their courses. For example, the University of Bradford and Cranfield University created an MBA and MSc in The Circular Economy, respectively. There has been a number of Calls for Papers for special issues in the Circular Economy, including the California Management Review and the Journal of Industrial Ecology.
On June 14th during the ICE 2016 Conference in Trondheim, Norway, a workshop was organised and chaired by Dr Brendan Galbraith from Ulster University with the aim of creating an interactive forum and research avenue on The Circular Economy. TCBL got the privilege of a dedicated slot in the agenda, with the presentation attached here: TCBL%20presentation%20Trondheim.pdf.
A concrete outcome of the workshop was to further refine the scope and launch a Call for Papers for a Special Issue: “Pivoting to a Circular Economy: the role of technology, policy, strategy and collaboration” in the Technology Analysis and Strategic Management Journal. This summary is also to invite researchers and practitioners in this domain to contact Dr Galbraith directly if interested in publishing on that topic there.
The first Global Sustainable Fashion Week was held in Budapest between 12-14th April 2016 and was a unique event combining international conference, workshops, displays and fashion shows in the sustainable, ethical fashion at the same time. TCBL project was invited to present its activities, labs and pilots and especially business model innovation environment. Presentation took place in Museum of Hungarian Applied Folk Art, on Thursday, April 14th 2016. The audience were professionals of fashion organisations, institutions, companies, individuals, artists, designers, professors and students of universities/ fashion schools, who are dealing with sustainability or who would like to proceed in this direction. Participants were also invited to Uttersfield's TCBL TEDx conference and annual event. Based on high interest for the project additional applications for labs and pilots can be expected in the future calls, as well as expansion of the TCBL movement to the countries outside current project consortium.
More about the Sustainable Fashion Week: http://www.fashionhungary.com/global-sustainable-fashion-week/
On 24 April 2013, 1,134 people were killed and over 2,500 were injured when the Rana Plaza complex collapsed in Dhaka, Bangladesh. We believe that’s too many people to lose on one day. That’s when Fashion Revolution was born. On 18-24 April, Fashion Revolution Week will bring people from all over the world together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes and accessories.
Please come and join the revolution in Oxford. We are asking you to Be curious. Find out who made your clothes. Who grew the cotton, spun the threads, dyed the fabric and who sewed them together?
TUESDAY 19TH APRIL. Photo call with the Lord Mayor of Oxford, 6.30pm – 7pm at The Oxford Town Hall
We will join the Lord Mayor of Oxford go #insideout to show that Oxford is part of the Fashion Revolution. We will all be wearing an item of clothing #insideout - we'll be asking the questions #who made my clothes?
SUNDAY 24TH APRIL. Fashion Revolution Day, showing of the documentary 'The True Cost' / 6.30pm – 8.30pm, Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford. Free event.
Showing of documentary ‘The True Cost’ followed by a panel discussion.
You can learn more about Fashion Revolution visit www.fashionrevolution.org
In occasion of the technical meeting held in Venice on 29-31 March, Unioncamere del Veneto has organised the visit for the consortium to Lanificio Paoletti in Follina, about one hour from Venice. Paolo Paoletti, the CEO of the family-run business, introduced us to the laboratory, which has a long production history. Founded in 1795 by Gaspare Paoletti in Follina, one of the biggest centres of the wool industry n the Republic of Venice, Lanificio Paoletti is today the only manufacturer of carded-wool yarns and textiles in the area which has resisted the passage of time. Today it is a dynamic and modern company focused on technological development, innovative processes and a continuous search for new design.
After a short introduction, we started the factory tour. Paolo showed us different steps of the textile production, starting from the wool treatment and colouring to the yarn creation and spinning. Along side the traditional production of poor-wool textiles, the Lanificio has specialised in the development of fine mixed textiles (Wool/Silk, Wool/Cashmere, etc).
The peculiarity of Lanificio Paoletti business is that they recently started to use 0 km material for their productions: the Alpago wool. Alpago is a mountainous area near Belluno, in Veneto, where there is a strong transhumance tradition and the wool of local sheeps was usually thrown because of its difficult manufacturing. Having the adequate machinery to treat this kind of wool, the Lanificio decided to start a cooperation with Alpago farmers to buy their wool and innovate its textile production in terms of quality and typology.
Also, from several years, Lanificio Paoletti has started the cooperation with local stakeholders such as design&fashion universities and schools, for the organisation of open events and projects aiming to spread the knowledge on wool and local traditions. An interesting example is the project “Via della Lana” (the wool road) which is at the 4th edition in 2016 (http://www.laviadellalana.it/).
The attention to environmental issues, the use of 0 km raw materials and the cooperation with local producers and stakeholders make the Lanificio Paoletti really interesting for the TCBL network, respecting ethical principles of the project and thus representing a potential lab candidate.
Following the Prato workshop on March 14th, Besnik Mehmeti of the Prato team took Maria Adele Cipolla and myself to visit the Beste factory in Cantagallo, about a half hour north of Prato. We were shown around by Tommaso Gori, the Production Manager. We were really impressed by the care and quality in every detail of the company's operations.
