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Technology: Bridges Between Indigenous Cultures and Fashion Industry

On the 3rd of May, Hecho x Nosotros and animaná B Corp hosted an event on The Role of Technology in Creating Bridges Between Indigenous Cultures and the Textile, Deco home and Fashion industry.

People from all over the world have gathered to honour indigenous peoples' work in the fashion industry. Tricia Langman, alongside Adriana Marina, founder of Hecho x Nosotros & animaná, opened discussion on how technology is and will function as a bridge for indigenous cultures and the textile Deco Home and Fashion industry. After the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic and its deepening impacts on these societies, technology is the bright solution for the connection between the textile, deco home and fashion industry with the indigenous cultures. Something so simple as a QR code or the incorporation of technology to their businesses that will retain cultural identity.

Dr. Kanyinke Sena enhances the importance of the protection of cultural heritage; the recognition of land rights in Africa and the impact on these communities' creativity. He explains that “We have a responsibility to use heritage to promote well being moving forward” from the several challenges related to Covid-19. This raises the question: Is technology a hindrance or catalyst for the preservation of indigenous cultures? Cultural anthropologist Giacomo Tabacco suggests indigenous communities are not even recognized as such, making them more vulnerable. In Indonesian communities technology now plays a key role, yet ambivalent role in micro and macro entrepreneurship; therefore, technology can bridge communities, resources and industries.

Moreover, technology can provide sustainability to local industries. Markets and indigenous peoples need to take advantage of the new technologies handed to them. We are all consumers, we all own a piece of clothing; we are all part of this industry. And blockchain gives the opportunity to shift from vintage, traditional or even artisan production to commercial production. As an algorithm, blockchain protects the local communities.

Legitimacy is a key for giving to the Indigenous people’s voices and exhibiting their work in the fashion industry. The indigenous peoples need respect and understanding, and HxN and animaná are working together towards local development, inclusion and success of traditional handicrafts.

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