Interview: A business tool to unlock your future
June 14, 2024

The future of your fashion or textile company hinges on how well you cope with the upcoming challenges. There is a tool that can help you to understand where you are and what needs to be done. A tool that supports your transition into the innovative fashion future.

Professor/designer Troy Nachtigall

Within the EU project Transitions, the Loopholes Toolkit has been created and tested in a series of workshops – with good outcomes. The toolkit is aiming at supporting any textile and/or fashion company facing future challenges. Because these challenges are many…

Frequently Asked Questions
Is there a way to look at all the different new tech within fashion? And still meet all the upcoming legislation and regulation? And what if you could understand how your company must respond to this whole new range of future challenges? Especially as legislation, sustainability and disruptive innovations make you uncertain about your ability.

Understand you own business
The answer lies within your company itself. Because, if you can understand where you are and what you need to do, you’re already halfway. The Loopholes toolkit can help you to grasp all of this. And you may also unlock new, innovative, and sustainable growth opportunities using it.

“… everything we do with it can be looked at from a tech technology perspective.”

Professor and designer Troy R Nachtigall is one of the creators of the Transitions Loopholes Toolkit. As both a fashion designer and a procurator of tech within the business, he supports the idea of understanding fashion from a technology perspective.
— It may fundamentally change the way we work. Looking at fashion in specific and textiles in general, everything we do with it can be looked at from a tech technology perspective. The construction of the material, the structure and how it feels, the design and its perception. We can today look at all these different perspectives using tech.

— The nice part of this, is that it also gives us methods to solve lots of current and upcoming challenges. Among them sustainability and design for circular business models. Tech gives us the tools to meet future needs and demands, for example, the new EU legislation.

Use tech to understand the complexity
There are quite a few new challenges heading your way, many of them connected with the need of finding sustainable ways of doing business.
— Almost every material we use in fashion is complex. Both in its composition and in its design. This together with the fact that most of the wearers look and use garments as tools actually gives us the chance to use tech in all parts of the value chain. From design and production, to use and reuse, and finally in a possible recycling, upcycling, and recovery.

Troy talks about a much-needed transition for the fashion industry. Even if fashion itself can move fast, the larger companies mostly don’t.
— We’re now seeing big ripples in the industry. New demands and new ideas are constantly popping up, yet the classic fashion companies have tradition and set standards and such. They’re also old-fashioned in the way they operate, with segmentation between different parts of their operations. Something that make the transition into modern business models harder.

To understand what needs to be done
What the Transitions project offers, and the Loopholes Toolkit is a working solution for, is how to understand your own company well enough so that you also grasp what needs to be done.

Loopholes supports participants in working together to create complete customer journeys and data flows. These understandings open the door to future production systems, with a defined aspect of sustainability and how innovative technologies can impact the whole business.
The toolkit enables participants to reflect on the current processes and to scale solutions into a product-service system (PSS). By making current challenges distinct, these may be solved through different strategies. For example, work groups can create different localised solutions for how their companies can move to circularity through digitalisation.

Why Loopholes works for you, or what’s in it for you.

  • Understand Ideal Dataflow Holistically – puts things in perspective
  • Identify Critical Data Gaps – lets you understand what you don’t know
  • Develop a Strategic Roadmap – allows you know what needs to be done
  • Foster Collaboration and Team Dynamics – facilitates team efforts
  • Drive Innovation and Creativity – makes your business smarter and up to date

Troy Nachtigall again.
— There is great hope for the European textile and fashion industry. We’re looking into a future where logistics and production can be localised. We’re finding new ways of co-existing with the consumer as a user. We’re seeing new, innovative solutions popping up in many different countries and markets.

—The thing that larger and more traditional fashion companies must understand better, is that there are real solutions to cope with the new challenges. And it might mean that you must take a deeper look into your own way of doing things. And specifically, on how to adapt. Not every company will survive this transition, but those understanding the problem might. How to get there? Always start where you are, look at yourself and figure out what in your operations works and what needs to change. Find the ways to be more flexible.

— The Loopholes Toolkit is a good start to facilitate your own transition, Professor Troy Nachtigall concludes.

Loopholes and the Transitions project
The Loopholes Toolkit is currently tested live, within the Transitions project. Eventually the Toolkit will be part of a new curriculum for skilling, re-skilling, and up-skilling within the textile and fashion industry – as part of the Transitions project.

Read more about Loopholes here

Read more about the Transitions project here
More about Professor Troy Nachtigall