Sorting the Wardrobe

Conférence, Fashion, Roma/online

Entrance: Via Liguria 20

Conférence, Fashion

Entrance: Via Liguria 20

The event will take place at Istituto Svizzero and it will be held in English.
Register here to attend in person in Rome on the 18.11.2021.
Register here to attend in person in Rome on the 19.11.2021.
Register here to follow the conference online. (the public can ask questions by using the Q&A function on Zoom – not by using the chat). 

Sorting the Wardrobe – Innovation and Sustainability in Fashion

The coronavirus highlighted the weaknesses and flaws in our society, laying bare the inequalities, with which we have become accustomed: from racial discriminations to exploitation of labour to environmental destruction, change is needed to build a future that is both socially and environmentally sustainable.

The apparel industry finds itself right in the middle of the debate. Prevailing business models, focusing on economically efficient supply chains, come increasingly under pressure. The trend to inexpensive production, cheap and carefree acquisition and rapid disposal of mass-produced items has already long been criticized, yet the pandemic has made explicit the problems with which an entire industry is now confronted: the call for adequate worker protections, the questioning of prevalent Eurocentric paradigms, and the recognition of environmental impacts urge the fashion industry, and eventually society at large, to rethink its modes of production, distribution and consumption.  

At the backdrop of this debate, Istituto Svizzero invites to an international conference about current developments and innovative approaches in the field of fashion: what are the large-scale trends pressuring customary modes of doing fashion into change? What innovative approaches are being proposed and how do they tackle issues of social and environmental sustainability? Do sustainable technological innovations require a different design process? Which skills are needed in order to be able to design sustainably and how is this approach ultimately affecting aesthetics? Finally, how are we to effect change in well-established production lines and close the gap between the innovating drive of small-scale initiatives and the dominant market position of global players?

The conference is part of Istituto Svizzero’s series INNOVATION, which looks at innovations in research, exploring their potentials and challenges from a technological and social perspective.

On the occasion of the conference Sorting the Wardrobe – Innovation and Sustainability in Fashion, ICDP FHNW, Basel, HEAD–Genève and IUAV Venice have been invited to organize three workshops between November 11 and 17. Each school will address the issues discussed in the conference with a specific point of view: Material and New Technologies (ICDP FHNW), Reframing Education through Sustainability (HEAD–Genève), Sustainable Design and the Industry (IUAV in partnership with Manteco).

The conference has been anticipated on the 10.11.2021 by an online kick-off meeting titled On sustainable fashion. The panel assessed the notion of sustainability in the context of the present-day fashion industry, in order to identify overriding opportunities and challenges that define both the areas of improvement and course of action for the near future.

The conference is organized in collaboration with ICDP FHNW Basel, HEAD–Genève, and IUAV Venice.


Thursday, 18.11.2021

H14:45 – Welcome address

Focus 1 – Consumer Awareness and Corporate Responsibility

H15:00 – Opening statements (15 min each)
Brian Iselin – slavefreetrade
Orsola De Castro – Fashion Revolution
Maria Fernanda Hernandez Franco – Director of sustainability at LUISAVIAROMA/LVRSUSTAINABLE

H15:45 – Moderated round-table discussion with panellists and Q&A for audience (1 hour)
Moderator: Amparo Pardo Cuenca, EASD Valencia

16:45 – Break

Focus 2 – Circular Economy and Collaborative Consumption

H17:15 – Opening statements (15 min each)
Giuditta Tanzi – Garbage Core
Mara Rodriguez – Fiberstorm.ch
Sophie Fellay – Hibye Collective CH

H18:00 – Moderated round-table discussion with panellists and Q&A for audience (1 hour)
Moderator: Aya Noël, freelance journalist and print editor of 1 Granary

H19:00 – Aperitivo


Friday, 19.11.2021

H10:00 – Presentation of the workshops of each school (10 min each)

Focus 3 – Technological Innovation and Sustainable Development

H10:30 – Opening statements (15 min each)
Valentine Ebner – Knitgeek Research
Christian Kaegi – Bananatex
Mats Rombauts (online) – Rombauts Shoes

H11:30 – Moderated round-table discussion with panellists and Q&A for audience (1 hour)
Moderator: Evelyne Roth, ICDP FHNW, Basel

H12:30 – Lunch Break

Focus 4 – Cultural Diversity and Gender Roles

H15:00 – Opening statements (15 min each)
Noemi Michel, UNIGE/HEAD
Pinar Yolacan, artist

H15:45 – Moderated round-table discussion with panellists and Q&A for audience (1 hour)
Moderator: Vittoria Caratozzolo (Sapienza Università di Roma)

H16:45 – Closing remarks

In accordance with current regulations, the public is required to present a Covid Green Certificate at the entrance in order to access the event. This includes one of the following:

  • • You have received the anti-COVID-19 vaccination, with proof that you have received the first dose of vaccine at least 15 days previously or that you have completed the vaccination cycle;
  • • Recovery from COVID-19 within 6 months prior to the date of the event;
  • • Present a rapid antigenic or molecular test with a negative result within 48 hours prior to admission.