Professional chemical engineer and a geek, Stan, has many years of experience in technology development of functional material & chemistry for major global clothing brands with the technology he developed with his international team. He now leads the apparel technology teams based in the USA, Europe and Asia, dedicated to the 4tify platform.
1. If you could go back and give yourself and your company one piece of advice at the beginning what would it be?
When we started our company we approached the market too cautiously, we had the fabrics and technology prepared beforehand as we perceived the market would want. If 4tify could change something, it would be to talk to users and people to build relationships and understand what is needed in the market way before product designing & launching. Ask and talk to users/ customers/ buyers regarding their concerns and problems rather than wait until we think we’re ready.
2. What role do you think social media plays in the fashion and lifestyle B2B world today?
Social media plays several important roles. Everyone is on social media, it helps to understand the buyer’s persona that is portrayed through social media. It connects us with brands, people who are interested in sustainability and are keen to learn more, keeping up on the latest news & updates about fashion/ problems others have faced while practicing sustainability. It is so cool that through social media anyone who is passionate and interested to share their product/ service can start their own business. Without the leisure of travelling internationally, we’ve continued to connect, share and discuss business deals through social media.
3. How does your company approach social media?
Apart from posting blogs on our website, we educate consumers through Instagram postings of interesting topics on sustainability. Besides, we create engagement with fashion brands by exchanging ideas and different points of views. We mainly focus on Instagram marketing, firstly to influence the market into practicing sustainability. Secondly, to widen our network with smaller independent sustainable fashion brands.
4. Describe your company in three words?
Sustainable fashion technology
5. Can you tell us more about your latest collection?
Recently we’ve been analyzing biodegradable and recycled material PLA PHBV which are both biodegradable poly- mers with properties comparable to commercial, petrochemical-based polymers. Their biodegradability has been demonstrated in soil, water, and compost & degrades faster at a higher temperature of 40 degree celsius. It can be found that enhanced chemical or biological properties of PHBV do not affect its original biodegradability.
6. Can you talk about your Company’s relationship with the UK market?
This year in February, we attended a fashion event in London, called Future of Fashion Presentation. We share our technology, understanding, opinions and future of sustainability in the fashion scene. The support was warm and welcoming and we can see that uk fashion businesses are also keen on expanding towards sustainable fashion.
7. Where would you like to grow your business? Which markets and which segments?
We are hoping to grow the sustainable marketplace and soon adopted by bigger brands that could possibly influence/ make an impact on the fashion industry. As we make sustainable the new norm, consumers may enjoy sustainably made products at a lower price range and not classify it under luxurious product. In the long run. We want to expand globally but currently we are targeting the US and European market.
8. How has COVID-19 impacted your business?
Covid-19 has impacted the whole industry and ss20 fashion trends were re-evaluated as most of us stayed home and were reluctant to dress up. It proceeded to break down the whole fashion value chain as factory mills sadly had to close up and sales drop, but on the brighter note sustainable enquiries have increased as consumers are much more aware of the impact of fast-fashion and how the buy-dispose culture has affected our planet.
9. What is next for your Company?
4tify is currently developing a micro-factory garment which could possibly solve the problem of overwhelming clothing waste aside from producing sustainable and ethical textiles. The system itself also known as close-looped fashion, once commercialised may reduce and recycle wasted textile. Sneak peak of how it’s done would be firstly, waste fabric is shredded and diluted to turn onto liquidated fabric. An electrically powered spinning device will spin it onto a mould of desired shape & size. Final garment will be worn until disposed & the cycle begins again.
10. Any advice or words of wisdom you would like to share?
Let’s all adopt sustainable fashion.