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Speakers

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Dana Thomas

Author, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes



Dana Thomas is the author of, among other bestselling books, Fashionopolis: The Price of Fast Fashion and the Future of Clothes. She began her career writing for the Style section of The Washington Post and has served as a cultural and fashion correspondent for Newsweek in Paris.

She is a regular contributor to a host of publications, for example The New Yorker, the Financial Times and Vogue. The recipient of various awards, Thomas was a Logan Nonfiction Fellow at the Carey Institute for Global Good in 2017.

Dana Thomas
Author
Eva Kruse

CEO, Global Fashion Agenda



Eva Kruse is the CEO of Global Fashion Agenda, the foremost leadership forum for industry collaboration on sustainability in fashion. With a mission to mobilise and guide the fashion industry to take bold and urgent action on sustainability, Kruse founded the non-profit organisation, which is renowned for hosting Copenhagen Fashion Summit.

Kruse injected fashion into the sustainability conversation at the World Economic Forum with the CEO Agenda. The recipient of various accolades for her contribution to sustainability, Kruse was awarded the French Embassy’s Human Rights Prize in 2017 and Denmark’s Royal Order of Chivalry in 2019.

“We urge fashion industry leaders to think outside the box and investigate new business models that will challenge the traditional concept of prosperity. This will not only future proof businesses, but it’s also crucial if we are to operate within our planetary boundaries and meet the needs of future generations.”
Eva Kruse
Global Fashion Agenda
Karl-Johan Persson

CEO, H&M Group



Karl-Johan Persson was appointed CEO for H&M Group in 2009. During his first 10 years as CEO, H&M Group has taken big steps towards its vision to lead the change towards circular and renewable fashion while being a fair and equal company.

Persson has placed the climate issue at the top of the company agenda and integrated sustainability into its business model. Realising that the fashion industry needs a dramatic transformation, Persson has put tremendous effort into identifying and promoting sustainable innovation, thus challenging the conventional way of thinking.

“The climate crisis is the most pressing issue of our time and, together with the rest of the fashion industry, we have a huge responsibility to address it. It will require collaboration and innovation that can accelerate the transition to a circular economy while enabling sustainable growth. We urgently need to establish how we can provide fashion to a growing population while lowering our climate impact and promoting inclusion and transparency every step of the way.”
Karl-Johan Persson
H&M Group
Kate Fletcher

Professor of Sustainability, Design and Fashion, Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London



Kate Fletcher, PhD, is a professor at the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London. She is the most cited scholar in fashion and sustainability and her work, like that on post-growth fashion and fashion localism, both defines and challenges the field.

Fletcher has written and/or edited nine books translated into seven languages. She is a co-founder of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion. Her latest work, co-authored with Mathilda Tham, is the Earth Logic Fashion Action Research Plan.

“How to transform the fashion sector? By putting Earth and all its inhabitants first. This is both simple and changes everything.”
Kate Fletcher
Centre for Sustainable Fashion, University of the Arts London
Korina Emmerich

Artist and designer



Korina Emmerich, artist and designer, built her NY-based brand, EMME, on the backbone of expression, art and culture. Leading the charge to embrace art and design as one, her colourful work is known to reflect her Native American heritage from the Puyallup Tribe in Coast Salish Territory in western Washington state. With a strong focus on social justice and speaking out about industry responsibility and accountability, Emmerich has cultivated a loyal following and shining path as a unique, contemporary fashion designer and artist.

“We live in a capitalistic society that profits off consumers’ lack of education. Ignorance is the true luxury in this industry when the only real trend is greed. We have to keep our ethics, morals and commitments at the forefront of our business: it’s not just about marketing and profitability.”
Korina Emmerich
Artist and designer
Max Bittner

CEO, Vestiaire Collective



Max Bittner is a tech entrepreneur and CEO of Vestiaire Collective, the global leading community-driven platform for desirable pre-owned fashion. Encouraging consumers to join the circular economy as a sustainable alternative to fast fashion, the platform is unique due to its interactive community features and distinctive, desirable inventory, not to mention its authentication and quality control process.

