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HALIFAX – The Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry (ASBCI) will host a conference on 8th May with a focus on sustainability and ethics in the fashion supply chain, posing the question: “is it up to the industry to change the way consumers shop, or up to consumers to change the industry?”

The event – which takes place at the Renaissance Manchester City Centre Hotel – is titled ‘Time for change – facing up to fashion’s sustainability and ethical challenges’ and will examine if and how brands can continue to meet rapidly increasing consumer demand while operating in a sustainable and ethical manner.

The UK government’s recent Environmental Audit Committee report – covered in detail by Ecotextile News – is sure to be a hot topic at the event. There will be a focus on how brands and retailers can make sustainability ‘pay’, so that doing the right thing will also benefit their bottom line.

Names from across the industry will be present to speak at the conference. Mark Sumner, lecturer in sustainability, fashion, and retail from the University of Leeds, will focus on consumer psychology and behaviour, and whether there are any rewards for brands and retailers working to make their businesses greener.

Also present will be Phil Townsend from Marks & Spencer, sharing the company’s experience on its mission to only source sustainable cotton. Daphne Guelker from UL Consumer Retail Services will aim to tackle the complex issue of modern slavery in the fashion industry, which the Global Slavery Index 2018 listed as the second biggest contributor to the problem.

The conference will be hosted by Dr Julie King, ASBCI event director and deputy dean at the University of South Wales on Wednesday 8th May.


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