This year's World Economic Forum in #Davos was another gathering of the wealthiest and mostly very self-centered gents club. While, admittedly, most of them might have been fairly well dressed, discussing the challenges and future of the fashion industry was hardly on the minds of these elite citizens of the world.
As Robb Young put it in his BoF article: "Squinting through the black clouds of terrorism, climate change, economic turmoil, refugee crises and pandemics, it can be hard to see what an event like Davos means for fashion."
No doubt, the aforementioned topics aren't only important, their significance can be on the level of life or death for millions of people on this planet. Yet, the fashion industry plays a much larger role in global politics than what is traditionally assumed and it's time to change that assumption.
It might sound surprising, but today's fashion startups touch on almost every important topic humanity is dealing with today. Women empowerment? Startups like Wishi provide an easy way for women to find outfits that suit them for an affordable budget, without having to hire the often expensive services of stylists and image consultants. Body awareness? Infime will give women of any size the comfort to virtually being able to try on underwear they like and feel comfortable with. Julbox will allow users to create their own personalized jewelry, thus diminishing the pressure from following and submitting to globally dictated trends. When looking into the wearable sphere, you will find great and very stylish solutions for serious challenges, like TempDrop's fertility tracking device among others.
Unlike in the majority of other hi-tech industries, fashion tech startups will mostly have both a female and male co-founder and all of the sudden gender equality is not an issue any longer.
And yet, most VC's, angels and other investors in the overly male dominated funding arena, won't get close to these startups considering the industry not serious enough, preferring to stick around with the known "heavy tech playgrounds".
If you are one of those investors you are losing out.
Let's make 2016 a year of courage to look into fashion startups and realize their enormous potential to make an impact on the fashion life-cycle from creating better and time-saving solutions for #omnichannel, up to breaking the vicious circle of fast fashion.
There is so much to achieve and so much to gain. Ping me if you want to become part of this exciting journey.