Budapest Fashion & Tech Summit: On A Mission To Be Central Europe’s Fashion Innovation Hub

Budapest Fashion & Tech Summit, Central Europe's future hub for fashion and technology gathers experts from around the globe to share their industry experience.

A couple of months ago, I heard from Anita Forintos- Szűcs. After she introduced herself as the deputy of CEO and Head of Fashion of Hungarian Fashion and Design Agency, she confided that she (and her team) were on a mission to develop the fashion industry in Hungary with Budapest Fashion & Tech Summit, BCEFW’s official side event. 

As Central Europe’s future hub for fashion and technology, the Budapest Fashion & Tech Summit event is the first of its kind in Budapest. It is a global summit that is dedicated to the relationship between technology and fashion. Taking place in the heart of Budapest, this season the English spoken event brought to the table a selection of relevant topics that reinforce the role that Budapest plays in Central Europe. 

Gathered from all over the world to share their industry experience during this one-day event, experts included  Henry Holland, Alessandro CarnicellaGina Gulberti, Esteban de la TorreMo White and Ista Boszhard. Declan Hannigan moderated the whole day. Last year, the event was a small roundtable discussion that had the likes of Olivia Pinnock, Fashion Journalist & Sustainability Specialist and Dr Carmen Hijosa, Founder and Chief Creative & Innovation Officer of Ananas Anam, Creator of Piñatex.

FashNerd.com founder Muchaneta Kapfunde on the panel with Rebecca Morter, Ista Boszhard, Leslie Holden and moderated by Declan Hannigan.

Discussion: Why Does Fashion’s Future Lie in Sustainability?

Today I found myself on stage at the MOME – Moholy-Nagy Művészeti Egyetem. I was there to talk about the role technology plays in helping fashion and retail businesses be more sustainable. The attending audience was made up of people interested in hearing more about the latest technological innovations and the sustainable solutions that shape the future of the fashion industry. I presented five innovations that could play a role in “saving” the fashion industry.

Dissecting everything I spoke about, the key takeaways for the audience were; we currently live in an era of hyper-consumption in the middle of a climate crisis. That less than one per cent of all clothing produced globally is recycled and that the capabilities to recycle clothing at the scale needed for current production rates does not yet exist. Also, I touched on the fact that there is no such thing as a 100 per cent sustainable fabric, just less harmful and that it is essential to create a culture of sustainability, which can be done by producing less from the onset using strategies like made-to-order and opting to work under an “anti-fashion calendar”.

On stage giving, Muchaneta Kapfunde gives presentation on the role technology plays when it comes to making the fashion industry more sustainable.

One of the technologies that I introduced to the audience was Blockchain. Using the collaboration between Martine Jarlgaard x Provenance as an example, I talked about how the two companies worked together on a Blockchain project that enabled each supplier to provide consumers access to information about the materials, processes and people behind the products. 

I also mentioned how technology is being used to create an ethical supply chain and brought up Unmade’s demand-driven solution as an example of thi. The start-up offers software created to enable fashion brands to be adaptive, faster and more efficient in today’s world. Unmade’s agile supply chain platform unlocks new opportunities for forward-thinking brands looking to unlock new business models, greater product variety, and reduced time to market.

Connecting with Gina Gulberti from Launchmetrics backstage.

Before I concluded my presentation, I talked about how material design could be a gamechanger when it comes to making the fashion industry more sustainable. I brought up Modern Meadow who have been exploring possibilities in this area for a while now and have successfully bio-fabricated a leather alternative called Zoa. I also mentioned Algiknit who have found a way of changing the fashion ecosystem with their yarn which is derived from Kelp and is one of the most renewable organisms on earth!

Lastly, I mentioned LA-Based company Mi Terro. They source excess milk from a dairy farm in China before processing it and turning milk into fibres capable of being used in durable, lightweight clothing. The entire milk-to-clothing process takes about two months to complete with one glass of milk corresponding to five shirts.

Introducing the speakers of Budapest Fashion & Tech Summit.

As I said my thanks to the audience and Budapest Fashion & Tech Summit for having me, I left the stage pumped and ready to continue the conversation off stage with the attendees.

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Founding Editor in Chief at | editor@fashnerd.com | Website

Founding editor-in-chief & WearableTechStylist of FashNerd.com, Muchaneta has worked in the fashion industry for over 14 years. She is currently one of the leading influencers speaking and writing about the merger of fashion with technology and wearable technology and a regular contributor to digital news sites like Wareable.