Reset or restart?

How the industry is facing a new dawn

Are you more of an optimist or a pessimist? I’ve always been a realist and like to think that’s the ideal middle ground. But the last few years have shown us that we are better off appreciating the opportunities rather than focusing on the obstacles. And we would do well to believe in the good a lot more often. After all, opportunities and optimism are decisive factors in our mental health and motivation, which ultimately has an impact on not only our daily lives but also our work. So, let’s not forget to keep the hope alive and take the necessary action where needed.

At the same time, we can’t afford to bury our heads in the sand and naively ignore all the unpleasant truths. We need to look reality in the eye and keep trying to push the industry to improve its track record. Maybe I’ll just stick with my realist approach for the time being…
You may be fed up of hearing it, but I’m only too happy to remind you that, despite the inklings that things are getting better after all the crises we’ve endured, we’re still a long way off from reaching our goals. In fact, we’re only just getting started. But the good news is that tradeshows are back on the agenda – not as an exception but as firm fixtures on the calendar, even in their original form or on more convenient dates. And sustainability is making its way into even the most commercial of fashion collections and technical innovations are advancing more rapidly than ever before – also thanks to artificial intelligence, which we should be reacting to with awe and curiosity rather than scepticism and fear. Speaking of which: as a B2B community, we are increasingly treating each other as equals and have learnt to listen to one another again and move forward collectively – regardless of our own sensitivities, which we sometimes need to put aside. Not because we as individuals or companies aren’t entitled to our own views and opinions, but because in this industry we can only make progress if all we pull together. Let’s keep up the good work!

So I am even more delighted that this issue features a number of brands and go-getters who are showing us that there’s always something positive and promising to be gained from a crisis. From young labels that are just starting out and celebrating small anniversaries down to experienced brands with ambitious goals, you can read all about them here. Allow yourself to be inspired by the passion, the tenacity and the solution-focused approach of our industry once again and – who knows? – perhaps you’ll end up becoming a staunch optimist after all… 

Cheryll Mühlen & team