Inspired to mull over social and environmental responsibilities, the event, set to take place at a deactivated factory, keeps up with carbon offset and talks about sustainability in the entire production chain

by Paulo Borges*


What is the news industry like, what do humans want and need?

With insights inspired by this question, São Paulo Fashion Week (21-26.10.2018)’s 46th edition brings questions and suggestions, restating its mission in the sustainability scene for the development of fashion in Brazil and worldwide.

Society is increasingly changing amidst its chaotic dynamics: the speed people communicate is even faster, expectations and requirements on productive and creative aspects are more demanding, new ways of distribution and concerns on accessibility are bigger. Our acts and moves need a greater cause to be justified – a more comprehensive purpose.

Concerns on sustainability have been incorporated to food, building and health as reflection of its growing presence in culture as a whole. New choices of consumption and disposal are the order of the day.

In the fashion world, this could not be any different.

In this sense, the 46th edition of the SPFW takes place, for the first time, at ARCA, a 9-thousand square meter and 16-meter ceiling height industrial warehouse. The event starts at Bienal building and heads to a deactivated factory, with a generous space, which allows the revamp of a part of the city that has been turning into a hub of creativity and collaborative economy.

SPFW is one of the leading drivers of this change.

The elected venue for the event aims to take visitors back in time to old factories and production spaces. With this, the idea is to raise new questioning and awareness of all attendees for opportunities that went unnoticed until then, and to reiterate the importance of productive and collaborative process.

In parallel, we keep up with carbon offset and adaptation programs, started in 2016, in the name of energy consumption efficiency – part of previous editions. The goal is to mitigate environmental impacts caused by the hustling and bustling at the parade venue.

We are the first and only fashion week in the world to practice this gesture and, during this period, we have planted over 27 thousand tree seeds across five states. Two major Brazilian biomes, the Atlantic Forest and the Amazon, have been contemplated by the initiative, which reduced offset to 4.3 thousand tons of carbon dioxide.

Sustainability and style on and out of the catwalk

A specific sustainable and innovative initiative in this edition is one that joined Patricia Bonaldi, a stylist born in the state of Minas Gerais, from fashion brand PatBo, and Braskem to bring to the catwalk a look entirely made of polypropylene string. In addition to being 100% recyclable, resistant and soft, the fabric is dyed during a dry spinning process, which saves a great amount of water and contributes to the sustainable agenda. More: the author of this look is a fashion student picked through a contest involving the country’s main universities, stimulating innovation and discovering talents.

All pieces produced for the contest will be exhibited at Braskem’s stand, where they can be viewed by SPFW atendees.

Also in this edition, the Greenhouse Project, developed in 2016 by the union of other projects with relevant causes and purposes to us, broadens our agenda and reiterates our understanding of fashion not only as a piece of clothing but also as a complex of behaviors, emotions and views. As an incubator, the project maps out trends and brings to debate different professionals willing to meet new market needs.

Today, this market requires, in special, more sustainable processes that include both the productive chain and the post-consumption chain. It starts with the artisan and designer, passing through the buyer to the companies, which process, recycle or reuse this product.

In the “Greenhouse Project”, we are in charge of the new as a language, creativity and process involving new technologies, new ways of selling, thinking and producing. The project is comprised of three pillars: parades with new designers, master classes, seminars, workshops, and culture, with contemporary art exhibits curated by Daniela Thomas. Art is transformed from the contact with its founder and interacts with people. Our aim is to promote this discussion about organic processes on the formation of new individuals in the fashion industry.

As for the ASAP (As Sustainable As Possible) collection, in this edition, it is being multiplied by brands starting from “instituto-e (e-institute),” which helps to think, develop and provide knowledge and raw material aligned with sustainable fashion premises.

Transformation path and consumer role

To be sure, as with any other process, transformation takes time. And it needs, in special, awareness and participation of you, the consumer. It is you, who buys fashion, and your purchasing power sets the pace at which the chain modifies to meet new demands for a more sustainable fashion.

Our message is not a positioning. It is a futuristic vision. Share this vision with us.

After all, which future do we want?


* Paulo Borges is the founder and creative director of São Paulo Fashion Week

Content published in November 1, 2018

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