The SAP Next-Gen program and partner The Female Quotient hosted the Sustainable Fashion Soirée at SAP’s offices at Hudson Yards in New York yesterday as part of New York Fashion Week.

Using the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as a unifying framework for targeting and measuring impact, the event highlighted fashion organizations working together to transform their industrial impact.

Weaving Technology into the Fabric of Sustainable Fashion

Organizations like Queen of Raw have found innovative ways to turn would-be wasted clothing into purpose-driven business. “Excess inventory and unused textiles can be monetized, turning pollution into profit. Our marketplace brings waste back to life by giving the factories that overproduce it and the brands that over purchase it a place to recapture its value while minimizing those waste streams going forward with intelligent predictive data,” said Stephanie Benedetto, CEO and co-founder of Queen of Raw.

New business design achieves impact when digital technology is interwoven, literally, into the fabric of used clothing, as in the case of EON. “By giving every product a unique digital identity, we power the transparency essential to resell, reuse, rent, repair, and recycle materials,” said Natasha Franck, founder and CEO of EON. “The digitization of products will drive disruptive changes in consumer behavior, powering new and circular business models for brands and retailers.”

As technology becomes more integrated in the community and conversation around fashion, business opportunities begin to transform. “The future is now, and as the tech and fashion industries converge, there’s no better place than New York Fashion Week to formalize conversations and networking opportunities by bringing these two industries together,” said Jordana Guimaraes, co-founder of FASHINNOVATION. “There’s a reason why companies such as Farfetch and Revolve exist and are valued at billions of dollars. We need to pay attention to fashion tech innovation, and FASHINNOVATION is at this intersection.”

A Movement for Conscious Fashion

Sustainability is not a given when technology and fashion grow together. As in any industry, significant impacts come when a new way of thinking becomes adopted by the fashion world.

“The Conscious Fashion Campaign is dedicated to advancing fashion innovators addressing the world’s most pressing issues to achieve the SDGs. The initiative celebrates the changemakers championing conscious fashion as an influential force for global good towards our sustainable future, aiming to harness the power of retailers, media, and influencers to embrace impact-driven fashion brands to create positive change and drive conscious consumerism,” said Kerry Bannigan, entrepreneur, producer, and advisor.

Conscious fashion is not just about sustainability; it is also about equality and inclusion. To highlight and celebrate inclusive retail and the impact of tech innovation on the fashion industry, The Female Quotient teamed up with SAP Next-Gen during New York Fashion Week to share a call to action with fashion industry leaders and influencers to create new opportunities to improve equality and sustainability in fashion.

“We each have a responsibility to advance equality and sustainability,” said Shelley Zalis, CEO and founder of The Female Quotient. “A cause alone has power; collectively, it has impact. Our choices in fashion play a big role in creating a more sustainable world. The Female Quotient is helping to advance the cause with The Confidence Collection, our interactive line of t-shirts and jewelry that unlocks career advice and donates proceeds to nonprofits supporting women.”

The Future of Fashion: Exceptional Experiences and Healthy Supply Chains

SAP is committed to helping its customers innovate with its technologies for social good, in particular to drive exceptional experiences and create healthy supply chains.

In January, SAP Next-Gen forged new partnerships aimed at accelerating the impact of sustainable business practices in the fashion industry at Davos. SAP Next-Gen plans to bring a strong focus on expanding public-private partnerships globally and showcasing successes of and pathways to greater sustainability in fashion through events in 2019, such as the UN Alliance on Sustainable Fashion in March and the Copenhagen Fashion Summit in May.