Press Release – VANCOUVER – Representatives of the world’s top brands and retailers will convene in Canada in 10 days’ time as part of a week-long series of environmental events in Vancouver aimed at helping the $2.5 trillion fashion industry clean up its act.
Senior executives from Canadian apparel brands such as Mountain Equipment Coop, Lululemon and Arc’teryx will be joined by the likes of global counterparts at Macy’s, H&M, Nike, Adidas, C&A, Zara, Gap and as well as by HSBC Bank Canada, and Vancouver NGO’s Canopy and STAND.earth at Planet Textiles which takes place at the Sheraton Vancouver Wall Center on May 22nd.
The event is part of a week-long series of environmental events, which are aligned to coincide with the annual member meeting of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition – an alliance of the world’s top clothing brands which together account for over 30 per cent of clothing sales by value every year.
Charlene Aleck from Tsleil-Waututh Nation will deliver a welcome message at the opening of Planet Textiles on behalf of First Nations band government in the Canadian province of British Columbia.
The event will be hosted by Vancouver-based Sara Blenkhorn from the Leverage Lab, which seeks to push boundaries and trail blaze innovative solutions to the issue of apparel waste.
Key speakers at the event includes leading scientists and industry experts on synthetic textile microfibre pollution, including Dr Peter Ross director of the Ocean Pollution Research Program at the Vancouver Aquarium Marine Science Centre. A keynote talk will be delivered by Kate Heiny, Director of Sustainability at global retailer C&A.
Deforestation in relation to sourcing of viscose and cellulosic fibres will be addressed in a special panel hosted by Nicole Rycroft, CEO at CanopyStyle on forestry management, climate change and biodiversity and how the Great Bear Rainforest campaign in British Colombia moved from conflict to collaboration. Session participants include Lenzing, Inditex – the parent company of Zara, MISTRA Future Fashion from Sweden and Vancouver-based STAND.earth – formerly ForestEthics.
A central event theme of ‘scaling innovation’ is boosted by a special session hosted by Fashion For Good which will run seven, seven minute pitches from innovators who are looking for investors to take their textile technology to scale. These include new sustainable innovations in coloration, the use of industrial organic and agricultural waste products to produce plant-free cellulose and a new technology that allows polyester to biodegrade more like natural fibres in wastewater treatment plants and landfill.
A special panel discussion will be convened and moderated by Ecotextile News founder John Mowbray on scaling up innovation and harmonisation on chemical management with participants Frank Michel, CEO, ZDHC Foundation; Xander Wessels, CEO, Archroma; Linda Greer, Senior Scientist, NRDC and Jill Dumain, CEO, bluesign technologies.
Breakout sessions include: ‘The Power of Finance to Propel Sustainable Innovation Forwards’, hosted by Scott Miller of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which aims to explore how financial instruments and other initiatives helping to scale up innovation across the textile sector. It will feature banking giant HSBC, Bolt Threads and the International Finance Corporation.
A final breakout session on water and chemistry is being hosted by Scott Echols at the ZDHC which will look at scaling up innovation in the textile wet processing sector and fibre production related to water use and conservation, innovation and transparency. Real world technical solutions to help minimise water and chemical use in textile processing will be outlined by the likes of SPINNOVA from Finland, Eurojersey from Italy, Greentheme International and ToxServices from the USA.
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