5 Key Takeaways from the Web Summit 2018

We are all active citizens – this was one of the key takeaways of a panel discussion attended by Livia Firth and Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aqualfil, at this week’s Web Summit in Lisbon.

Livia Firth and CEO of Aquafil Giulio Bonazzi discussed whether fashion is finally cleaning up its act during a panel discussion on Thursday moderated by Isabel Hilton, Founder & Editor of Chinadialogue.net.

Over 70,000 people came together for this year’s Web Summit – a world-leading tech conference attended by CEOs and founders of companies that are tackling some of the big challenges facing the industry today, from tech and data science, to design and environmental sustainability.

Here are our five key takeaways:

1. We are active citizens, not consumers
Whether you are the CEO of a brand or an individual shopping on the high street, we should all think of ourselves as active citizens and not just consumers who just buy relentlessly without consideration for where . The first rebellious act we can do as active citizens for our planet, and for the people who are across supply chains everywhere (some totally enslaved), is to stop buying for a minute. When we do buy, we need to be more curious about knowing who is behind the clothes we wear and, if it’s not available, demanding this information from brands. 

2. Fashion is a powerful force for change
We get dressed every day so we can make a huge difference through the clothes choices we make. Campaigning through fashion is an effective tool to talk about key issues like environmental impact and social justice.

3. Think circular
What happens to the product at the end of its life? Buy for longevity and choose products that can ultimately be re-used or recycled. See our guide to dressing ethically for more tips.

4. Everyone has a part to play to influence change
Businesses, government, active citizens – we can all play a part in influencing positive change. Luxury brands have the power and resources to invest in research and development in adopting new materials like ECONYL® regenerated nylon, as well as the tools to measure the impact on supply chains.  Government bodies have the power to re-address trade regulations and penalise countries that refuse to raise the minimum wage.

5.  Social media has the power to create positive stories
Social media is a powerful communication tool, enabling users to reach huge global audiences at the touch of a button. At Eco-Age we believe in using “social media for social good” – as Livia said during the panel, “stop taking selfies unless you have something to say in the caption about environment and ethics!”

Watch Livia Firth and Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil, in conversation with Cat Anderson at the Web Summit in Lisbon: