Growth Accelerator 2023-28: Insights & Imagination

February 6, 2023 at Istanbul (internal event, 2 days)

Style used to be purely about aesthetics, and good taste was determined by luxury brand houses and high-end designers. Not today. Now, style is about products that are carefully designed to improve our lives and align with our values.

Many brands stand out  for creating beautiful clothes, bolstered by inspiring missions. Farfetch, the luxury marketplace that partners with small boutiques around the world, poured its profits into sustainability initiatives, including acquiring the resale technology company Luxclusif to power its own secondhand business, Second Life, and launching an in-house eco-friendly label, There Was One, which creates durable basics.

Designer Tracy Reese took the radical step of moving her HQ from New York to Detroit as part of her mission to transform the city into a hub of ethical fashion manufacturing. Johannesburg-based designer Thebe Magugu used his collections to narrate stories about politics and history; for his 2021 collection, he interviewed South African women who worked as spies during apartheid, creating outfits that spoke to issues of gender and colonialism.

Some brands focused on creatively responding to consumers’ unmet needs. Myya, for instance, created a luxurious lingerie shopping experience for breast cancer patients, who historically have been forced to buy prosthetics and specialized bras at medical supply stores. Figs designed tasteful and comfortable scrubs for medical professionals, cultivating a loyal following of 1.7 million customers who appreciate the care that has gone into these outfits.

Denim brand Good American recognized that women’s bodies fluctuate in size 31 times over the course of their lives, forcing them to buy new clothes. The brand launched its Always Fits jeans and swimwear collections, which are designed to span four sizes, ensuring they look flattering even as customers’ bodies change. And shoe brand Hoka has paid close attention to runners’ needs, developing new foams and carbon-fibre plates that give them extra propulsion, without sacrificing comfort.

Direct.

There’s fast fashion – and then there’s SHEIN. The Chinese fashion giant is taking fast fashion to new extremes. Real time, they say. In fact most items are not even made when ordered, but then made and shipped within 24 hours, direct to your door. The $100 billion Chinese brand produces ultra-cheap clothes at ultra-fast speed, creating an ultra-big hype on social media. The Haul. TikTok on steroids. There’s waste, and human rights, and more. But there also some insights to learn from – AI predictive, on demand, social influence.

Virtual.

We’ve got views on the metaverse. Good and bad. Certainly for Zuckerberg, his Meta vision resulted in a 70% fall in his company’s share price. But step into the virtual world with the pioneering entrepreneurs behind Ledger, The Dematerialised and RFTKT Studios to discover why the metaverse is being seen as the next fashion goldmine.

Sustainable.

The average shopper now buys 60% more clothes than they did 50 years ago. And wears only 30% of of them, typically 5-6 times before disposal. The fashion industry has been a major contributor to climate change and biodiversity loss—which means the industry’s sustainability efforts are critical to our planet’s health.

Some inspiring brands

Farfetch  was founded in 2007 by the Portuguese entrepreneur Jose Neves. The e-tailer stocks goods from various boutiques big and small in over 50 different countries. It is stepping out with its very own in-house fashion brand. Dubbed ‘ There Was One ‘ the line takes inspiration from elevated classics and includes tailored blazers, soft slip dresses, denim jackets, and zippered leggings, and draws from the platform’s data-driven insights on what customers are actively searching for on Farfetch.

Not all basics are created equal – and trust us, after 25+ years in the industry, we know basics better than anyone (humble brag: we like to say that we actually fueled the t-shirt movement). Our superior craftsmanship, exceptional quality, and buttery soft fabric have established us as the go-to apparel company for top brands around the globe for everything from festivals to branding needs. Since 1992 BELLA+CANVAS has chosen to Be Different. From how we make our eco-friendly garments to our company culture—we always challenge the status quo. No other brand does it like BELLA+CANVAS, and that’s a promise you can build YOUR brand on.

THE YES seeks to make online shopping happier and easier by learning what you love and (through the magic of technology) personalizing your shopping experience top to bottom.The process of buying clothes online hasn’t changed much over the last 20 years. Consumers are expected to scan through endless rows of inventory to find a product that might interest them. The Yes radically reimagines e-commerce with an app that presents users with entire outfits from various brands tailored to their taste, budget, and size.

On, the Swiss sportswear business, born in Switzerland seven years ago, has become the fastest growing global running brand. Ithas launched a 100% recyclable, bio-based performance running shoe.  Some claimed it was impossible. But we chose to Dream On. The Cloudneo is now available via subscription to our Cyclon™ circularity program. Run. Recycle. Repeat.

A history moment for 100 Thieves. The gaming brand collaborates with Gucci. Revealing a limited-edition backpack from the Gucci Off The Grid collection—made from recycled and sustainably sourced materials— in a new shade of bright red featuring a distinctive circular patch with the 100 Thieves logo!

Outerknown seeks to make clothing differently. Created by world champion surfer Kelly Slater in 2015, with the goal of creating high-quality, sustainable fashion that would stand up to any conditions—including those you’ll find in the water. The brand’s clothing is made using eco-conscious materials like organic cotton and hemp fibres, as well as recycled polyester derived from recycled plastic bottles.  Their jeans are made at the world’s cleanest denim facility, using less water, fewer chemicals, and organic cotton. They guarantee S.E.A. JEANS for life. Now your most comfortable jeans are also your most sustainable.

18 years ago, VEJA’s founders decided to travel to the Amazon rainforest and meet the producers of wild rubber in person, the same rubber we use in every one of our VEJA soles.​ ​ Those producers protect the forest and live in harmony with it. This rubber, extracted from forest trees, is a completely ecological raw material.​ Last year, a team of VEJA members traveled to the Amazon rainforest to discover the Chico Mendes reserve.​ One of the many reserves that VEJA works to keep the Amazon rainforest alive.​ These families of rubber producers we work with are paid 4 times more than the market price.​

Vestiaire Collective is banning fast fashion from being bought, sold or listed on the platform. We say no to a system that supports overconsumption, poor quality and over production. Its mission is to drive change from within the fashion industry. We aim, over the next 3 years, to become a fast fashion-free platform that celebrates quality, craftsmanship and sustainability.

NEFFA, a Dutch design studio founded by Aniela Hoitink, is on the cutting edge of a technological race to transform the textile and fashion industry. Backed by two investors and a manufacturing partner (the German shoe machinery company Desma), NEFFA aims to go from pilot to demo scale this year, and to industrial scale in 2024, producing environmentally friendly materials in a process that reduces waste from cutting and sewing.

Mycelium, the understructure of mushrooms, is grown in a mix of water, sugar, and minerals to create a paste that is then formed around a 3D model based on a body scan submitted by a customer using a smartphone app. The result is a seamless, custom-made garment that fits well and does little to no harm to the environment. “It changes everything,” says Hoitink. “It takes dozens of steps to make a leather or fake leather shoe. We make it in two steps with almost no carbon footprint.”

Nike acquired RTFKT to merge physical and virtual worlds. The latest evolution of the Nike Adapt platform builds from the 2016 HyperAdapt and the 2019 Adapt BB to create the 2022 Cryptokicks iRL, powered by the Lace Engine. It features auto-lacing, haptic feedback, enhanced lighting, gesture control, walk detection, wireless charging, NFC link, App connectivity, AI/ML algo, and Move to Earn.