Can Fashion be Truly Sustainable? - The Big Debate

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This industry discussion aims to get to the bottom of whether the fashion industry can be sustainable or are we just kidding ourselves?

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		Can Fashion be Truly Sustainable? - The Big Debate image

In this discussion we will look at the impact that our current working practices have already had, explore the new proposed way of doing things and debate if they are able to really make a different to both the environment and the bottom line.

Our Panel

Chaired by: Paul Alger MBE - Director of International Affairs at UK Fashion & Textile Association

Discussion points:

  • What do we mean by sustainability?
  • What has been the cost of past and current practices to date?
  • What is greenwashing and how much of an issue is it?
  • Is there hypocrisy amongst consumers? (in particular gen z)
  • New trends in sustainable sourcing
  • How important is upcycling, recycling & thrifting?
  • The commerciality of sustainably fashion?

Speaker Bios

Paul Alger MBE is International Business Director at the UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) and has worked in the industry for over 30 years, originally starting his working life in the food import and marketing industry.

Since 1989 he has worked with UK designers and manufacturers in the fashion and textile industry, offering business advice and support, particularly relating to international business and trade shows. He is experienced in the established markets of Europe and the USA but also has extensive experience and contacts in Japan, Russia and China. He is UKFT’s main point of contact with the Private Office of HRH The Princess Royal, UKFT’s active President, and represents the industry on a number of national committees and groups.

Back in 1988 when Mark was backpacking and travelling around the world, he drew particularly attached to Bali and also Kathmandu, and started having pieces made there and bringing them back to London to sell, and in 1988 Komodo was born. This was during the extraordinary summer of love, and within a year we were one of the best known British street and club wear brands of that time, serving some of the most iconic stores around the world. The KOMODO ethos was rooted in the spirit of co-operation between the handicraft skills and techniques of the people making the clothes combined with our quest for flamboyant fashion for clubbers that was like nothing else they could buy at the time.

KOMODO grew quickly, and alongside producing well-made eco fashion, we became famous for putting on legendary parties all over the world. The clothes were worn by people like Jay Kay from Jamiroquoi and Bjork, and we were recognised and profiled by magazines such as The Face, making the brand develop rapidly. The aesthetic branched out from being just clubwear to everyday fashion that was built to last, always with an individual slant that separated us from other brands.

Christopher works as UK Representative for the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and as EU Representative on organic textile policy and regulatory issues. He has wide experience providing research, technical and market development services for sustainable food, farming and textiles. He is past President of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements (IFOAM) EU Group.

Dr Patsy Perry is a Reader in Fashion Marketing at Manchester Fashion Institute, Manchester Metropolitan University with responsibility for teaching and research, with subject expertise including marketing comms, online fashion retail, supply chain management and sustainability. Previously she taught at The University of Manchester and Heriot-Watt University in Edinburgh, and she has guest lectured internationally in Europe and China. She has a long-standing interest in fashion and sustainability, starting with her PhD which explored the influence of buyer-supplier relationships on Corporate Social Responsibility in fashion supply chains, with fieldwork conducted in Sri Lanka. She has since written about the environmental aspects of fashion sustainability and her most recent co-authored review article on the environmental impact of fast fashion was published in a Nature sub-journal earlier this year, read here. She is regularly quoted in the print and broadcast media nationally and internationally for her expertise on online retailing and social and environmental issues in the fashion industry, most recently in Channel 4’s Supershoppers (series 7) and The Big Issue North

Katie Young Gerald is a Multi award winning, Sustainable Clothing Expert, the Founder of Bespoke Textiles & ForeverYoung Emporium and the Author of No.1 Amazon best selling book, ‘The Textile Touch’. She’s spent over 30 years in Fashion, Manufacturing & upcycling. She designs & supplies globally for clients; Sohohouse, The Ace Hotel, The Ivy Collection & the British Royal Households with uniforms to unique napkins. Katie is passionately involved in the Circular Clothing Movement. Her moto is to Reuse ♻️ & create forever pieces that stop landfill and save waste.' ‘The Textile Touch’ Book

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