The global fashion and textiles industries face large-scale and urgent challenges: Challenges which have become even more apparent in recent months as the pandemic exposed risks within supply chains and business operations world-wide, and highlighted the need for more ethical business models moving forward. From production, to shipping, to retail and disposal, the textiles life-cycle has a heavy toll on our environmental ecosystems. Over-reliance on virgin fibres imposes a strain on water and land use, and more needs to be done to embed change at scale and find realistic alternatives to oil-derived materials like polyester. Manufacturing processes are also afflicted by dyes and chemicals which pollute nature and deplete scarce resources. According to UNEP studies, at present levels of growth, the industry is projected to consume one quarter of the globe’s carbon budget by 2050.

But the reach and scope of the textiles industry also presents an opportunity to leverage its scale for good, particularly in response to the pandemic. This will require a radical rethinking and transformation of their end-to-end supply chains and business models, making them more circular, more ethical and more sustainable, with lower carbon footprints, enhanced transparency and traceability, and more socially-positive impacts across the entire value chain. Here there are significant learnings for all sectors grappling with material production, complex supply chains and linear business models.

This event will showcase a number of inspiring examples from the fashion and textiles sectors of product innovation, enabling technologies and innovative design processes which can spearhead supply chain transparency, reduce carbon emissions and waste, and catalyse the shift to a circular system. Alongside industry leadership, there is also a need for a cultural shift to overcome fast-fashion mindsets and high-volume consumption trends, supported by civil society change-makers and global policy goals. This event will bring together leaders in clothing, textiles and beyond who are reimagining approaches across the system.

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Event for: Directors/ Heads of: Sustainability | Innovation | Procurement | Manufacturing | Supply chains

Speakers

  • Cyndi Rhoades

    Founder, Worn Again Technologies
  • Deap Khambay

    Head of Sustainability, Seasalt
  • Orr Yarkoni

    CEO, Colorifix Limited
  • Ruchira Joshi

    UK Country Director, Sustainable Materials, IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative

