Our first Policy Workshop brought together stakeholders from the Creative Hubs and Fashion Ecosystems in Portugal!

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We are really happy about the outcomes of our first Policy Workshop: ‘SUSTENANCE of Creative Hubs and Fashion Ecosystems’, which took place in Centro de Inovação da Mouraria, Lisbon, Portugal, on the 18th July 2023. The first part was held in plenary room, where Davide Amato from ECHN had the chance to share the outcomes of the ‘Portuguese Mapping Ecosystem’, followed by the presentation of Elisabete Tomaz and Maria Gato of the results of the COST Action ‘The Geography of New Working Spaces and the Impact on the Periphery’. The audience was then split in two working groups, one of them discussing the topic ‘Creative Hubs – Which new policies can empower Creative Hubs as agents of CCI’s clustering in Portugal?’ and the other one following the S4Fashion Toolkit ‘Which new policies and programmes can foster sustainable and circular fashion?’.

We gladly had representation from various local and international organisations and institutions, namely _ARTERIA_LAB, AEP, Enterprise Europe Network, BCSD Portugal, Birdwalk, Birdwatch, Blab – Colectivo Maker | Re:costura, Câmara Municipal de Lisboa, Câmara Municipal de Santo Tirso, Câmara Municipal do Porto, Creative Europe Desk Portugal, CRU Loja, Dinamo10, Envolve Entrepreneurship Greece, Fablab Lisboa (CML), Faculty of Architecture – University of Lisbon, IAPMEI, Instituto Politécnico do Porto, ISCTE, Montebelo, RDD Textiles, UPTEC, Vintage for a Cause, wetheknot and ZIPHOUSE / S4 Fashion.

The Workshop’s objectives were:

  • To bring together stakeholders from different CCI’s sectors to discuss the challenges experienced by creative hubs in Portugal and identify policy recommendations to support their development and proliferation.
  • To set up a participatory process of drawing guidance and recommendations on how to promote sustainability in fashion through new policies and support mechanisms.
  • To co-design with stakeholders and policymakers methods to tackle the challenges that creative hubs and their communities encounter in their ecosystems.
  • To introduce the role of creative hubs as accelerators of innovation and resilience, in terms of sustainability, social engagement and economic growth.

In order to achieve this, we counted with a mixed audience of regional, local, national and European authorities, intermediaries, practitioners and policy makers.

We had a very positive feedback from the present authorities, creative hub managers, industry representatives, consultants, experts, academics, community leaders, associations, fashion brands and makers who helped bring these discussions together.

Workshop’s Context:

The Portuguese Ecosystem Mapping

ECHN implements every year a mapping of the creative hubs ecosystem in the country that last hosted the yearly Culture & Creativity Conference, an event that gathers the ECHN members and puts them in contact with local policy makers and stakeholders from the cultural and creative industries.
As last year’s conference took place in Portugal (Porto and Viana do Castelo), ECHN undertook a mapping of the Portuguese ecosystem. A sample of creative hubs was interviewed and surveyed in order to have an insight on how they perceive the local and national ecosystem they are embedded in. During the policy workshop, ECHN presented the main highlights of this mapping, which investigates the relationship between creative hubs and the territory, their participation in networks and communities, their position in the market and their perception of the national policy landscape.

About S4 Fashion Program

ECHN is leading the S4 Fashion Project, co-funded by the European Commission (COSME Programme).
S4 Fashion is empowering small medium-sized enterprises to introduce new sustainable and circular economy products, services, methods, tools and business models for the fashion industry. We aim to identify and amplify the best and up to date practices for a greener fashion sector. The project, throughout its three year life cycle, will produce new evidence-based knowledge on sustainability and circular economy for the fashion industry and share its findings with the whole ecosystem of the European fashion community.

14h00 Welcome Coffee
14h15 Welcome Words
Vassilis Charalampidis (ECHN)
14h30 Context and Portuguese Hubs Mapping:
Showcasing the Case Studies
Davide Amato (ECHN)
Creative Hub Managers
15h15 COST Action: ‘The Geography of New Working Spaces and the Impact on the Periphery’
Elisabete Tomaz and Maria Gato
15h30 Coffee Break
15h45 Interactive discussion and hands-on workshop
Breakout Room A) Creative Hubs – Which new policies can empower Creative Hubs as agents of CCI’s clustering in Portugal?
Brief Introduction by ECHN
Facilitator Paulo Alves
Breakout Room B) Sustainable Fashion – Which new policies and programmes can foster sustainable and circular fashion?
Brief Introduction by Anaïs Roussou (ECHN): S4 Fashion and its goal
to create evidence-based knowledge
Facilitator – Christina Skoubridou (S4 Fashion)
17h30 Final Conclusions and Remarks
18h00 Networking Cocktail

Pictures by Aline Macedo