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MATERIALS SOLUTIONS: Digital series from the Future Fabrics Expo

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Join The Sustainable Angle & guests to take a deep dive into sustainability, exemplified by materials from #FutureFabricsExpo.

About this Event

This new DIGITAL Materials Solutions series seeks to inform and educate on the place of specific fibre categories in a preferred materials mix , and their important place in reshaping and creating a responsible, sustainable and restorative fashion industry.

This unprecedented global pandemic has forced us all to cease the relentless activity that the fashion industry demands of us, and has created space for us to pause, and reflect upon how our choices can contribute to new, responsible practices that must emerge from the current crisis.

Materials play a critical role in building a fashion industry that places people and planet as priorities, and the creation of equitable economic systems that replace the current unsustainable, polluting and waste generating model.

Join us as we look forward to recovery from this pandemic, both for our collective human health, and that of the planet. This current emergency has given us all an opportunity to reimagine our industry, and to define what successful business really means for people and planet and work towards a responsible and positive relationship with our planet's resources.

The series is supported by key examples of commercially available qualities from our Virtual Expo.

  • Provides insights into our suppliers best practice materials.
  • Each fibre category in the series is accompanied with a dedicated key information and useful links sheet.


You can register for the free Introduction episode in our ticket selection below and choose one of our combinations of specific fibre categories or book the whole series of 8 episodes.

  • COMBINATION 1: A FREE Intro + 1 episode: fibre of your choice + Summary session @£65
  • COMBINATION 2: A FREE intro + 2 episodes: fibres of your choice + Summary session @£110
  • FULL COMBINATION: WHOLE SERIES of all 8 episodes and receive our 9th Future Fabrics Expo Report & Exhibitor Directory! @ £320. Please note, you can still sign up for the full series even if you haven't been able to tune in so far - we will send you the previous recordings of our last few episodes with all relevant resources!

SERIES SCHEDULE (3pm-5pm BST*) for 8 EPISODES, starting 29th April 2020:

1. INTRODUCTION with guest speaker Carole Collet (Director of Maison/0 (The Central Saint Martins LVMH Sustainable Innovation Programme)) - Wednesday 29th April

This session frames our current materials landscape, and explores the crucial place of a diverse, responsibly created materials mix. The principles of regenerative design and other design thinking systems that can support and inform the creation of a responsible industry for the future will be discussed.

  • Introduction to The Sustainable Angle's criteria and '9 to Define' design and systems thinking approach to rationalising material and design
  • Gain insight into the six material categories that will be covered each week following this introductory session.

2. COTTON with Sarah Compson, International Development Manager at Soil Association- Wednesday 6th May

Conventional cotton is the most important natural fibre, accounting for a quarter of global fibre demand, and grown in intensively farmed unsustainable monocultures around the globe. With its roots in the slave trade, human rights abuses still pervade the supply chain of conventionally grown cotton.

  • Learn how best practice cotton agricultural practices can transform the environmental and social impacts of this fibre, and its role in carbon sequestration.
  • Understand the critical impacts of this fibre, and which types of cotton to prioritise and why.

3. BAST FIBRES + AGRICULTURAL WASTE with Gill Gledhill (GGHQ Fashion Intelligence Ltd Managing Director) and Hannes Schoenegger (Bananatex Co-Founder and CEO) - Wednesday 13th May

This session focuses on the under-explored bast category of stem fibres, harvested from flax, hemp, ramie, nettle, etc. and the new agriculturally harvested waste category of grown cellulose.

  • Learn about the properties and inherent sustainability credentials of the bast category of fibres.
  • Discover how the ingenious use of cellulose from agricultural waste is reframing new material innovation of the future.

4. PROTEIN FIBRES with Hanna Denes (Textile Exchange Senior Standards Manager) and Jackie Andrews (Senior Lecturer in Sustainability and Textiles Development Strategist) - Wednesday 20th May

The use of animal fibres has a long history, offering complex structures and properties that man made fibres cannot replicate.

  • However, land use, unethical practices and processing impacts, and environmental impacts as a result of intensive farming have raised questions.
  • Discover best practice initiatives for sourcing protein fibres.

5. REGENERATED CELLULOSICS with Claire Bergkamp (Stella McCartney, WW Sustainability & Innovation Director) - Wednesday 27th May

As a man- made cellulose fibre, this category of cellulosics is an important fibre source and its comfortable and absorbent properties are much sought after as an alternative to cotton.

  • Understand the provenance and processing systems that enable best practice choices in this fibre category.
  • Discover the next generation of regenerated fibres poised to provide more diverse fibre sources.

6. SYNTHETICS & RECYCLED with Steven Cheung (Recyctex Founder and President) and Scott Echols (Programme Director ZHDC, Roadmap To Zero) - Wednesday 3rd June

From the middle of the twentieth century synthetic fibres have dominated our fibre landscape, and currently account for two thirds of global fibre demand.

  • Understand the negative impacts of this non-renewable fibre source, and learn how our reliance upon this petroleum derived group of fibres needs to be re-focused.
  • Discover how recycling technologies can limit impacts and utilise waste streams to recapture value and contribute to the circular economy.

7. LEATHER & SKIN ALTERNATIVES with Yoann Regent (Kering, Sustainable Sourcing - Bio-Diversity & Animal Welfare Specialist) - Wednesday 10th June

For many centuries the skins of animals have been valued as a durable by-product of the meat industry. However, current intensive farming practices are contributing to the decimation of rainforests, clearing land for intensively raising ever increasing numbers of cattle, thus contributing to CO2 emissions.

  • Learn about the place of responsibly farmed and processed animal skins in a diverse materials mix.
  • Explore the growing interest in innovative alternatives that meet demands for non- animal products that limit petrochemical use.

8. SUMMARY: FUTURE PROOFING FASHION and how the fashion industry can play a positive role - with Cyrill Gutsch (Founder and CEO Parley for the Oceans) - Wednesday 17th June

This session draws together the key learnings from the six material sessions to provide an overview of the diverse material directions that will contribute to future proofing our industry.

  • Critical perspectives on where the new materials solutions, directions and opportunities lie in shaping a re-imagined and responsible future for fashion will be explored.
  • The conversation will focus on how the fashion industry can play a positive role? How can its supply chains be climate positive, protect biodiversity and the oceans - what materials to be used to achieve that?


Each episode will include a presentation of key information of each fibre type (fibre demand, environmental impacts, low impact alternatives, sustainability information), key supplier examples followed by a conversation with guest speaker, and close with Q&A with The Sustainable Angle team. In each episode you will see solutions: materials presented from our exhibitors at the Future Fabrics Expo.

By signing up for an episode of our digital masterclass series, you will receive a cheat sheet from each episode with useful links, perfect for your next sourcing!

*All episodes will be recorded and made available by email for 2 weeks following the live date to those registered for that session.

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