Q&A with CAP member: Faith Robinson
Briefly describe your background, interests; areas of expertise?
As a consultant, my style of problem-solving comes from my undergrad degree in Art History which trained me to understand how individuals and communities express their ideas through different moments in culture. A socio-political interest underpins all my work in the fashion industry as I move through the spaces of technology, spirituality, retail and sustainability as a content strategist and comms consultant. From creating bespoke reports to programming major events around the topic of responsibility in this industry, I’m motivated to imagine and realise better ways to communicate world issues to engage the most amount of people as possible.
What does circularity in the textiles industry mean to you?
Working to abolish social and environmental injustice.
What made your decision to join the CAP?
Working towards circularity is a journey: I value all learning opportunities in this space which is why I wanted to be part of the CAP group. In the creative / marketing spaces that I spend much of my work-life within, we talk about ‘circularity’ in such loose, intangible and sometimes inaccurate terms. Sometimes I question how valid the fashion industry’s collective understanding of it actually is (alongside my own), so I wanted to find a way to engage in the more functional, gritty, logistical challenges that a circular future entails. I’m curious about how our western view on the challenge here in the global north is limited, and what can be done to widen the scope of solutions design. I hope that my non-technical, more cultural background will help balance the group’s debates.
How important is this Circular Advisory Panel approach for preparing a company like WA for the market (i.e. a business starting out with the sole purpose of enabling circularity but entering the market in ‘linear times’)?
Moving from an established linear textiles industry to a circular system is complex work, so I appreciate WA’s ambition to be a pioneer and play a part in achieving this. Thinking in terms of systems rather than just a stand-alone solution is essential, and the responsibility to introduce WA to the market in an appropriate way is very serious since the tech here is revolutionary: it has the potential to impact real and positive change. Fashion must make balanced decisions in the process towards global circularity.
What do you think it will bring to the company?
My goal is for the CAP to bring human-centered harmony to the company’s corporate ambition, considering environments and communities from cultures globally beyond our own.
What do you believe the biggest hurdles/opportunities for transitioning to a new circular business mindset will be, for WA, for the industry? Name 3 things you think businesses will be doing differently in a circular future.
Hurdles include genuine, non-competitive and radical collaboration between different sectors and systems. Also, the ability to truly consider the lived experience of communities in the global south. This shift away from a hierarchical structure of thinking to something more lateral will require a new wave of leadership that I’m sure our work in the CAP will foster within WA.