Lablatalk @Sennait Ghebreab

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Sennait Ghebreab, expert in fashion brand development and buying with extensive background knowledge of wholesale and luxury goods, is programme leader for the BA courses in Fashion Business at Istituto Marangoni London since 2015. Beyond her academic work, she runs her own consultancy business, in buying, providing services to Arab luxury retailers and some key Italian stores.

Seeing that Sennait will be a speaker Circular Fashion Summit Sustainability Panel, we had a chat with her to discuss her role in education and experience within combining sustainability and luxury. 


What does sustainable fashion mean to you?

Sustainable fashion is being aware of how this industry can be effecting social and environmental issues. Being sustainable means to act and adjust to those issues while changing the process within your business in order to effect less for a better future. The fashion industry is moving towards a more eco-friendly approach, it is important for us, people working in the fashion business to be able to explain to the customer how and why sustainable fashion matters. We have to put those values within the DNA of the brand and apply it in the whole fashion process with a transparency approach.

As programme leader BA at Istituto Marangoni in London, how important is the role of education in terms of sustainability?

I think that education, in general, is the key to create better awareness about every issue. In the fashion industry, these days, sustainability is the hottest topic to discuss. Bringing relevant topics to education brings the student to think, and even bring new ideas before working in the industry when they are more open-minded. Bringing sustainability to the fashion courses have a major impact on how young people will lead this industry in the future with a sustainable approach already built in their mindset.

From your observation, how eco-conscious the students are today? 

The students these days are very much eco-conscious. They are more aware of their purchases and asking more questions about the production process from an understanding of how to do it in the right way. There is a difference in the younger generations and how they think about sustainability today. This generation has been growing up with social media and already have a wider knowledge, which has an effect on how they think.

You are also running your own consultancy business for Arab luxury retailers and key Italian stores. Have you noticed a demand for sustainable luxury in these markets?

From my experience with my consultancy company, the western world is moving faster toward sustainable fashion than Middle-Eastern consumers. These days, the western world is more educated in sustainability. I think there is a lot to teach about sustainability, and we are at the beginning of a new era that starts to take into consideration the environmental situation.

In your opinion, what has been the biggest achievement in sustainable fashion so far?

In my opinion, the biggest achievement in sustainable fashion so far has been 2 major things. First, Stella Mccartney, plain and simple. She brought sustainability into the luxury market and covers the whole spectrum of that. She became a leader of sustainable fashion which inspired other brands, both luxury brands and mass production companies. 

Secondly, today’s consumers. They are asking for a more sustainable industry which has forced companies to be more transparent and therefore being more sustainable since they want a good reputation. These days, influencers are posing in daily bases problems in the fashion industry in order to put in the forefront brands that are not following sustainable solutions.

Learn more about Sustainability: The Power of Recirculation in Fashion by joining Circular Fashion Summit.

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