2020 Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon moves virtual, Sept. 25-27

DETROIT—The 2020 Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon (DF+TH) is scheduled virtually for Sept. 25-27 and is co-hosted by the Detroit IT consulting firm Whim and Pure Michigan Business Connect, an initiative of the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

Participants include coders, designers, artists, retailers, entrepreneurs, product and data specialists, and creatives. Registration is now open. Early bird registration for a no-cost ticket will end on Thursday, Aug. 27. Starting Friday, Aug. 28, tickets will be on sale for $19 per person. Register at Eventbrite.

For those who would like to learn more about the event, a virtual information session will be held on Aug. 27 from 5 to  6 p.m. via Zoom. The session will include a general overview of the DF+TH, information about the meet and greet, and a Q&A session. Interested participants will be able to register for the DF+TH during the information session. Registration for this information session is also at Eventbrite.

At a glance, the 36-hour Detroit Fashion + Tech Hackathon brings together creativity and technology to develop solutions to the problems facing the fashion and retail industries. The event also provides networking opportunities with industry experts. When looking deeper, the DF+TH is a part of an ethical fashion revolution ignited by the COVID-19 crisis. This event is an official part of the Detroit Month of Design. The year 2020 marks the 10th anniversary of the festival, which takes place Sept. 1-30. Programmed by Design Core, Detroit Month of Design is a citywide celebration of creativity that gathers designers and the greater community to celebrate Detroit’s role as a UNESCO City of Design.

“While industries are still uncovering the full impact of COVID-19, the crisis is providing an opportunity for unique innovation and more sustainable practices in fashion,” said Lori McColl, Founder of DF+TH and Whim. “Not everything will be successful; however, this is a good time to test things out and develop a blueprint for moving forward, one of the guiding principles of the DF+TH. Whim hopes after this crisis, we will see a shift in sustainability to include global citizenship. A focus on the way we think of each other and the responsibility we have to care for one another. We hope the DF+TH will bring awareness, and most importantly real solutions to aide brands in the midst of an economic collapse.”

While the DF+TH looks forward, its history demonstrates the event’s impact. The DF+TH was created in 2018 as a strategic event to attract investment and create jobs for Detroit. With the goal of diversifying trades and manufacturing, the DF+TH has an opportunity to impact technology and innovation to bring creatives together in a new and sustainable way.

Now, the DF+TH is moving beyond just Detroit.

“The DF+TH is a unique platform that has always brought creative minds together in Detroit and demonstrates how their talents and businesses could grow and thrive here in the state,” said Tanya Markos-Vanno, development and operations manager of the MEDC’s Pure Michigan Business Connect. “Now this annual event is moving virtual, providing opportunities for participants across the world to connect, meet mentors, and develop innovative solutions, showcasing how Detroit and Michigan play an important role in the growing apparel, retail, and high-tech fields globally.”

The 2020 DF+TH is building off the innovation and diversity of last year’s successful hackathon. The 2019 hackathon brought together more than 70 participants from 33 Michigan cities as well as out-of-towners from other states and countries to solve real problems facing established brands in the fashion industry.

More at www.detroitfashionhackathon.com or www.whim-detroit.com.

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