Photo courtesy of Textile Exchange.

Textile Exchange, a global nonprofit organization for the textile industry, said that it has partnered with Bluesign, a Switzerland-based solution firm for sustainable textile production, for its fifth biannual conference on Oct. 18 and Oct. 19. The event will be held back-to-back with Textile Exchange’s annual Textile Sustainability Conference from Oct. 22 to Oct. 24, with both conferences taking place in Milan over a five-day period.

Hosted by Bluesign, its conference will be held at Cavallerizze, part of Milan’s recently renovated Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della Tecnologia, followed by Textile Exchange’s conference at the Milano Congressi (MiCo). This year’s themes are “TraceAbility. NetworkAbility. TransformAbility: Stitching the blue way together” and “United by Action: Accelerating Sustainability in Textiles and Fashion,” respectively.

Consumer psychologist and trade industry professional Simonetta Carbonaro will open Bluesign’s conference to inform attendees of the challenges regarding textile industry transformation and transparency. Bluesign said it will also introduce non-textile case studies to “provide insights beyond the industry in an effort to gather new ideas while supporting common ones” in addition to “high-level discussions [that] will explore finance in sustainability and additional topics important to a ceo’s agenda while proving the business case of sustainability to redesign today’s business models,” according to the firm. And the head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre, Simone Cipriani, will present a closing keynote speech regarding how ethical fashion can be realized in the world’s “most challenging locations.”

At Textile Exchange, brands, retailers, corporate social responsibility professionals, product and business developers, designers, educators, advocates and sourcing and supply chain leaders — along with other members of the global textile supply chain — will convene to discuss sustainability challenges facing the sector. This includes talks focused on sustainability solutions, the organization said, including “high-level” discussions surrounding the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals regarding fiber and materials, circularity, microplastics, water and sustainability in the luxury sector. Textile Exchange said it expects to attract over 500 international attendees.

Photo courtesy of Textile Exchange.  Erika Nizborski

Confirmed speakers at Textile Exchange include: Pacific Institute’s president, Jason Morrison, on the apparel sector’s water stewardship opportunity; World Resources Institute research analyst, Deborah Drew, on methods for apparel and textiles to drive the circular economy; Forum for the Future’s chief executive, Sally Uren, on how to drive sustainability strategies; and the Hohenstein Institute America’s managing director, Ben Mead, on various models for financially viable sustainable farm practices.

“We are pleased to cooperate with Textile Exchange and connect professionals around the world to drive the sustainability transformation in the industry,” said Jill Dumain, chief executive officer at Bluesign Technologies. “The fifth Bluesign conference will offer plenty of opportunities for matchmaking and networking with other attendees and sharing your business prospects with like-minded colleagues in the industry.”

LaRhea Pepper, managing director of Textile Exchange, said, “Textile Exchange recognizes the importance of collaboration in order to accelerate sustainability in fashion, and this year’s Textile Exchange conference is noteworthy for highlighting collaborative initiatives transforming our industry in more sustainable ways. We offer content for every level of expertise and every role in the value chain — from our Basics Day to our Round Tables and Working Groups to our more expert plenaries and breakout sessions.”

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