Kate Hampton, Chief Executive Officer, Children's Investment Fund Foundation
Sarah Ditty, Head of Policy, Fashion Revolution
Giorgina Waltier, Sustainability Manager, H&M UK & IE
Pamela Mar, Executive Vice President, Supply Chain Futures, and Director, Sustainability, Fung Group
Orr Yarkoni, CEO and Co-Founder, Colorifix
Fee Gilfeather, Head of Retail Brand and Customer Experience, Oxfam
Fashion is one of the world’s largest consumer industries. In 2016, apparel and footwear generated $1.5 trillion in annual revenues and employed around 60 million people along its value chain. Meanwhile, much of the sector is notoriously unsustainable, consuming 98 million tonnes of non-renewable resources such as oil, fertilisers and chemicals per year for production purposes. The environmental impact of fast fashion in particular is increasingly well documented with three out of five items of clothing ending up in landfills or incinerators within one year of being made, and half a million tonnes of plastic microfibers shed during washing ending up in our oceans and food chain. Yet incumbents and start-ups alike are trialling a range of disruptive shifts from new materials and production methods to innovative business models and designs to tackle the unsustainability of this ever-growing industry.
Can these innovative ideas, designs, business models and materials help reinvent the future of fashion?
This event, organised by the Hoffmann Centre for Sustainable Resource Economy at Chatham House in collaboration with the Circular Economy Club, will bring together consumers, designers, retailers, innovators, material scientists, business and media leaders, policy makers and campaigners to discuss the range of cutting edge technologies that could shape the future of fashion.
The Sustainable Angle, a not for profit organisation that initiates and supports projects which contribute to minimising the environmental impact of industry hosted an exhibition at Chatham House after the panel. Their largest project, the Future Fabrics Expo, is a platform to discover more sustainable textiles and innovations for the future of fashion.
Bernice Lee, Executive Director of the Hoffmann Centre and Dr. David Greenfield of the Circular Economy Club welcomed attendees to Chatham House.
Sarah Ditty, Head of Policy at Fashion Revolution
"As a society, we purchase 400% more clothes and garments then we did 20 years ago. Sustainable fashion is about meeting today’s needs while ensuring that the way we go about meeting those needs meet future needs as well."
Giorgina Waltier, Sustainability Manager at H&M UK & IE
"H&M wants to lead the change to a more sustainable fashion industry. We launched a new strategy to become a 100% circular and renewable business, a 100% fair and equal business and 100% leading the change towards a more sustianable fashion future"
Pamela Mar, Director of Sustainability at the Fung Group
"The fashion industry is functioning in a top-down manner. Brands and retailers are asking for more in terms of environmental performance and in terms of being faster, more flexible and transparent but most suppliers in Asia are set up to be low cost and labour intensive."
Orr Yarkoni, CEO and Co-Founder of Colorifix
"Over the next 50-100 years, there is going to be a shift where most industrial activities is going to be more closely linked to nature. Colorifix is trying to change the way we dye fabrics by finding colors in nature using natural pigments."
Fee Gilfeather, Head of Retail Brand and Customer Experience at Oxfam
"232,000 tonnes of clothing were diverted from landfill through the charity retail market in the UK last year. Oxfam is aiming to promote and make it more fashionable for people to wear second-hand clothes."