The Sustainable Fashion Lab

The Lab is formed by approximately 80 leaders and 60 organizations ranging from the retail and fashion industry, to academics, entrepreneurs, seamstresses, workers, as well as the public sector, civil society, sectoral associations, international organizations, workers unions, the media and the social innovation and financial sectors.

The project is overseen by a governance council composed of Abit – Brazilian Textile and Apparel Industry Association, ABVTEX – Brazilian Textile Retail Association, ILO – International Labor Organization, DIEESE – Inter-union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies and Laudes Foundation, and a consultative council composed by the Hermann Hering Foundation. The Lab is supported by the Laudes Foundation, the Hermann Hering Foundation, the C&A Institute and Santista Jeanswear. The coordination and executive secretariat of the Lab is held by the Reos Institute.

During the first phase of the project, from January 2017 to December 2018, the Sustainable Fashion Lab aimed at promoting the following in Brazil’s fashion industry:

  • Innovative, multi-sectoral initiatives that contribute to transforming the system;
  • Transformative strategies and actions that influence and affect the main challenges identified;
  • Strengthened relationships between key ecosystem stakeholders;
  • An in-depth and systemic understanding of industry risks and opportunities.



Between January and June 2017, the Governance Council identified leaders from across the system that best reflected the industry’s diverse perspectives and invited them to join the Sustainable Fashion Lab team.
The first phase of the project had two main steps: the construction of scenarios  describing possible futures for the fashion industry in Brazil and a Social Lab.

As input to the process, 41 interviews were conducted with members of the team. Their main concerns, questions about the future and ideas for possible solutions to the challenges faced by the industry were summarized in a synthesis document. This material served as the foundation for the work developed by the team in the steps that followed.

The Sustainable Fashion Lab contributes to the following Sustainable Development Goals:

Our History

Scenarios − Over the course of two workshops held between June and September 2017, four relevant, challenging, plausible and clear scenarios were constructed by the team. The scenarios outline possible futures for Brazil’s fashion industry in 2035 and aim to stimulate reflection and dialogue on the present and future of Brazil’s fashion industry. Social Lab − Over the course of three 2-day workshops held between November 2017 and May 2018, the team engaged in a Social Lab Process.  They worked on the Fashion Lab’s Theory of Change, to define the vision, expected results and impacts they wish to see in Brazil’s fashion industry by 2027. The team also created a system’s map of the fashion industry, identifying structures and mental models that contribute to why the system is as it is today. The next step was to identify leverage points, places in the system where a change can lead to significant improvements in the fashion industry over the next few years. Based on the challenges and leverage points identified, the team divided itself into working groups (WGs) to co-create and prototype eighteen multi-sectoral initiatives. The platform – The team has since grown and become stronger. The initiatives originally developed by the team have turned into projects, with schedules and budgets. The Fashion Lab platform is transitioning to a new level of collaboration, and is looking to increase its number of participants and partners, as well as its connections with other initiatives, efforts and movements engaged in the cause of sustainable fashion.

The Sustainable Fashion Lab’s Theory of Change

Innovation in prioritized challenges: education, science and technology; culture and consumerism; environment; work and inequality; business model; public policies.

Starting from the desire to transform several unacceptable and unsustainable aspects of the current reality of the clothing and fashion industry in Brazil, the Project Team created a Theory of Change for Brazil’s Sustainable Fashion Lab. The Theory of Change was created in partnership with Move Social with input from the Governance Council, the Project Team and Reos Partners.

The Sustainable Fashion Lab has the following strategic objectives for the biennium 2020-2021:

  • Develop capacities of, strengthen relationships between key ecosystem players, and foster more dialogue, cooperation, co-responsibility, partnerships and collaborative networks.
  • Develop, strengthen and scale up both new and existing solutions to impact the industry.
  • Contribute to the development of a culture and narratives that support the transition to sustainable and ethical fashion in Brazil.
  • Contribute to the creation of favorable conditions for industry-wide transformation, influencing public policies and developing investment mechanisms that focus on sustainable solutions.

The people behind the Sustainable Fashion Lab / Governance Council

COORDINATED BY


CHRISTEL SHOLTEN
LUCILENE DANCIGER
THAYNE GARCIA 
Reos Partners

GOVERNANCE COUNCIL


CAMILA ZELEZOGLO
Brazilian Textile and Apparel Industry Association (ABIT)

EDMUNDO OLIVEIRA DE LIMA
Brazilian Association of Textile Retail (ABVTEX)

MARTIN HAHN
LUIZ MACHADO
International Labor Organization (ILO)

PATRICIA COSTA
Inter-union Department of Statistics and Socioeconomic Studies (DIEESE)

FÁBIO ALMEIDA
Laudes Foundation

CONSULTATIVE COUNCIL


AMÉLIA MALHEIROS
Hermann Hering Foundation

SUPPORTERS


LAUDES FOUNDATION
HERMANN HERING FOUNDATION
INTERNATIONAL LABOR ORGANIZATION (ILO)
C&A INSTITUTE
SANTISTA JEANSWEAR