GCU NY hosts Fashion Sharing Progress event on sustainable fashion

11 September 2015

GCU New York this week (September 9) hosted a discussion on ‘slow fashion’ and the business case for sustainability within the fashion industry, as part of the school’s on-going Fashion Sharing Progress Town Hall Series.

The panel included Maxine Bédat, co-founder and CEO of Zady.com and Emily Spivack, author of the New York Times bestseller Worn Stories.

The conversation focused on inspiring stories about how to value and connect to fashion in a more thoughtful way. Maxine Bédat and Emily Spivack noted how both consumers and corporations can continue to evolve their thinking around production and purchasing.

Ms Bédat shared how Zady develops and produces the brand’s collection from the ground up, while sharing insights that she has learned along the way. “Knowing where the cut and sew takes place is important, but it’s also important to know where that fabric is coming from. Each part of the supply chain needs to work together in partnership,” she said.

“Sustainability isn't about being green. To be sustainable is creating systems that survive and thrive. And in that equation, we need thriving businesses."

The discussion also addressed the concept of slow fashion from a consumer perspective. “By getting people to pause for a minute and think about what they already have, it is possible to shift a consumer’s thinking to slow down and buy what really matters,” said Ms Spivack. 

“Instead of thinking about what’s in style or what the new, latest thing is, I hope when people go to their closets, they will consider the story behind their clothes. Then, there can be a shift - the value comes from having that thing and continuing its journey.”

Cara Smyth, Vice President of GCU New York, said: “We were delighted that Maxine and Emily's conversation highlighted wonderful ways in which apparel can create value, generate business and be an instrument of sustainable development. Zady not only offers a thoughtful selection of product, but also provides critical information and an education as well.”

GCU’s New York Town Hall series gathers a range of leaders from various industries and organisations to offer different perspectives on sustainable development and help identify new solutions for the fashion and retail industry and beyond. The driving force of the series is to unite professors and professionals collaborating with industry experts to facilitate new learning which incorporates profitability with ethical, environmental, and social considerations.