Bittner is responsible for driving the company’s ambitious growth strategy by focusing on tech innovation, customer engagement, discoverability and integration of circularity into the fashion ecosystem.

“The increased urgency of environmental issues has hugely shifted customer expectations toward the fashion industry. A high level of creativity and innovation is needed to drive positive collaboration and meaningful change to meet the expectations of today’s modern fashion consumer.”
Max Bittner
Vestiaire Collective
Michael Beutler

Director of Sustainability Operations, Kering



Michael Beutler has been the Director of Sustainability Operations at Kering since 2011. He leads a team that measures the leading global luxury group’s progress on reducing environmental impacts and addresses social concerns in its supply chain.

Beutler’s role involves making sustainability a real and concrete way to improve the group’s business and sustainability performance simultaneously by engaging staff and suppliers and unleashing their creativity. This includes the development and implementation of open source environmental profit and loss accounts and engagement with Kering’s stakeholders and investors in the group’s sustainability progress.

“Fashion needs to embark on a new future that meets the environmental and social challenges of 2020 and beyond. It’s no longer about looking good; it’s now about how to create value for society.”
Michael Beutler
Kering
Nicole McLaughlin

Designer



Nicole McLaughlin is a designer based in New York City. Her first major steps towards establishing an independent practice started at Reebok, where she worked as a graphic designer. An eager autodidact, she started teaching herself product design on the side by thrifting discarded miscellanea and upcycling them into wearable goods.

Since uploading her first explosively viral designs to Instagram, McLaughlin has come to personify the intersection between sustainable manufacturing practices and DIY creative processes.

“The future of the fashion industry is finding creative solutions for existing items and prolonging the lifespan of our clothing. It is continuing to explore the possibilities of technology and rethinking our current methods of production.”
Nicole McLaughlin
Designer
Olivier Fournier

Executive Vice-President Corporate Development and Social Affairs, Hermès International



Olivier Fournier is the Executive Vice-President of Corporate Development and Social Affairs at Hermès International and has been a member of the company’s Executive Committee since June 2015.

He oversees management of the Sustainable Development Department, Group Human Resources, Audit and Risk, the Real Estate Development, the Legal Department and the Hermès Services Groupe. In February 2016, Fournier succeeded Pierre-Alexis Dumas as President of the Hermès Foundation.

“CSR has been part of our DNA since our very beginning in 1837. This is because Hermès stands out for its strong artisan soul. We think quality first, with strong respect for people and materials. This means crafting long-lasting, handmade and reparable objects. To me, this way of thinking is the most sustainable one.”
Olivier Fournier
Hermès International
Omoyemi Akerele

Founder and Executive Director, Lagos Fashion Week



Omoyemi Akerele is the Founder and Executive Director of Lagos Fashion Week and Style House Files, a fashion business development agency. Her work has been instrumental to the prolific rise of the African fashion industry.

Her commitment to develop and promote the industry led to the establishment of the biannual Lagos Fashion Week, which presents designers in Nigeria and beyond. It also provides support for the industry with the help of government and investors, offers industry and incubation support for emerging talent and advocates for industry value chains to achieve their full potential.

“The most valuable players in the global fashion ecosystem are often still silent in terms of answering one of today’s most important questions: Who made my clothes? There’s an urgent need for an approach that emphasizes transparency and a commitment across the value chain to ensure that every hand benefits creatively and commercially from the design process.”
Omoyemi Akerele
Lagos Fashion Week
Rick Ridgeway

Vice President of Public Engagement, Patagonia



Rick Ridgeway, Vice President of Public Engagement at Patagonia, represents and promotes the company’s core values among external stakeholders, making him a key spokespersons in all its global markets.

During his tenure he has worked with teams to develop and launch environmental and sustainability initiatives within the company, including Freedom to Roam, the Footprint Chronicles, the Responsible Economy Campaign and Worn Wear. Ridgeway was also the founding chair of Sustainable Apparel Coalition, currently the world’s largest apparel, footwear and home textile trade organisation.

