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Published on Friday, 05 August 2011

Textile metrics and how to avoid greenwash

Written by John Mowbray

RITE logoLONDON – With yet another impressive speaker line-up at this year’s RITE Group conference on sustainable textiles will be held on 12th October, at Central Hall, Westminster, London and will focus on metrics and how to avoid greenwashing.

Last year’s event was standing room only after a flurry of last minute bookings in late September, and with speakers including Mike Barry, Head of Sustainable Business at Marks & Spencer, Berrye Worsham, CEO of Cotton Inc. and Baroness Lola Young OBE all on the bill, then it’s probably safe to book sooner rather than later.

The theme of this year’s event is ‘Metrics and how to avoid Greenwash’ which is extremely timely given the work taking place within the global textile sector on the development of new eco-indexes, new label criteria as well as supply chain traceability.

Other confirmed speakers include Tim Wilson, managing director of supply chain traceability specialist Historic Futures which has just signed a major deal with Marks & Spencer that will give the UK retailer full “raw material to store” traceability on every single clothing item and home product that it sells.

Sign up for your place at the conference today:

Richard Swannell, director at Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) which runs the UK Sustianable Clothing Action Plan will update delegates about a range of new, about to be launched projects on sustainability for the textiles and clothing sector, while Linda Hwang from BSR, will talk about how the textile industry can manage water on a global basis.

Keeping in with the theme of the event, Cotton Inc CEO Berrye Worsham will talk about “the need for clarity and comprehensiveness within responsible transparency,” and Bob Buck from DuPont will talk about the responsible use of chemicals from a transparent and 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 and transparency at the core of its business.

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.’