WWD’s China edition, launched last May in partnership with China Mind Next, will host its inaugural Digital Sustainability Summit from April 22 to 24 at 8 p.m. Beijing time (8 a.m. Eastern time) every day, marking the 50th anniversary of Earth Day.
The three-day event, in cooperation with Yehyehyeh, one of China’s leading sustainability agencies founded by advocate, editor and curator Shaway Yeh, will bring together business leaders from around the world to assess what the industry can do to rise to the challenge of addressing sustainability issues and meeting the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.
Lena Yang, WWD China’s chief executive officer, said “COVID-19 goes beyond a threat or crisis. It is an accelerator to push the innovation which the fashion industry has started, but slowly. 10 years after the Copenhagen Summit, the fashion industry remains one of the most polluted ones. It is time for the whole industry to move from commitments to determined actions.”
Yeh, who is also the summit’s sustainability expert partner, said: “I hope sustainability will be the guiding light for the industry to cope with the current crisis and rebuild the world after. The current crisis is an indication of what might come if we do not handle the climate crisis in a timely and systematic way.”
Johannes Neubacher, chief content officer of WWD China added that “We have realized that consumers are more than ever conscious how their everyday purchasing choices impact our environment. But is the industry ready? What has changed over the last weeks and months? WWD China, being at the center of the global fashion supply chain has been closely covering sustainability issues since we have launched last year, and with China’s economy getting back to normal, our summit tries to explore what lies ahead, from the latest innovations to how we need to adapt our narrative to keep our consumers engaged.”
The summit has three sessions: sustainability and consumer engagement, global innovation and collaboration and designed by/with Nature. Each session will be attended by around 300 registered guests and broadcast live on Tencent’s livestreaming platform.
Speakers include Morten Lehmann, chief sustainability officer of Global Fashion Agenda; Livia Firth, cofounder and creative director of Eco-Age and founder of the Green Carpet Challenge; Christine Goulay, senior manager of sustainable innovation at Kering; Andrea Rosso, creative director of all Diesel licensed products and Diesel sustainability ambassador and upcycling artistic director; Regina Szeto, vice president of brand, international pr and marketing SECOO; Jean Hegedus, sustainability director for The Lycra Company; Kehua Hu, sustainability stewardship director at Office for Social Responsibility of China Textile and Apparel Industry Council; architect Ma Qingyun; fashion designer Feng Chen Wang, and Ying Qiu, water governance lead at WWF China.
Prior to the summit, WWD China launched a six-week sustainability-focused campaign “Kind to Earth, Fashion for Future,” calling for actions for the fashion community — including designers, celebrities and influencers — with more than 100 brand partners participating to amplify sustainability awareness efforts.
Partners include the China National Textile and Apparel Council, the Responsible Supply Chain Association, the China National Garment Association and China Fashion Week, among others.