Beste's main area of business is dyeing and treating fabrics, plus in addition they have a line of clothing that has recently been launched: Monobi. Very interesting mix of technical textiles and welding processes for outdoor wear. But our visit was mainly in the textiles factory.
The first thing that strikes the eye is the beauty of the factory itself, with the commitment to transparency shown in the architecture: extensive glass facades, impressive wooden beams, and the offices and meeting rooms suspended over the factory floor.
Also of note were the technologies used for the dyeing processes, with a centralised bank of pigments automatically feeding production with a very high level of precision for colour accuracy.
Many areas for possible collaboration in TCBL emerged. For instance, in launching the Monobi line they had to ultimately go to Romania to find people who really know how to sew. That could open possibilities for collaboration with the TCBL Place Labs to develop the methods for building the necessary skills at the proper pace and with the proper mix of practical experience.
Another area of possible collaboration was related to certification processes. Here there appeared to be a general interest in collaborative certification for environmental and social issues, as well as the potential for development of specific technical tests for, for example, more rigorous or scientific tests for waterproof fabrics.
With Mr. Luca Leonardi (Arca) and the project manager Jesse Marsh, yesterday I had the pleasure of visiting a prestigious pilot candidate in Palermo: the men’s tailor Crimi. Although the sewing workshop made me travel few decades in the past, this enterprise seems to have made a perfect innovation in its business model, simply not changing anything in the men's suits traditional manufacturing, in which the Sicily has always been an excellence. Slow and silent production: almost everything is hand-stitched, except for some seams made with antique pedal sewing machines. Marking the fabric with tailor’s tacks, understitching by hand with silk thread, even over darts and around the armhole (the latest rigorously round to ensure full movement of the arm), chest handstitched to horsehair lining, steam iron 6 pounds heavy. They use the best English and Italian fabrics with a cut that accompanies every contour of the body, still drawn on paper, hand-embroidered eyelets, and custom buttons. To this, the last descendant of four generations has added a personal touch. After several years of leading positions in some of the best Made in Italy brands, Crimi returned to the family enterprise with Mom and Dad. He organizes an annual event during Pitti Uomo, where he offers Sicilian food, attracts wealthy buyers from the US and Japan, and takes care of his local clientele. Foreign customers are offered different options at different prices: you can have two tailors come to you for a week of, in the USA, the UK, Russia or Japan. Otherwise, you can come to Sicily and alternate sightseeing with fitting sessions. You’ll be shown the districts of the Palermo’s historic centre, tasting local street food, visiting local craftsmen and of course visiting our monumental heritage. How much does a men’s suit cost? Exactly what it must cost to ensure dignity to those who sew and cut it, how much it used to cost in the past: a medium-high salary. But who can afford a such expense? Many more people than you’d think, just consider it as an investment in time to wear ten years and more: Crimi’s many clients do. Life is made of priorities!
On 14th March 2016 the event registered a high participation of the local community.
The first Open Call for Pilots of the TCBL project running from March until the 8th of April was launched in the finely designed Auditorium Hall of the local Chamber of Commerce. From early morning till lunch time some 60 people attended this exceedingly stimulating event for the local community.
Policy makers from the region and city, EURATEX director Mr Marchi, textile and fashion business people and entrepreneurs, fashion and textile designers, as well as academy and research representatives etc attended the four hours workshop, thereby getting to know about recent developments in T&C European policies, market trends, business models etc. The value proposition of the first TCBL Call for Pilots was brought home to businesses that may want to experiment new pathways by join the TCBL community.
The workshop agenda had project’s spokesmen Mr. Marsh and Mr. Molinari illustrate the project, its aims and its key tools. The features of the three kinds of Labs (make, design and place) were illustrated by Mr. Ferro, Mrs Cipolla and Mr. Mehmeti respectively. The concept was brought home that labs on one side and businesses on the other constitute the two wings of the project. It is through their interaction that TCBL aims to bring about a revolution in Textile and Clothing.
Breakthrough innovations in the business models in fashion, design and other sectors provided stimula and inspiration for attendees to reflect upon existing business approaches and how they could benefit from fresh ideas emerging from the TCBL labs. Prospected pilots were encouraged to consider reshuffling their business along new experimental pathways.
Platforms to support R&D, transparency and openness were presented by the Industrial Association Confindustria, PratoExpo.com and Cleviria - initiatives that echoe the same principles as the TCBL project.
Afterthoughts and impressions were exchanged with the Mayor of Prato Mr. Matteo Biffoni.
Fashion Revolution shares key concerns of TCBL: "We believe that fashion can be made in a safe, clean and beautiful way. Where creativity, quality, environment and people are valued equally." Their main yearly event commemorates the Rana Plaza disaster: "On 24 April every year, Fashion Revolution Day brings people from all over the world together to use the power of fashion to change the story for the people who make the world’s clothes and accessories." Their main campaign concept is #whomademyclothes: a call for transparency where people are invited to ask brands who made the clothes they wear.
