On Tuesday, May 30, circular impact fashion consultancy RethinkRebels, in partnership with campaign agency MUMSTER, launched an online academy for fashion professionals at an invite-only event at New Optimist's clothing factory in Amsterdam.
Rachel Cannegieter, founder of RethinkRebels, has more than 20 years of experience in the fashion industry in various roles such as procurement, product management, and sales management in international fashion companies. With RethinkRebels, she has worked with 50+ brands from 10 different countries, successfully creating and implementing sustainable strategies. These brands include several SER (Social and Economic Council) signatories that must meet high standards for due diligence reporting.
Rachel and her team of experts have combined all their knowledge and experience into an online training program divided into four target groups with different modules, launching four distinct courses: Sustainability & Top Management, Product & Supply chain, Design & Creatives, and Sales & Marketing. This module division with specific work functions in mind is based not only on extensive knowledge and experience in the fashion industry, including Rachel’s background as a coach of CSR managers, but also on recent deep-dive research on what is needed for fashion companies to enact long-lasting change.
With more than 50 fashion professionals in attendance, with many brands and institutions like Cradle 2 Cradle, Kings of Indigo, Wehkamp, Carhartt, Fabienne Chapot, and Maium represented, RethinkRebels Academy was officially kicked off by Rachel Cannegieter’s speech on the premises of the first circular clothing factory in Amsterdam. In addition, the New Optimist founders Xander Schlager and Nelleke Wegdam explained and later showed on a factory tour how a fashion business can be run in both circular and profitable ways, while the academy professor Natasja van Schaik delivered a workshop on human design and strategies to effective change management.
The launch event was shaped in the same way as the RethinkRebels Academy is designed - to be easy to understand, inspiring, and actionable.
Rachel Cannegieter explained, "Due to new laws and regulations, more and more fashion companies feel the urgency to make certain complex changes, and with the academy, we want to support as many fashion companies as possible in this challenging transition.”