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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Key themes from the key notes
Article Type: Editorial From: Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, Volume 19, Issue 1.
As part of my role as Editor of JFMM I am fortunate enough to be supported in attending conferences to promote the journal. In 2014 I went to China – Wuhan in Hubai province to be precise – with my colleagues Praburaj, Zhimin and Anthony to the 89th Textile Institute World Conference. This is a favourite conference of mine due in the main to the fun and learning I’ve experienced with a very welcoming group of people in various locations around the world over the past 15 years. This year the conference was opened by my great friend, and ex-colleague, Helen Rowe as chairman of the TI. To hear her opening address filled me with both pride and pleasure and set the tone for an excellent opening ceremony and initial keynote address. There were several excellent keynote speeches on the first day but there were a few stand out themes for me which I think have resonance with this journal. Comments were made on the changing nature of the Chinese apparel manufacturing industry and how a demonstrable reduction in China’s “factor” advantage from low labour costs is driving the textile and clothing industry to move from investing in skills and labour to focusing on environmental protection and waste/pollution reduction. From this, believe it or not, the talks linked seamlessly to aspects of synthetic muscles and the bionic bra based on heat (electrically) stimulated coiled continuous filament sewing thread. The initial keynote was given by the vice president of the National Textile and Apparel Council, hence the focus on the Chinese industry’s current, and future, state – or as we appear to be calling it now the ‘new normal’ and was expertly delivered (in faultless English) by Sun Ruizhe. The second talk came from Gordon Wallace from the ARC Electromaterials Centre in Australia – a very engaging scientific speaker – combining hard science with pragmatic and practical application (something we endeavour to do with JFMM). Interestingly, the final Keynote of the day was delivered by Nathan Sivagananathan the chief growth officer of MAS where he encouraged us to “listen” to the weak signals of change in order to predict and enhance upcoming disruptive technologies. Signals he, and MAS, have been receiving include those mentioned independently by the previous speakers of wearable technologies and environmental issues. In addition he referred to the concept of n=1 gaining more ground (an approach potentially supported by some of the 3D textile printing technologies being developed over in Australia). It is his belief that all of these disruptive developments can only be fully realized through open-innovation by collaborating intellectually rather than protecting intellectual property – I hope I don’t have to point out the similarities with our journal here! All in all an excellent conference where I was able to encourage people to consider publishing in this journal both from a marketing and technological perspective.