c.l.a.s.s. Discussing Transformation into the Next-Generation Sustainable Knowledge Economy

On the morning of June 4, the author attended a sharing session hosted by c.l.a.s.s., a fabric platform based in Milan, Italy, at the branch store of Spanish brand Ecoalf in Mitte, Berlin. This platform analyzes and observes the rise of a new generation of designers, consumers and supply chain patterns, and even how sustainable fashion can adjust its way forward in the future. This platform has also provided experience sharing since its inception in 2007. Facing the future Generation Z consumers, c.l.a.s.s. said, “Knowledge is power. Please take the knowledge route.”



Ecoalf located in Berlin


First, let me mention about the venue of this event. The earliest batch of fabrics used by Ecoalf, a Spanish brand which was conceptualized in 2009 and founded in 2012, were made from PET bottles recycled in Taiwan. Later, the founder of this brand turned to his attention to observing the situation of the area where he came from, a seaside city in Spain. In order to search for usable “waste” using the same concept of PET bottle recycling, and eventually discovered fishing nets used by fishermen.


Yayoi, the store manager of Ecoalf in Berlin

According to Yayoi, the store manager of Ecoalf in Berlin , these fishing nets have to be replaced with new ones every five to six years. However, recycling them incurs costs, so most fishermen do not recycle them after using them till they have to be discarded, and sink them to the bottom of the sea. Therefore, the founder of Ecoalf discussed with local fishermen so that he could recycle these fishing nets. The fishermen not only did not need to pay for recycling them, but could also earn additional money, while garbage would not remain at the bottom of the sea. Why not? As a result, the number of fishermen currently participating in this effort has grown from three fishermen to over 3,000 fishermen. The Thai government even took the initiative to contact the brand after learning of this approach, in hopes that the brand can travel to Thailand and “collect” fishing nets. So far, the brand has developed over 300 types of fabrics using fishing net as a material. The success of a brand requires a little bit of luck, a little bit of creativity, and most importantly:Power of Observation.


Luca from c.l.a.s.s. in Milan, Italy

Three elements of the future sustainable in fashion industry: Design, responsibility, and innovation

This is the content filled in three circles drawn by c.l.a.s.s., where the final goal is to produce products of increased “value”. Since the theme of this session revolves around recommendations regarding the transformation of business models among sustainable fashion operators through the analysis of future Generation Z consumer behavior, one of the three elements, namely design, was specially discussed. It was mentioned that what designers care about is also brand perception among consumers. In the future, the choice of brand made by Generation Z, who grew up in the era of information explosion, the power of brand name, will become increasingly vague; hence, transparency and traceability will become increasingly vital steps. Besides, Generation Z who speak their minds, show two types of reactions when it comes to various types of sustainability gimmicks from existing brands - “not nice-looking” and “I don’t believe it”. For designers, what they should care about in the future, if they want to capture Generation Z consumers, is: Where does the fabric come from and where should it go?


Three future sustainable fashion trends: Awareness, shifting lifestyle and DIY

According to the results of the European Parliament election in the end of May, the number of seats won by the environmental protection-oriented European Greens (EGP) increased significantly from 51 seats to 80 seats, thus becoming the fourth largest party in the European Parliament. Take Germany for instance, the number of seats won by EGP in Germany grew by 11.3%, where one-third of Germans aged 30 years old and below voted for EGP; while EGP clinched the number one spot in terms of percentage of votes obtained from voters aged 60 years old and below in big cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, and Munich, a twofold increase from 2014. It can be seen that concerning the issue of environmental protection, the future generation is no longer “easily deceived”, but “reasonable persuasion” is required to convince them instead. The c.l.a.s.s. platform still comprises the element of e-commerce, but will gradually be transformed into an “education” and “consulting”-oriented knowledge platform. With regard to Generation Z, the founder of the platform gave a piece of advice: “At the core of creativity and success is knowledge.”



c.l.a.s.s. presentation about designer's consciousness


c.l.a.s.s. 談轉型新一代永續知識經濟


六月四日上午,筆者在西班牙品牌Ecoalf柏林米特區分店中,參與了一堂由米蘭永續布料平台c.l.a.s.s.主講分享,該平台對新一代設計師、消費者、供應鏈型態興起的分析觀察,甚至對於永續時尚未來能夠如何自行調整出路,該平台也提供了自2007年成立以來的經驗分享。面對未來Z世代消費者,c.l.a.s.s.說:「知識就是力量,請走知識一路。」


先提一下這次活動舉辦的地點,Ecoalf,這間發想於2009年,成立於2012年的西班牙品牌,最早使用的一批布料,就是來自台灣回收寶特瓶所製成,後來品牌創辦人轉向觀察自己來自的地區,西班牙海邊城市,以使用回收寶特瓶同樣的概念,尋找可用的「廢棄物」,發現了漁夫使用的漁網。



根據當天柏林店店長Yayoi的介紹,這些漁網大約每五到六年,需要更換新網。但因為回收也需要費用,因此多數漁夫在使用到需廢棄後,便不再回收,而是放之沉入海底。於是Ecoalf創辦人便與當地漁夫商量,讓他回收這些漁網,漁夫們不僅不需付費,還可以賺外快,垃圾還不會留海底,何樂而不為,就這樣,目前參與的漁夫人數,從三人成長到了三千多人,甚至泰國政府在得知此種作法後,還主動聯繫,希望品牌能到泰國「開收」。至今,品牌已以漁網為素材,開發了超過三百種布料,一個品牌的成功,需要一點運氣、一點創意、和最重要的:觀察力

未來永續時尚產業三要素:設計、責任、創新

這是c.l.a.s.s.畫出的三個圓圈中所填上的內容,最終的目標,是產出提高「價值」的產品。由於這次的主題,是以分析未來Z世代消費行為對於永續時尚業者商業模式的轉型提出建議。在這三個點中,特別將「設計」一環提出討論,提出,設計師在意的是消費者的品牌觀,在資訊爆炸中成長的Z世代,未來將走向「品牌愈來愈模糊,透明度和可追溯度愈來愈重要的一步」。並且直率表達的Z世代,對於當前品牌的各種永續噱頭,兩種反應是「不好看、不相信」;對設計師來說,想抓住Z世代,未來需要在意的是:布料從哪裡來?要往哪裡去?


三大未來永續時尚走向:警醒力(awareness)、生活風格轉型(shifting lifestyle)、DIY

歐洲五月底議會結果出爐,主打環保的綠黨在歐洲大幅成長,席次從51增至70,成為第四大黨團,以德國為例,就成長了11.3%。其中,德國三十歲以下,有三分之一投給了綠黨,在大城市,如,柏林、漢堡、慕尼黑,更在六十歲以下群眾中,得到了第一名得票率,比2014年成長一倍。可以看出未來世代對於環保,將不再「好騙」,而是需要「有理說服」。c.l.a.s.s.平台本身,還是留有e-commerce的部分,但將更多轉型走向「教育」及「顧問」的知識型平台,對於Z世代,創辦人留下一句:「創意和成功的核心,就是知識。」

FOR A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE  

*Sign up to be the first to know about new arrivals, events and all the latest.

  • Grey Facebook Icon
  • 灰色LinkedIn圖標
  • Grey Twitter Icon

The idea of Circular textile flow is initial by Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) Sustainability and Certification Section. 

© 2020 ctexflow.com