The Fashionology Summit, held at the International Convention City Bashundhara on Monday, was the first ever event of its kind in Bangladesh, boasting an impressive assemblage of guests and speakers from around the world, carefully selected to represent key industry stakeholders.
Among them were executives, scientists, and experts from various international companies (IBM, Eton Systems), foreign buyers, local producers, and fashion experts.
The summit was organized by the Bangladesh Apparel Exchange (BAE) -- an organization committed to promoting Bangladesh’s apparel industry in the global market. The purpose of the summit was to facilitate knowledge sharing and collaboration among shareholders.
Automation and advanced technology were the theme of the day as the speakers made their presentations on the rapidly evolving fashion and apparel industries.
Mostafiz Uddin, founder and CEO of BAE and managing director of Denim Expert Ltd, described his vision and motivation behind the initiative.
“We endeavored to bridge the gap between the present and future of Bangladesh’s apparel industry.
“We tried to bring under one roof the most inspiring and innovative thinkers as well as exhibitors from across the globe to initiate the much-needed conversations around technology, digitalization, and innovation in the apparel and fashion industry.”
Many of the guests praised the summit for creating an opportunity and space for buyers, producers, innovators, and other stakeholders to come together and exchange ideas.
Business managers who attended the summit told the Dhaka Tribune that Bangladesh has made significant strides in terms of compliance and workers’ safety since the Rana Plaza incident in 2013, which triggered an international outcry at the time.
According to a spokesperson from a local apparel manufacturer, the immense pressure created by foreign buyers did indeed produce the desired effect by forcing local producers to comply.
He told the Dhaka Tribune that while the transition was very difficult and even painful at first, they are now very happy with the resulting efficiency gains and so are buyers.
The speakers discussed some of the latest advances and innovations in fashion technology.
London and Paris-based Muchaneta Kapfunde, founder and editor of a fashion magazine called Fashnerd, showed audiences a variety of innovations in fibres, fabrics, and other fashion products, such as the leather-like fabric that is actually made from mushrooms, and handbags that are made from orange peel. There is also a new type of fabric that is stain resistant.
Other guests spoke at length about the use of artificial intelligence and automation in the supply chain, data management and analysis, virtual reality apps for customers and computer software for designers, and many more amazing innovations.