Otago Polytechnic fashion academics will join a range of experts and commentators for this week’s 25th Annual Conference of the International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes, which is being held in New Zealand for the first time.

Building on the excitement and celebration of iD Dunedin Fashion Week, the spotlight immediately switches to focus on this significant international symposium, which opened today.

The International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes (IFFTI) currently represents a global network of 61 international Fashion and Textile institutions spanning 28 countries.

Otago Polytechnic is the only IFFTI member in New Zealand and justifiably proud of its creative programmes with graduates contributing to fashion and design nationally and across the globe.

Hosted by Otago Polytechnic in partnership with mana whenua, IFFTI’s core theme is “Ara Honohono - Connecting Pathways”.

“Te Ara” means path or route but can also refer to a line of traditional Māori weaving. “Honohono” means to link, to join, to splice, to add and to join together.

“Ara Honohono - Connecting Pathways” is a call to fashion researchers, practitioners, and educators to reflect on connections, patterns, pathways and threads that “bind us to our past and link us to our future, to culture, to people, to place, to practice”, the conference organisers explain.

“Mātauraka Māori (Māori knowledge and wisdom) is central to the conference theme and Māori tikaka and kawa (Māori protocols and local knowledge) will be integrated into conference activities.”

Dr Margo Barton, Professor of Fashion, Otago Polytechnic, and a member of the 2023 IFFTI Steering Group, says she is particularly looking forward to an indigenous fashion forum and accompanying workshops.

“There is growing awareness that the clothing and textile industry is one of the largest and most impactful industries in the world. Therefore, it is important to examine other ways of thinking about fashion.

“Many designers and manufacturers are examining how clothes are brought to market and managed at the end of their life.”

“As educators, we are committed to ensuring that our graduates are sustainable practitioners,” Dr Barton says.

“Otago Polytechnic is a member of Mindful Fashion NZ, a collective of leading New Zealand designers, textile and trim suppliers, and manufacturers that advocate for the local clothing and textile industry from the point of view of future proofing local manufacturing, growing employment, and focusing on sustainability.”

The International Foundation of Fashion Technology Institutes Conference begins on Monday 3 April. Read more here

Published on 3 Apr 2023

Orderdate: 3 Apr 2023
Expiry: 3 Apr 2025