The Future of Sustainable Fashion: Transformative New Technologies - Mr. Alex HUNG, MH
Well thank you all of you. I set the alarm to 25 minutes, I will try to finish it and why I'm here because actually I'm a technology guy not in other industry from my outlook you can tell I'm not from the fashion side, but lucky that last year Dr. Eve invited me to teach 1 course for the fashion e-commerce and then I try to learn a little bit about the fashion and I try to make this PowerPoint and I hope we can try to add more technology things to them to the new technologies about fashion, so actually I have a computer science degree and also get the information system management master you know HKUST and also MBA there, and so that's from technology and management side. I'm quite old, 30 years careering in technology and also actually I like to do is research and also lead some technology projects and actually I have some advices about AI for some fashion companies in the last 2 to 3 years. Also I'm the Charter President of the Rotary Club of Peninsula, that's why I learned a little bit about the SDGs. This PowerPoint is quite long, I will try to skip part of it because there's some fundamental things I think you can understand and you already know about that.
Okay, so the first thing is why is important you have a sustainable fashion. And also the relation of the topic to the UNSDGs, actually SDGs have been developed for quite a long time, the first time I know about SDGs is around 2010 because I'm also one of the Ambassador for the U.N World Summit Award since 2009 in India. Okay, so first thing is about environmental impacts for the fashion industry, of course we have a significant and environmental impact with the production use and disposal of covering contribution to pollution and also I have the experience I find that some not fashion, some clothing I got maybe 30 years before in during my study in the University that clothing is still quite good in the quality but in the last few years, maybe last 10 years, the quality of the clothing is really decreasing, it's not so durable but my point of view is durable, durability is good for more sustainable and so we try to reduce the impact by using eco-friendly materials, reducing waste and also promoting a circular economy. Social impact, professional industry of course we will have social impact because we have some workers in different countries, I think mostly in Mainland China, in some Central European countries and also Asian countries the problem is about the working conditions, low wages, and we need to address these issues ethical consumption, then we need to know why, because now we have more e-commerce, that means we can buy fashion or anything at anytime, just like at night, maybe anytime you want to buy because like now you can just go to by using the apps or website to to buy anything, that means it's very easy for you to purchase but and also nowadays that we have more e-payment and also mix our next generation, our generation nowadays they're having more and easy to have purchase and then we need to actually educate them to be more conscious and also responsible to the fashion. And one thing is about me, what I talk about is about innovation, sustainable fashion encourage innovation in materials, production process and design and also we need to have a more eco-friendly materials and actually the materials nowadays is not the same as before and even some some materials that we don't use before and we'll be promote for the society and environment about UNSDGs for the Goal 5, it's about gender equality, and it's about the men and women, of course this industry is different from my industry, my industry is about I.T technology, most of us are man not women but I think in the fashion industry is more equal and also Goal 8, I think you are also familiar with UNSDGs.
And also Goal 9 about decent work and economic growth and also Goal 9 is about industry Innovation and infrastructure. I would tell more about how it related to the topic today. And also Goal 12 is about responsible consumption and production and also climate action, in fact Goal 13 is very important nowadays because when I drive here I can see it's around 40 Degrees Celsius outside in some places in Hong Kong.
40 Degree Celsius, the climate change is actually we need to be careful about the environmental impacts, every of us need to be careful to do what to our environment, so first thing we try to understand what's a sustainable fashion, sustainable fashion means an approach of a fashion design, production and consumption to minimize the negative environmental and social impacts, so it's about environmental, economic and social benefits. Environmental impacts, we need to use more eco-friendly materials, reducing waste and also promoting a circular economy. In fact, when I teach last year, the students have some events, to make use of the used clothing to make something else, so actually I think because I was in road-trip, I have been in road- trip for many years, many road- trip, different clothing I will not wear again so I try to give them and then they make some badges, some other things, I think it's good for the upcycling. And also for the social impact many workers in the fashion industry we need to change the wages to have more fair labor practices.
For the economic impact, we need to reduce the costs, improve brand reputation and also create more opportunity, so sustainable fashion, I will give you some examples about sustainable fashion. About SDGs, some examples here, I think when I teach, this brand- Patagonia and I learned a lot from my students in their projects and Patagonia is a very sustainable fashion brand, actually use eco-friendly materials and align with UNSDGs 12 ,13 and 8. Another is Levi's and Stella McCartney and also Everlane, I don't want to tell in the details and you can have a load of known brands, because I'm from technology side, when I learned about that is the best answer for me, not fashion is Tesla, one of very good in sustainable goods production. People Tree, also another example. The current state of sustainable fashion, it's quite hot here, because have the light here, However we still have many different significant challenge when facing the sustainable fashion industry, I think one thing is about the standardization in the industry we don't have it, even we talk about EST Reviews, don't have a very good standardization for the reporting, and although that many challenges still have some positive developments okay so first is environmental challenge and how to reduce the waste and also have more eco-friendly materials, just like today when we drink the coffee here we have some eco-friendly materials.
