Textile Industry searches for Transparency, Collaboration and Innovation to overcome Sustainability Challenges

At the 5th bluesign conference, which took place on October 18-19 in Milan, experts discussed TraceAbility, NetworkAbility and TransformAbility. Speakers from inside and outside of the industry provided inspirational inputs and differing views.

This time, the bi-annual conference for bluesign system partners and the broader sustainability community focused on the ability to trace, network and transform within the industry. About 150 participants exchanged ideas and discussed possible solutions to overcome today’s industry challenges. The conference offered plenty of opportunities for matchmaking with experts of the industry and sharing business prospects.

Prof Simonetta Carbonaro at her presentatione

Consumer psychologist, Prof. Simonetta Carbonaro, started off the conference with fascinating insights into what the industry really needs to be transformative by bringing in examples from many different parts of society demonstrating the challenges faced in attempting to apply change in our industry. The Fashion Panel from Levi’s, Theory and Stella McCartney provided us with a unique view inside the world of fashion companies and some of the particular issues they deal with on a daily basis. During the Traceability Panel, we heard from 3 companies, IKEA, Lenzing and Eataly, about the challenges of implementing traceability back into supply chains as well as the commonalities in each of their three stories. The biggest question they all discussed was how immense the effort should be in order for traceability to still be effective. Cara Smyth, founder of the Fair Fashion Center, brought in the important and much needed conversation about money and finances. She presented many examples of how necessary it is that sustainability build a bridge to the financial community. Eva Karlsson provided insights on how a CEO tackles the big sustainability challenges that all companies face. When asked how she responds to negative comments about what could be perceived as idealism, she gave the greatest answer and said: “I guess I don’t really care what those people have to say.” Simone Cipriani closed the conference with an energizing and captivating call to the industry to above all act responsibly in all aspects of our lives.

“I am so pleased with the 5th bluesign® conference and what we were able to bring to the industry. There were many appreciative comments about taking the sustainability conversation to a deeper level given the challenges we are faced with today. bluesign® looks forward the continued solution-oriented work to really bring about transformative action and change to our industry,” said Jill Dumain, CEO, bluesign technologies ag.

Part of the conference was designed as round-table sessions, where participants and speakers worked on solutions and formed an industry commitment that targeted the direction the industry should move towards in order to ensure a successful blue way. The following statement was devised during the 5th bluesign® conference by all participants:

“We commit to integrating traceability into regular business practice, creating an aligned directory platform where information is shared and exposed to generate value for the industry and consumers. Furthermore, we will educate and listen to the younger generations, collaborate along a circular product life to align for a strong call to action. We are the designers of the innovation processes needed to make a continued positive impact leading to a better world, make sustainability a basic expectation and transform mindsets around manufacturing and consumption.”

The participants

The cooperation with the Textile Exchange Textile Sustainability Conference in Milan the following week (October 22-24, 2018) generated inspirational days for everyone who wanted to advance sustainability in the textiles value added chain.

The bluesign conference takes place every two years. With this open conference for guests and bluesign system partners, bluesign provides a platform upon which all the companies along the supply chain have the opportunity to get to know each other, exchange information, be involved via special sessions, and learn new views about sustainable solutions and business models. Hot topics from within the industry and the outside world were discussed and answers given.

The bluesign system is the solution for sustainable textile production. It eliminates harmful substances from the beginning of the manufacturing process while setting and controlling standards for environmentally friendly and safe production. This not only ensures that the final textile product meets very stringent consumer safety requirements worldwide, but also provides the consumer with the assurance of acquiring a sustainable product. bluesign technologies ag was founded in 2000. Since then, the bluesign system has been adopted by worldwide leading textile and accessory manufacturers. Various significant key players in the chemical and machine industries rely on the bluesign system and well-known brands in the outdoor, sportswear and fashion industries rely on the extensive knowledge of bluesign technologies.

Textile Exchange is a global non-profit that works closely with our members to drive industry transformation in preferred fibres, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks. We identify and share best practices regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability and product end-of-life in order to reduce the textile industry’s impact on the world’s water, soil and air, and the human population.

Incorporated in 2002, Textile Exchange is headquartered in Texas, USA, with staff and ambassadors located in 11 countries. Companies and organizations from more than 25 countries have joined us as members.