Meet Hungary’s champion of fashion ecology and sustainability
This week WORTH had the pleasure to interview one of our inspiring Hungarian ambassadors Dr.Gabriella Mányi Walek. She has had a wealth of experience within the creative industry working with textiles, garments and fashion with a high regard for non-for-profit organizations.
During our interview with her we discuss her career and what her thoughts are about sustainability, industry advancements and what she can offer the WORTH Partnership Project participants:
From your previous experience with textiles, garments and fashion, why is it important to the industry that we develop new and innovative concepts?
According to my experience, creative new concepts and innovation are the driving forces of any development in the textile, garment, and the fashion industry too. In many cases this is the only alternative not only in the development but also in the surviving of many brands or companies facing the big competition worldwide. Companies with significant market share and capabilities are in a position to perform the very costly innovation solutions, but the SMEs and designers should get more support. They have many creative and innovative ideas but due to the lack of their own financial budget they cannot realize them. Also the research world can stimulate this innovation process, as we need new approaches to technology and to R&D.
Sustainability and eco-fashion is undeniably the way of the future. Through your career your work has been advocating this change, why is this personally important to you?
The fashion industry has a very strong impact on our environment as it is a full spectrum industry from the agricultural planting of the raw material to the merchandising of the ready-made garments involving different processes of production, finishing and transportation. It results in high environmental pollution, a massive production of waste (fast fashion), tremendous water usage and fossil energy consumption. Therefore all the stakeholders involved should take the responsibility to find the best sustainable and eco-friendly solutions. As president of an NGO fashion organization founding the Global Sustainable Fashion Week and as country coordinator of the Fashion Revolution, furthermore as the owner of a private company dealing with renewable energy projects, my mission is to call for global action for change for a more transparent, ethical and sustainable fashion/world. Working with our own worldwide platforms and searching more effective support, EU projects and partnerships, I try to help many producers, designers, professionals, organisations, educational institutions to achieve these goals. I am devoted to deal with these issues, which are crucial to lead to a positive change in respect of the circular economy too. I am very pleased to work with my teams, who have the same attitude. We have to re-think and re-design the methods and applications and many options in the design and production. We have to keep the value of the products, materials and resources in the economy as long as possible and hereafter return safely to the biosphere when no longer of human use.
Through the WORTH Partnership Project, we aim to connect European countries to work together to realize a mutual project, how do you feel this will benefit the creative industry?
It has a great importance to connect different countries in Europe in a framework of a mutual project, which the WORTH Partnership Project aims to do. In this way the complementary potentials in research, design and production – and later also in trading – can be utilized better due to the collaboration of the EU partners. Hence the new and creative products and results of the WORTH Partnership Project will contribute to the development of the creative industry. I highly support this aim with my own partnership in the EU countries.
The WORTH Partnership Project has embraced the sustainability trend in various innovative ways, what would be your advice for their projects to be successful?
Regarding the sustainability I would ask the applicants to keep an eye on the following requirements when they plan the project in any innovative way:
- To implement or use new eco-conscious fibres, materials
- To design for longevity, recyclability and biodegrability
- To use more renewable and efficient sources
- To implement more technologies for reuse and recycling
- To avoid toxicity in the materials
- To support the long life of the product (good service included)
- To source and produce with good ethics
- To use proper labels/eco certificate
In the future of the creative industry, what is something you would like to see more of and hope to be further developed?
I like intelligent textiles and smart clothing, so I would like to see more new inventions and solutions in high-tech clothing. This field has unlimited new possibilities not only in the sport wear and in the medical clothing but in our normal clothing. Fashion tech requires very qualified creative designers and very skilled providers of new high tech solutions, therefore more effective cooperation between the EU countries is needed and foreseen. It will result in making smart clothing go main stream to in the future. As I am devoted to the sustainable solutions, I hope that this area will not neglect the aspects of the sustainability and the circular economy, it has to strengthen the positive change of the textile, garment and fashion industry.
Find out more about Dr. Gabriella Manyi Walek click here.
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