And also economic challenges, sustainable materials and production process can be more expensive than traditional methods when you make something more sustainable it's more expensive, so how to have the balance about the costs and the wastage. And also nowadays as I mentioned before, it's about a fast fashion brand. In fact, they will try to prioritize a low costs and high speeds to have production, but when I teach in my course, how to apply the technology to make it more efficient is that we don't need to have a lot of storage in the warehouse and also the production of the fast fashion in fact we can really stream down the process, actually nowadays, for example when we just like if you can go to Taobao and then you can just let them know your ideas of fashion or something like that and then they will try to make it for you and then we need to decrease the number of layers for the fashion to your hand, so I think it's good for the economic things. My session 3, the role of technology, that part is the more I can tell you about that, so there are some technology, technology can aid in the development of sustainable materials just like recycled polyester, organic cotton, also biodegradable fabrics. For
example, we have Innovations in textile recycling technology, now we can make use of the used fibers to make some new fibers and also reducing the waste and the need for virgin materials. And also technology can aid in the development of sustainable production process, such as we use a renewable energy, renewable energy sources implementing what to rest conservation measures, we use less water just like in the dyeing process. And also reduce the waste, we use digital printing and also 3D prototyping, nowadays actually reduce a lot of materials. I think 20 is before, I also help in selling some machine to optimize the costs of usage and still we are using now. And also transparency and traceability is about
we use a blockchain, maybe you learn about a little bit about blockchain, you heard about Cryptocurrency, Cryptocurrency is relying on blockchain, the blockchain is a actually we have more blockchain implementation, to trace any products from where it manufactured and then to your hand. I need to go a little bit faster, I have 5 minutes more and there are some existing technologies in sustainable fashion about recycled and upcycled materials and 3D printing, I think all of you have tried before, but for the 3D printing is I think the costs of making 3D painting is lower than before and also we are now using more AI to have a fashion design, something like that and maybe it's good better than the human being to have a fashion design because they can help to have more ideas on that but you will think about whether we risk to use AI or using human being to have the fashion design I think if you don't have any ideas about fashion design even you use, you apply to AI, you can't make it, I can't make it, because I don't have any ideas and also some supply chain transparency I tell you before about using RFID, IOD technologies. Some new technologies, transformative new technologies about Biofabrication, I don't want to tell you the details and also blockchain technology, you have blockchain technology for you just like we have a legend, we have actually you can't change it, sometime before we all in, we have a central server to store all the things, but nowadays we have a distributed system, you can't change one thing easy, your contact in the system and can't change anything. By using the blockchain for the traceability, even for the some brand name products, 3D printing, AI for the efficient design because AI can analyze vast amounts of data and then AI can do all the things in 24 hours, with that human being can't do it and also AI can make use of the task history and also by using the big data and also machine learning. Actually I teach AI since 1999,
so I teach them more than 25 years. In fact, for AI now why we have more AI because now it's a lower costs, higher speed computer, it's about knowledge planning and learning and also perception. AI have some perception nowadays, we can apply AI, AI is not a new topic, we have AI since 1950 and also actually we now use more new networks and machine learning and nowadays more about Chat GPT or something like that because actually now it exists in NLP, Natural Language Processing, just like you can tell the system what you need and then they tell you what you can have by using even the graphical or even your voice or anything, so it's very amazing. And also perception because actually machine perception we now have a different kinds of inputs, sensors that means the IOT, we have all IOT everywhere, just like the temperature sensors here, when it's not cold enough then you switch on the air conditioner and also we have more computer vision, it's not new topic but now we are having more computer vision as well. Actually these few pages is about how to make use of AI or technology in manufacturing that I I showed to my students before. And one thing is about AI vs Fashion Fakes.
In fact, we can make use of blockchain to do it and also we can apply to sorting with the path what I do it before, sorting the path from design to your hand for the fashion, it's now and that's why we can have more costs saving, not so many layers of branding. And also assist the new product development about the colors, fabrics, patterns and cuts, also as designers and AI in textiles for the quality control and also improve efficiency, agility, sustainability and reduce the shipping costs and transit time. And also some recommendations for the visual similarity and also some personalization recommendation, we can't do it before because we have too many people they have different ideas about what they need, but nowadays we can have more customization for any persons.
In fact, we can have more customization for anything that what you want, what you make, which you plan to go, and also about CHATBOT you can talk to them directly and tell you the answer, so AI actually for the efficient design and also I told you before IOT all the sensors they can connect all the things together. For the future, we'll try to prioritize all the things and then we have more new technology about blockchain, AI, IOT, 3D printing, Biofabrication and we can have a better future, although we have some potential challenge. That's all of my presentation. Thank you for your time.