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Published on Tuesday, 21 June 2011

RITE Group strengthens event line-up

Written by John Mowbray

LONDON – The issue of textile supply chain traceability and metrics will come under scrutiny at the 5th annual RITE Group conference in London on 12th October, where new additional speakers include Tim Wilson, CEO of Historic Futures, Richard Swannell, director at Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) and J. Berrye Worsham, President and CEO of Cotton Incorporated.RITE logo

These formidable speaker additions complement Mike Barry, the Head of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer who will open this year’s event and Baroness Lola Young, OBE, chair of the new All-Party Parliamentary Group on ethical and sustainable fashion who will update delegates on this initiative via a video link.

Wilson, of Historic Futures, which provides software to enable supply chain transparency, will talk about the challenges he’s faced getting traceability on the radar at clothing retailers and brands. Swannell, meanwhile, will update delegates on the latest news from the Sustainable Clothing Action Plan – previously run by the UK government department DEFRA.

Similar to last year, there will be five breakout sessions led by members of the RITE Group steering committee. Among these will be a new discussion on ‘Making sense of voluntary agreements and standards for sustainable textiles’. Moderated by RITE Steering Group (SG) member Dorothy Maxwell of environmental consultancy GVSS, the aim of this session is to provide an update on key coalitions, activities and environmental standards in the textile arena.

Population growth and raw material selection will be addressed in a breakout session hosted by RITE SG members Simon Ferrigno and Mike Kininmonth. Ferrigno asked, “In a world of growing population, fixed resources of water, agricultural land coupled with growing consumption, how do we ensure a sustained and sustainable flow of raw materials?”
A session on ‘Sustainable Materials’ will be led by Dr Richard Blackburn; Phil Patterson will lead a discussion on ‘Traceability & Metrics’, while the Centre for Sustainable Fashion at the London College of Fashion will focus on ‘Design and small brands.’

Other speakers include Linda Hwang from BSR, who will talk about how the industry can manage water on a global basis and Bob Buck from DuPont will talk about the responsible use of chemicals from an environmental health and safety perspective.

Meanwhile Rob Drake-Knight, Co-Founder of the vibrant, new, UK brand Rapanui will talk about how this small eco-fashion company has grown with sustainability at the core of its business. Delegates will also hear from inks, printing and auxiliaries’ specialist Magna Colours which will explain how it has successfully turned its business model on its head to supply products which meet the stringent environmental demands of leading retailers and brands and new, European legislation.

To reserve your space at the event, please visit www.ritegroup.org


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