Round Tables

SHOW
  • Using technology to integrate sustainability into global supply chains
    As with other industries, the current data-boom means textiles and clothing companies have a number of opportunities to utilise sustainability data from sensors, devices and systems at all points along the value chain. How can brands, retailers and wholesalers best make use of these data resources to drive efficiencies and better sustainability outcomes in their supply chain? How can companies transform their supply chains to be truly data-responsive? And how can companies present this data clearly and responsibly to consumers and suppliers and improve transparency? This roundtable will invite participants to share insights, pose questions and consider options for data optimisation in their own companies and supply chains.
  • Enabling innovation within production processes
    The production and processing of textiles can be both resource-intensive and damaging to ecosystems and human lives. However, there is significant research going into the production of new sustainable materials, more efficient textiles regeneration processes, and the reinvention of dying and treatment techniques. What can others learn from the ways that fibre innovation, enzymology and molecular biology are advancing the sustainable agenda in the textiles industry? How are new innovations integrated effectively into established manufacturing processes? How else does a business need to adapt to enable innovation?
  • Embedding the SDGs into business objectives
    The Sustainable Development Goals play a critical role in focusing business, civil society and governments on a set of common global priorities. The supply chains, consumer footprint and scale of employment associated with the textiles and fashion industries present both opportunities and challenges to implementing the SDGs in a systemic way. But how are SDGs effectively embedded in business strategy, and used to focus the organisation on a common set of objectives with the buy-in of producers, customers and other stakeholders? How can global brands align their performance with the SDGs to leverage their scale and impact beyond direct supply chains? This roundtable will consider the key steps companies can take in embedding the SDGs at the core of their business strategy, goal setting, performance measurement and communication.
  • Carbon and energy efficiency from the first to the last mile
    The global textiles and clothing industry was responsible for 1,715 million tons of CO2 emissions in 2015 according to the Pulse of the Fashion Industry report, which also estimates that by 2030, under a business-as-usual scenario, these numbers would increase by at least 50%. Hundreds of companies globally now recognise that the transition to a low-carbon economy is the only way to secure sustainable economic growth and prosperity for all. But in order to catalyse the change that is required, textiles and clothing companies need to bring measurable, evidence-based rigour to their carbon reduction initiatives across the enterprise. This includes in packaging, logistics and delivery. How can brands, retailers and wholesalers use their influence with suppliers to drive down carbon emissions at all points throughout the supply chain? How can science-based targets help build and realise the business case for low-carbon supply chain transformations?
  • Industry standards, regulation and policy change
    Achieving positive environmental impact requires buy-in from business leadership, the wider workforce as well as government and trade bodies. Whilst the UK government recently rejected the Environmental Audit Committee recommendation to create a tougher regulatory environment for the fashion industry, globally there are a number of new regulatory regimes which companies need to adapt to. Higher levels of transparency and regulation in clothing and textiles are increasing the pressure on brands to demonstrate impact and business has to offset the cost of leading versus crisis management. What sorts of industry standards and benchmarks are helpful in creating robust and sustainable supply chains? How can companies, the public sector and trade bodies work together to influence effective policy change?
  • Closing the loop in the textiles economy
    Interest in circular economy principles and business models is growing rapidly, with companies beginning to recognise the bottom-line benefits of changing from a linear “take, make, waste” model to a more circular model of recycling, renewal and materials innovation. How have players in the textiles industry begun to close the loop in commercial production? How can businesses demonstrate leadership by making their supply chains more circular? This roundtable will consider the challenges, opportunities and bottom-line benefits of the circular economy and the impact it has at an industry-level.
  • Nudging consumers away from fast fashion
    A large-scale and encompassing culture change is needed to reform the fast fashion consumption patterns now embedded in everyday life. Despite the clear environmental cost, most of the large retailers and brands are hooked on short fashion seasons and fast-moving trends. Finding an alternative business model whilst keeping clothes within price expectation has proved a stubborn challenge. With this in mind, bottom-up changes in consumer behaviour and attitudes are crucial. How can brands nudge customers away from high-volume consumption trends? What role do businesses have in helping to change consumer mindsets and drive sustainable lifestyles?
  • Balancing consumer demand with limited natural resources
    In the fashion industry alone, consumer demand has increased by 60% over the last 15 years, placing unprecedented stress on natural resources and ecosystems affected by the production cycle. Meanwhile, the rise of e-commerce and premier delivery services, the energy footprint of consumption patterns now extends beyond production and retail to home delivery, packaging and logistics. What innovations in packaging design and materials can drive-down waste? What is required to ensure circular models are reflected in consumption patterns? Ultimately, how can businesses balance consumer needs with pro-social decisions, and receive tangible business benefits in doing so?
  • Ensuring worker wellbeing around the world
    The fashion industry’s track record on workers rights and wellbeing is poor. Most recently the Nandan Denim fire killed at least 7 garment workers in Gujarat, highlighting the persistence of severely deficient working conditions and implicating 20 global high street brands. How can international buyers make better sourcing decisions and leverage social responsibility within devolved supply chains? What are the key steps companies can take to building trusted relationships with the suppliers, workers and local communities with whom they engage?
  • Unlocking finance to scale sustainable innovation
    A key driver of the success of the textile industry’s green transition will be disruptive innovation in textiles, manufacturing and supply-chains. Of the past few years there has been a burgeoning of such innovations without an established pipeline for implementation in industry. Too often innovators experience a financing-gap and fail to secure the support they need from brands, investors and regulators. At the same time, within companies, efforts to improve sustainability are often cost-increasing which is hard to justify when profit margins are slim. How can businesses support innovators to scale their solutions with and beyond finance? How can sustainability leaders make an effective case for trade-offs between innovation and profit? What do investors want to see in order to support sustainable innovation in the sector?
  • I do not wish to attend a roundtable
    Please note: Priority spaces will be given to applicants who can participate in roundtables

Agenda

SHOW
  • 15:00
    Welcome and opening remarks
  • 15:05 - 15:44
    Panel discussion with Cyndi Rhoades, Founder, Worn Again Technologies; Orr Yarkoni, CEO, Colorifix; Ruchira Joshi, UK Country Director - Sustainable Materials, IDH, The Sustainable Trade Initiative
  • 15:45 - 16:28
    Virtual breakout rooms for business leaders to share practical insights and intelligence on focused issues.
  • 16:30
    Closing remarks

Venue Details

This event will take place online

Who's Attending

SHOW

The Crowd welcomes applications from Directors/ Heads of sustainability, innovation, procurement, manufacturing, supply chains and related fields.