The Future Laboratory
For our second edition of Made to Mention 2021, we partnered with the leading strategic foresight consultancy, The Future Laboratory, to introduce the topic of ‘community’ in the fashion industry.
Events of the past year have revealed a radical new future for community, driven by consumers who are craving connection and demanding diversity, inclusion, and socio-environmental progress like never before.
In a few months, the Covid-19 pandemic reshaped the world in its own way. Economies shut down, normal life ground to a halt, and systemic inequalities were laid bare. At the same time, society was given space for social reflection, as people reconsidered the direction in which we are heading and began a journey to remedy issues and injustices across the globe in response.
As Chris Sanderson, co-founder of The Future Laboratory, says: “Events that have an impact on an entire population are a once-in-a-generation occurrence. This is a hard, unsettling reset – but it can result in positive, unprecedented changes in how ordinary people behave and interact.”
Community is one case in point. A renewed reliance on each other, combined with an absence of opportunities for physical connection, has served to help us better understand the power and vitality of communities. And it’s a development that’s here to stay. According to research from Accenture, four in five consumers now feel more or as connected to their communities as they did pre-pandemic, and 88% expect these connections to remain intact long after the virus has been contained.
The past year has also revealed just how interlinked different communities remain in an increasingly globalized world. “Among the many lessons to come out of the Covid-19 pandemic, perhaps the most enduring will be how interconnected it showed the world to be – how a virus that began in a single city could touch all of us in a matter of moments,” says Rabih Torbay, president and CEO of global health organization Project HOPE.