TCBL could help local factories and tailors answer that question, participating actively in Fashion Revolution Week (18-24 April) with our own approach to the issue, ie be giving value to local production. How many TCBL pilots (or potential pilots) are able to say to interested citizens "I made (or could have made) your clothes"? Let's give them visibility!
We could organise, in each of the pilot territories, a network of open house events. Textile and garment factories could open their doors (say for one day in the week) and let citizens see how their clothes are made and talk to those who make them. Retail outlets using local production could host "meet your maker" events, set up a bulletin board with photos of their local suppliers' factories and factory workers, and tell them stories about how their clothes are made, ideally inviting a local factory worker or tailor to the shop.
Let's show our local citizens what beautiful and impressive machinery produces textiles, what careful stitching goes into their garments, and the value of quality textiles and clothing. Let's tell stories about how their clothes are designed and the love and passion that goes into making them. Let's show customers why decent, locally produced clothing costs its fair price (and why a €10 skirt should make them suspicious). Are factories too busy to open their doors? Think of the positive marketing campaign they get in return (and the value that similar initiatives have brought to industries such as wine making). Let them know that Twitter has registered 63 million impressions of the hashtag #whomademyclothes...
Are any TCBL partners interested in organising such a "TCBL answers Fashion Revolution" week? Here are some ideas to be part of the movement:
- Connect and coordinate with Fashion Revolution. First, see if there's a Country Coordinator for where you are here: http://fashionrevolution.org/get-involved/countries. There's already news and plans for events in participating countries for 2016, and you can get some ideas of things you could do together with them.
- See what resources Fashion Revolution can offer you at http://fashionrevolution.org/resources/, and also at http://fashionrevolution.org/get-involved/ways-for-everyone-to-get-involved/. You can mix these resources with the communication and information resources of TCBL (we'll be adding some to our communication pack soon) as part of your plan.
- Decide how much time and energy you can dedicate to organizing your week. At minimum, you can focus on the basic Fashion Revolution Week participation: enlist some names, wear your clothes inside out, post selfies with the #whomademyclothes hashtag. To add the TCBL touch, one idea is to hang a bulletin board with the 7 TCBL principles, and artisans, citizens, industrialists, buyers, etc. can pin their calling cards to the board as a way of signing up.
- Some partners are planning more intensive events, such as the type of open house at one or two factories as mentioned above. If you want to do that, you should make a census of your local artisans and factories, see who's interested, plan open houses throughout the week, make a map for customers and citizens, and hit the social networks.
- Whatever you decide to do, let us know so we can give you visibility and let others know as well. For the TCBL community, post a comment in reply to this post with your plans and then don't forget to report your activities on the Recent Activity blog. Let your Fashion Revolution Country Coordinator know as well, using the contact form at: http://fashionrevolution.org/contact.
We know this is short notice, but let's do what we can to show our support. Certainly next year we can plan something more structured. From our first contacts with some "best practice" factories, it looks like the idea of a coordinated Open House week like this could develop into something interesting.
On 29th January 2016, in Huddersfield, the TCoE was proud to host the 1st Community of Interest meeting for the TCBL project.
This was an exciting, successful day attended by an audience of senior representatives from national and local textile designers, manufacturing, business support, local government and universities.
TCoE Managing Director Bill Macbeth and local MP Barry Sheerman reminded the audience of the importance of the textile industry to the local area and highlighted some of the ways in which Huddersfield was also in the forefront of advances in technology that could transform textiles. Jesse Marsh, TCBL Project Director, provided an excellent overview of what TCBL is about and how, when and where businesses and individuals could get involved with the project over the coming months. He highlighted a number of the services in development that participants will be able to take advantage of via the project.
There were spirited discussions over what type of ideas and concepts might be applicable to TCBL with notable contributions from delegates, including Jenny Holloway and Clare Hussey. Conversations were carried on and developed through the networking opportunities provided during the day with the possibilities of a new Business Laboratory and a Business Pilot emerging as a result.
Part of the TCoE’s Making Laboratory was in use with a number of people currently unemployed but with experience or interest in sewing as a business opportunity. They were using the facilities as a taster session under the watchful eye of one of our expert tutors, Sue Taylor.
A short video of the event captured the thoughts of some of the participants: Hear from the delegates.
Here is a link to the latest version of the Multiplexed Laser Surface Enhancement processing system Synthesises man made or natural materials to provide hydrophobic, fire retardant and anti-microbial treatments using no water, no chemicals and produces no waste!
We think this is a world-beater, and pretty too!
<More info from the TCoE
A W Hainsworth & Sons Ltd is a specialist textile company, AW Hainsworth has been an unrivalled market leader for over 230 years, from the time Abimelech William Hainsworth started manufacturing woollen cloth in Yorkshire in 1783. We visited this company during our stay in Huddersfield. We were impressed by the beauty of the ancient walls, the efficiency of traditional craftsmanship, and the history and heritage at every step of the manufacturing process. They operate as manufacturing leaders in a enviably diverse range of markets: Uniforms (military and academic), theatrical costumes, piano felt and other musical instrument parts, interior fabrics, fashion fabrics, cue sports.
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