Fashioning future texture | Daily News

Fashioning future texture

At the University of Moratuwa’s “Fashioning the Future” event, fashion industry insiders looked ahead to a bittersweet future. Serious discussions of environmental degradation at the hands of mass waste were lightened by the dazzling, futuristic possibilities of technological advancement.

Speakers from the University warned of incipient environmental devastation evinced by ever escalating natural disasters and a rising global temperature. As Professor Ajith de Alwis of the Chemical and Process Department at Moratuwa put it, in talk aptly named ‘the Catwalk Beyond 400 PPM,’ “extreme events are not extreme anymore, they are too frequent.”

Professor de Alwis recounted the history of consumerism and the toxic idea that “heaven is what one can buy,” which spread across industrialized societies in the mid 20th century. But such practices, he cautioned, have let to consumption that has degraded our environment. He said businesses must “Eco-innovate or perish,” a motto that is not just for companies but for the rest of the world as well.While environmental risks left a sombre tone audience, the potential of technology offered some optimism.

Lakdas D Fernando, Professor Emeritus at the University of Moratuwa, called the gradual automation of the machine floor, the biggest change the fashion industry has seen since the dawn of large scale manufacturing. “A wind of change is blowing through all business and all industries,” he said stressing the importance of rising to the coming challenges, “to weather the storm, one has face it and run with the wind.”

Patagonia, an outerwear company, offered insight into its own eco-friendly practices with a presentation from their representative in Sri Lanka, Hamdoon Zackaria. Zackaria enumerated the ways in which patagonia has reduced its waste and committed to sustainable, fair trade practices The event also featured a presentation from Nike representative, Michael Steen who offered tall tales of a high-tech superstore in West Hollywood, USA, where a customer can place orders for pick-up on a smartphone and walk out of the store with their purchase and without any physical payment process. Steen emphasized the importance of digital savviness in the age of technology and highlighted the growth of customized design in the industry.

Presentations were followed by the University of Moratuwa’s graduation fashion show and an exhibition of student designs held at JDA Perera Gallery.

Pictures by Shan Rambukwella


 

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