Rick Ridgeway
Patagonia
Rishi Pardal

Vice President and General Manager of Global Apparel Solutions, Avery Dennison Corporation



Rishi Pardal is the Vice President and General Manager of Global Apparel Solutions at Avery Dennison Corporation. Pardal, responsible for leading the company’s global apparel strategy, drives commercial development and is focused on building strong relationships with apparel brand owners, retailers and factories.

He is also accountable for operational efficiency and flexibility to better serve customers. Pardal joined Avery Dennison in November 2010.

“Creativity and innovation will play a massive role in transforming the apparel industry. It is imperative that we bring the best innovators and creative minds together as we look to develop smart solutions that place our supply chain – and the fashion industry – at the forefront of sustainability and responsibility.”
Rishi Pardal
Avery Dennison Corporation
Robert Sinclair

President, Global Supply Chain, Global Brands Group



Robert Sinclair is President of Global Supply Chain and leads supply chain activities for all brands under Global Brands Group. Previously, Sinclair, who started his career in sourcing, has held various positions at Li & Fung, VF Asia Ltd and Ralph Lauren Corporation.

He founded the Hong Kong-based KOMPASS Global Sourcing Solutions Ltd and is the chair and founding member of Global Apparel Footwear and Textile Initiative. He is a member of The American Chamber of Commerce, Hong Kong and an advisor to the Asia Industry Advisory Network for the College of Textiles, North Carolina State University.

Robert Sinclair
Global Brands Group
Shefalee Vasudev

Editor, The Voice of Fashion



Shefalee Vasudev, editor of The Voice of Fashion, India’s first digital magazine on fashion, lives in New Delhi and has been writing on popular culture, crafts and gender for more than two decades.

Vasudev developed an untried genre in Indian print media by using fashion as a lens to study culture and rural artisanal industries, as well as society and trends in urban India. The author of Powder Room: The Untold Story of Indian Fashion, she was the first editor of Marie Claire India.

“The measure of success in fashion has changed from big numbers to consistent responsibility. Worker welfare, ecological care and material mindfulness make the new zeitgeist. Fashion must respond to these touchpoints: Creativity is no longer just about form and beauty, it is about content. And content means a supple, democratic backstory.”
Shefalee Vasudev
The Voice of Fashion
Susan Viscon

Senior Vice President, Merchandising and Co-op Brands, Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)



Susan Viscon is Senior Vice President of REI’s Merchandising and Co-op Brands divisions, overseeing the retailer’s gear and apparel assortment of more than 1,400 leading and emerging brands, in addition to REI’s award-winning Co-op Brand line.

Viscon has been instrumental in pushing brands to move beyond the concept of pinking and shrinking product assortments and instead invest more deeply in designing and developing women’s-specific outdoor performance gear with a focus on better fit and function.

Susan Viscon
Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
Vanessa Friedman

Fashion Director, The New York Times



Vanessa Friedman is the Fashion Director and chief fashion critic of The New York Times and leads its global fashion coverage on all platforms. Before joining the paper she was the inaugural fashion editor of The Financial Times and has also held positions at other publications.

Friedman’s writing is renowned for its direct, pragmatic approach to fashion, offering incisive commentary on the socio-political ramifications of its role in today’s society. She was the recipient of the 2018 Fashion Group International Media Award, the 2013 Fashion Monitor Journalist of the Year award and the 2012 Front Page Award.

Vanessa Friedman
The New York Times
Yayra David Agbofah

Founder, AfroDistrict & THE REVIVAL



Yayra David Agbofah is a creative social entrepreneur based in Ghana and founder of AfroDistrict, a collective which seeks to promote and redefine the creative arts industry in Africa. His collective tackles social and environmental issues through art, education and entrepreneurship.

Agbofah also launched THE REVIVAL, a community-led initiative rooted in upcycling culture, in 2018. It works in an innovative and engaging way to manage global textile waste in West Africa. 

“Creativity and ingenuity are fundamentally transformative. Prioritizing such values across the industry as a whole will translate into positive social change inside and out.”
Yayra David Agbofah
AfroDistrict & THE REVIVAL