Ushering fashion towards a sustainable future: What to expect at the Planet Textiles Summit

Quantis’ creative geeks Angela Adams, Annabelle Stamm and Michèle Zollinger are headed to the 2018 Planet Textiles International Conference on May 22nd in Vancouver. The conference provides a forum to engage with forward-thinking textile and retail businesses on the crucial sustainability issues facing the global textile sector and learn about new disruptive technologies. Ahead of the event, Quantis Senior Sustainability Consultant Angela Adams shares her take on exciting initiatives sweeping the industry and hot topics expected to generate debate.

1+ We published a Measuring Fashion report this year: How would you describe the current state of the fashion industry?

Fashion is facing numerous interesting challenges and is in urgent need of a coherent strategy to improve the sustainability of the industry as a whole. Topics such as fast fashion, chemical management, circularity and microfiber pollution are fueling this need. Solid metrics are needed now more than ever. The industry must first determine its impacts in terms of environmental, social and economic sustainability and then set priorities in order to reduce them.

2+ What are some of the exciting initiatives you are seeing from fashion players?

World Resources Institute is leading an initiative to develop a sector guidance for apparel and footwear to set Science Based Targets (SBTs). Leading apparel brands such as Nike, C&A, Marks&Spencer, H&M, and our partner Kering have already signed on. There are also quite a few activities pushing towards circularity in order to reduce the resource demand of fashion. Social and natural capital valuation initiatives — which are much needed in this sector — are also gaining momentum with apparel brands: our client Hugo Boss has been exploring this topic at length (watch our webinar to learn more) and  Kering pioneered an Environmental Profit & Loss tool that makes the invisible impacts of business visible, quantifiable and comparable. 

3+ Quantis is sponsoring the event again this year: What keeps us coming back?

Quantis is excited to learn about how the industry as a whole is readying to face the key challenges in the apparel and footwear sector in 2018 and to engage with other participants to find solutions. We are looking forward to sharing our expertise on developing relevant sustainability strategies, applying our Land Use Change Guidance, and delivering transparent life cycle inventory data through the WALDB.

4+ Are there any topics in particular that you expect to generate debate at the conference?

Microfiber pollution and deforestation are key topics that are both highly complex and relevant to the sector. Quantis is quite active in both topics and is interested in exchanging with companies and other participants about how we’re making significant progress in this area with our research and together with our clients..

5+ What is Quantis’ contribution to help push forward the agenda on sustainable textiles?

We are working with key players in the footwear and apparel industries to measure environmental impacts, set science-based goals and develop solutions for a wide range of emerging sustainability topics. Some of the issues we’re currently exploring include ocean plastics and microfiber pollution, chemical toxicity, water use, and deforestation and land use change, the latter of which fall within the scope of our Land Use Change Guidance. Tools such as Ecologtex, designed in partnership with Hugo Boss to assess environmental impacts in the value chain; transparent and complete databases such as WALDB (World Apparel and Footwear Life Cycle Database); and research such as the Measuring Fashion report are just a few of the ways we are working to tackle these issues.

Ready to step up your sustainability strategy with metrics? Connect with the Quantis team at the event or contact Quantis apparel sector expert Angela Adams.