Whether you realize it or not, fashion touches us all. It’s how we express our personality, values, culture, interests, and identity. And yet, the industry is changing. While the culture of fast, affordable shopping has led to an increase in waste, technology has automated, personalized, and sped up the entire production and distribution cycle.
On Thursday, February 20, the Berlin product community escaped from the cold and gathered in Goodpatch’s Berlin studio to discuss the future of fashion: Trends, technology, and how our actions today will shape our quality of life tomorrow.
Up first: Anthony Obiri Yeboah, founder of Obiri, a smart-fabrics fashion brand. Only 21 years old, Anthony is nothing short of a wunderkind: He’s founded two companies, has lived and worked in Japan, and lucky for us, returned to Germany where he founded Obiri in 2019.
In his talk, ‘Back to freedom- with tomorrow’s fashion,’ Anthony walked us through the smart fabrics trend and how technology is going to have a direct impact on everyone from the elderly community to athletes. Smart-fabrics will allow us to track our movement, monitor our health, and communicate like never before.
We then had siblings, Keiho and Alisa Menkhaus, founders of SUSUMU AI, take the stage to talk about tradition for a new generation. A Japanese-German fashion brand, SUSUMU AI, which means continuous love in Japanese, has a powerful connection to the Menkhaus’ family. For one, Susumu is the first name of their grandfather, while the syllable AI (愛) is the first character of Alisa’s name written in Japanese. What’s more, the SUSUMU AI logo is their grandfather’s family crest.
They spoke to the Product Crunch crowd about the significance of tradition to their work designing a modern take on kimonos. Their mission is to preserve the Japanese craft, translate tradition for a new generation, and promote sustainability through a slower fashion cycle and greater attention to quality.
Finally, we were joined by Hervé Dupied, Environmental Initiatives Manager at Patagonia. Before joining Patagonia, Hervé, spent a year walking 7,500 km, from Mexico City and Ushuaia, Argentina, during which time he crossed the Patagonia region at the southern tip of South America. Passionate about adventure and the environment, his motto is simple: Daily willingness for action.
In his talk, Hervé asked the question: How do we build a common future that we can all enjoy? At Patagonia, he worked on the team responsible for creating Patagonia Action Works, a digital platform that gathers environmental change-makers. The platform connects people who do not represent the NGOs Patagonia works with or athletes from our their sports, but individuals that have a strong record in environmental activism and give their love, work, time, and passion for the protection of our planet. Hervé reminded us that we all have the power to create change in our communities and that what may seem like small action taken today, will amount to a more desirable future for us all.
Need we say…another great event for the books. A HUGE thank you to our speakers and everyone who makes Product Crunch possible!
An initiative by Goodpatch, Product Crunch is a learning platform and community for passionate product people: project managers, designers, engineers, researchers, founders, and everyone in between.
If you’re tired of missing the fun, make sure to join a Product Crunch meetup group: