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IAF Touts Need for Industry Reboot at Digital Event

When the International Apparel Federation (IAF) first announced its 36th IAF World Fashion Convention earlier this year, the theme, “Transition in the Global Fashion System,” was compelling. But following one of the worst public health and economic crises in recent history, the topic took on an all too poignant urgency.

In anticipation of its full-fledged event in June, the IAF held a digital pre-event on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11 under this same premise and presented four online sessions and six video messages to get the conversation started. Sessions covered topics such as fashion education and technology, supply chain risk and reward, 3D design and audits and standards, and were presented by prominent speakers from the IAF member network representing a wide range of the supply chain. Partners included Dutch association MODINT, London College of Fashion, ITMF and MOTIF, supported by companies such as AFM (including Decathlon, Pimkie, Auchan, and others.), Hugo Boss, Lenzing, Alvanon, QIMAone, Triple Tree Solutions, the Amsterdam Fashion Institute, Chainge Capital and Pt. Pan Brothers.

The event covered the need for resetting the fashion system, pointing to the longstanding issues of overstock, lost sales and the industry’s environmental footprint. It also touched on the role of various technologies in creating a more flexible, responsive supply chain, and discussed how organizational innovation is crucial to an industry-wide reset. Speakers explained how every part of the supply chain—from brands, retailers and manufacturers to educators and raw materials suppliers—must approach the future with an entrepreneurial mindset.

The pre-event’s recordings are currently available on the IAF website at, and serve as a sample of what the full event will cover in-depth on June 7 and June 8 in Antwerp, Belgium.

The IAF has a history of unifying the industry with its top-level events. In June, it launched its inaugural Digital Global Apparel Sourcing Expo 2020, an online event geared at promoting stronger supply chains for the ready-made garment industry.

Powered by Foursource, the companies initially partnered in November 2019 with a shared mission to foster greater transparency in the apparel industry through digitization—a theme that has only strengthened in light of the pandemic.