When work becomes passion and passion becomes reality / Interview Jacob Bundsgaard, mayor of Aarhus & alderman Marc pera Christensen / Go Green Aarhus 2017 / Theory U / The Yes! Municipality / Godsbanen Trailerpark / Furture Practice- Knowledge & Experiments / Entrepreneurial Portraits /City of ceres : How to build a City / Hope is Green / Aarhus University: Student Incubator / Let's Go Co-Create / Steps toward a Sustainable Future / Green Entrepreneurial portraits / Sustainable Footprint / Eco System /The Thornico Building / Spot a Wealthy Investor
ALL TRANSLATED BY :
LET´S GO CO-CREATE
Aarhus Municipality would like to strengthen the industry in partnership with TEKO and in association with some of the large fashion companies in the Region to provide a synergy with the digital sectors in the initiative Headstart Fashion. The formula is new kinds of collaboration and business models. The result should ultimately generate growth.
Aarhus Affairs has invited consultant in Business and Urban Development at the Mayor’s Department at the Municipality, Christian Chapelle, and the director of TEKO design and business school for the creative industries at VIA University College, Anne Mette Zachariassen, for a talk about the initiative Headstart Fashion, and how the fashion industry can develop and become even stronger with help from the digital sector. “The fashion industry is strongly cha-racterized by many small companies”, begins Anne Mette Zachariassen. She thinks that it is wonderful that so many wish to start up their own company but she can also see that it can be very difficult to survive as a self-employed business if you don’t know much about the digital media, IT, finance or logistics. “It can be hard to grow if you, as a designer, focus on the design and think you can do a pirouette and voilà! you have a business. No, you haven’t. So the idea is that these businesses should be able to grow bigger and stronger and this is what Headstart Fashion is helping them with”, says Anne Mette Zachariassen.
HEADSTART FASHION + MORE.CREATIVE
In connection with Aarhus Municipality’s business plan, the film and fashion industries have been identified as having growth potential. A survey of the fashion industry including both large and small fashion companies was carried out and the conclusion was that something could be improved. Central Denmark Region launched an initiative at the beginning of the year, More.Creative, which aims to strengthen the creative industries in the region using creative partnerships. Headstart Fashion was selected as one of the nine creative partships and will investigate the possibilities for promoting the fashion industries using the digital sector until the end of 2013. “It has been very important to listen to what the fashion companies actually need – what challenges they face, what needs they have and what strategies they are employing over the coming period”, explains Christian Chapelle who is project manager for the initiative Headstart Fashion. He points out that one thing these companies do need is to meet more people from the industry and not to have to travel to Copenhagen to find inspiration.
A MENTAL BARRIER
Neither Anne Mette Zachariassen nor Christian Chapelle doubts that Headstart Fashion will help fashion companies in the region get to know each other and learn how to enter into some new forms of cooperation and business models. “They must have the skills to learn about some finance, some organisation, some logistics and some liquidity so there are a lot of aspects involved. But obviously no one can do everything and small companies rarely have the resources to set up the entire value chain and organisation. Therefore you can say: I still have my own design and my own brand but if I can use this whilst working with someone else so we can organise ourselves in a way that we can help each other, then we might get some companies that survive rather than many that struggle”, says Anne Mette Zachariassen. “They are both in doubt about why the fashion companies play their cards so close to their chest. Business models and company designs can be kept secret but Headstart Fashion encourages businesses, big and small alike, to open op and start to use each other’s networks, experiences and ideas. I believe that the barrier is a mental one. In reality the barriers are not that big when it comes down to it. First of all we have to talk about courage, drive, desire and inte-rest to collaborate and to use the network”, says Christian Chapelle. Rina Hansen, online director for Hummel, sees Headstart Fashion as a welcome initiative. “I am pleased that something is actually being done. Doing things as a group and sharing experiences makes a difference. Hummel would like to contribute with IT and online selling skills, which we have used resources developing – we see no reason to keep these skills to ourselves if others could benefit from them”, she says.
Preben Mejer, co-founder of Innovation Lab, views Headstart Fashion as offering new possibilities for cross-discipline collaborations within IT and fashion. He sees particular potential for development in the field of “intelligent textiles”. Intelligent textiles are textiles that can have built-in sensors that collect data and can, for example, help measure your temperature. “Intelligent textiles can have built-in displays so that you can interact with computerbased devices in and on your textiles. Mobile media and digital media have developed with phenomenal speed and it is an obvious next step to introduce IT into fashion and business models in the fashion industry. Intelligent textiles is a sector experiencing great growth. There is definitely potential for intelligent textiles in sports and work clothes”, says Preben Mejer.
STIMULATING AARHUS-BASED FASHION
There are many companies that only start thinking in terms of new collaborations and business models when the bank tells them to. There is a risk that the fashion industry loses its focus on creating exciting fashion when the focus is always on the figures on the bottom line and all sorts of other things. New collaborations and business models should help generate more time and energy for the company to work on its brand and design. “If we are able to stimulate creativity in the individual company, regardless of its size, I believe that it is a great push and a great stimulation for Danish and Aarhus-based fashion”, states Anne Mette Zachariassen finally.
← Back to frontpage