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Tuesday, January 25, 2022

China Takes Lead Role at the Circular Fashion Summit

What Happened: Sponsored by Lablaco, the second annual Circular Fashion Summit (CFS) 2021 was held between December 9 and 19 in the SPIN metaverse. Focusing on “Redesigning Society,” the summit featured four panels and three workshops on adaptive fashion, digital twins, upcycling, and more. Speakers contributing included Li Min, Chinese designer and founder of jewelry brand YVMIN and champion of inclusivity, and the Shanghai-based virtual influencer Ruby, a spokesperson for Fendi, Chanel, and Valentino. The online event also presented awards to ten Impact Designers and ten Fashion Innovators, many of whom are Chinese talents.

The Jing Take: This virtual summit was accessible through the fashion metaverse platform SPIN, an amplified interactive interface that allowed attendees to experience groundbreaking circular fashion business models and connect with changemakers “in person.” Meanwhile, each participant could personalize their own avatar, from hairstyle to clothing.

Participants created virtual avatars for the online summit. Photo: Lablaco

One wearable digital garment was the exclusive piece Magic Jungle, which Vogue Singapore conceptualized alongside domestic designer Angel Chen. The young talent’s exquisite fusion of Western aesthetics and oriental details has made her one of the most in-demand designers among international names.

This young designer is not alone, as the international stage has seen an increasing number of local talents reshape the fashion industry. Untilab™, the domestic footwear brand that was co-founded by creative director Sans, art director Tian Cai, and CEO Justin Zen in 2019, was selected by CFS among the top ten Impact Designers for pioneering material and design innovation with a focus on sustainability. Sans told Jing Daily: “The commitment towards environmentally friendly practices, like the use of innovative and recyclable fabrics, come instinctively as a young designer.” Although China has been slower to embrace sustainability, younger generations are quickly adapting to this mindset, as seen in the popularity of Untilab™.

Innovation hubs are thriving in Shanghai. Circular knitting machinery leader Santoni and designers Eva x Carola opened a Materials Experience Center (MEC) at its facility in Shanghai. This pivotal space is dedicated to contemporary research for leading professionals and brands in the textile industry and is now recognized by the Circular Fashion Summit as a top-ten fashion innovator in the sector.

Santoni’s new Materials Experience Centre in Shanghai will serve as a space for contemporary research and inspiration in the textiles industry. Photo: Santoni

China’s role in circular fashion will surely dictate how the industry evolves. And judging by the role these start-ups have played at CFS 2021, the country looks promising.

The Jing Take reports on a piece of the leading news and presents our editorial team’s analysis of the key implications for the luxury industry. In the recurring column, we analyze everything from product drops and mergers to heated debate sprouting on Chinese social media.

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