Written by Nudge Sustainability Reporter Renata Hori
“The first industrial revolution used water and steam power to mechanize production. The second used electric power to create mass production. The third used electronics and information technology to automate production. Now, a fourth industrial revolution is building on the third, the digital revolution that has been occurring since the middle of the last century. I am convinced that the fourth industrial revolution will be every bit as powerful as the previous three.” said Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the WEF.
Since fashion is the individuality translated into clothes and accessories. What is the harm on transforming believes into business models and also make a positive change into the world?
A week ago, in Switzerland, the ‘Davos’ meeting was held by the World Economic Forum (WEF). The event was a debate on the worldwide trend issues such as terrorism, refugee crises, climate change, economic turmoil and fashion. Big leaders have already realized the power of fashion in our current economy (worth over trillions of dollars), likewise its add-on damages. Our turbulent scenario has lead visionaries to share their opinions on how to improve the system and therefore the planet. “The fourth industrial revolution is still in its nascent state. But with the swift pace of change and disruption to business and society, the time to join in is now,” said Gary Coleman, senior client advisor at Deloitte Consulting.
It is undeniable that things are changing every day too fast. It is not just information been displaced or technology been modified. The whole business scenario from cars to fashion and from food to cosmetics has become an inverse of values. And as a consequence, the word sustainability has been placed into distinct business. Though traditional companies and new business desire are willing to connect sustainability into profits, the ‘trend’ has become an obligation and the challenge nowadays is transforming our linear economy into circular. “Any skilled engineer can take control remotely of any connected 'thing'. Society has not yet realized the incredible scenarios this capability creates.” said André Kudelski, Chairman and CEO of Kudelski Group. When those issues get totally integrated into the core business, companies will be able to clearly communicate their actions without intention to consumers. As well as the fourth revolution acceptance will be declared.
Another recent example is Channel, which has showcased the first green haute couture show one week after the forum. Luxury brands have the power to change consumer behavior as fast as technology does. At Davos, the French luxury holding – Kering has been recognized as one of the world’s most sustainable companies (Second in the index's Textile, Apparel & Luxury Goods sector).
The fashion industry is not just creating trends; it is carrying high value information to make a positive impact. As Karl Lagerfeld has stated “That sustainability is currently a fashion topic and an expression of our times”.
Since fashion relies on manufacturing, it is the time to support resources conservancy, 3D-printing, supply chain management, new energy systems, gender inequality, strict norms and environmental standards. Anything that helps the improvement of our society or the environment is viable. “In the future, you will know the source of every component in the products you use or manufacture, how it was produced, the energy consumed in its production, perhaps even who will own it next and how much they will pay you for it. This is the natural, inevitable outcome of combining ‘circular economy’ principles with digitalization technologies,” said Chris Dedicoat - Executive vice president of Cisco.
The question is not concerned where this fourth revolution goes, but also where to go in the close future without a change. The ‘fourth industrial revolution’ is a blend of previous areas supported for the three revolutions before- physical, biological and digital.