On April 28, WWD, Footwear News and Beauty Inc are convening business leaders, influencers, retailers, brand executives, policymakers and other industry stakeholders for the Sustainability Forum 2022 edition, titled: “Scaling Solutions: The Innovator’s Agenda.” Billed as a must-attend virtual event for anyone in fashion, retail, beauty and footwear looking to make better-informed ESG decisions, attendees will hear from leading climate action thinkers and doers while bridging connections across the industry.
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Themes include policy and regulation, clean beauty, zero-waste design, next-generation materials, circularity and more as it relates to scaling sustainability innovations and action. Speakers include Rachel Zoe, Nicholas Kirkwood and Just Capital’s chief strategy officer, Alison Omens, among many others. Accenture, the International Fur Federation (Furmark), Neiman Marcus Group, Tiffany & Co. and the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol are among the sponsoring organizations summoning up lasting change.
Attendees can expect a range of informed sessions, but here’s a preview.
Solving Circular Fashion in the Metaverse
Metaverse, NFTs, blockchain, cryptocurrency, mining, minting. These are the keywords reflecting a technological transformation impacting fashion apparel, retail, beauty and footwear. The digital fashion advocates are marching forward with the metaverse as a key to unlock the promise of circularity while also serving as a space for representation and expressiveness — and, more importantly, the illusory replacement for physical clothes.
This session features: Lorenzo Albrighi, co-chief executive officer and founder of Lablaco and the Circular Fashion Summit; Livia Firth, creative director and founder of Eco-Age; Áslaug Magnúsdóttir, CEO and founder of Katla and cofounder of Moda Operandi, and Neha Singh, CEO and founder of Obsess. The discussion is being moderated by Natasha Franck, CEO of EON.
Can Fashion and Footwear Finally Take Responsibility for End of Life?
While fashion and footwear design have long considered the end consumer, too few are truly considering a product’s end of life — hence the industry’s persistent and highly problematic waste problem. One solution? Design with the end in mind. From upper materials to insoles and the glue that binds them, there are systems advances, best practices and mind-sets necessary to scale responsible products.
In this session, Eric Liedtke, cofounder and CEO of Unless Collective, chats with Chris McGrath, vice president of global footwear design and development at Timberland, about end-of-life product strategies and solutions.
Low Waste, Low Impact and Scaling Solutions
Other sessions include “Low-Waste Lifestyles, and How to Build Them,” which features Lauren Singer, CEO and founder of Package Free Shop in conversation with Rachel Zoe, co-CEO and founder of Rachel Zoe Inc., Curateur, Rachel Zoe Collection and The Zoe Report, and chairwoman of Rachel Zoe Ventures.
Neiman Marcus Group will be sharing insights into its “ESG Journey” in a session with Sarah Davis, president and founder of Fashionphile; Amanda Martin, senior vice president and chief supply chain officer of the Neiman Marcus Group, and Jennifer Stucko, CEO and creative director and founder of Prota Fiori with Chris Demuth, senior vice president, people services, ESG, belonging and corporate philanthropy at the Neiman Marcus Group.
Also on the agenda is “Honesty Through Transparency: Rewriting the Consumer Narrative” featuring Alison Omens, chief strategy officer at Just Capital, and “Natural Fur Sustainability: Prioritizing Communities, the Environment and Animal Welfare,” which is being presented by the International Fur Federation.
And Cara Smyth, managing director of global ESG for retail at Accenture, and fellow and founder of the Responsible Business Coalition at the Fordham University Gabelli School of Business, will be in conversation with Jim Fallon, editorial director of WWD, in a session titled: “Scaling ESG Solutions in the Fashion Industry.”