Source Summit 2015 – How can technology shape a sustainable fashion industry?

Source Summit 2015 – How can technology shape a sustainable fashion industry?


On Wednesday June 10th, People Tree attended the annual Source Summit conference in the Amnesty International building in London.

Hosted by the Ethical Fashion Forum, the event brings together hundreds of fashion professional and sustainability experts to share their ideas and knowledge of where sustainability in the fashion industry is headed. The theme of this year’s gathering was ‘Future Fashion – Transformative Technology’ and in a mix of discussions, workshops and classes, delegates debated how the future of fashion will be shaped by current developments in technology.

‘Technology can be used as a force for good’ – Cyndi Rhoades

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The day kicked off with a trend presentation of recent developments by Sarah Ditty, editor-in-chief of the Ethical Fashion Forum, and an industry leaders panel on how technology can shape a sustainable future in fashion. The panel included Caitlin Bristol who is the Global manager of Social Innovation at eBay and Cyndi Rhoades, CEO of ‘Worn Again’, which is a pioneering company developing a system to recycle textile fibres in a closed-loop system, amongst others.

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Delegates then split up into smaller discussion groups covering topics like recycling, certification, transparency & traceability, working with artisans and how to inspire the next generation of professionals.  The afternoon brought various master-classes, of which two could be attended by each attendee. The different themes were retail, design, innovation and supply chain, all with a focus on sustainability.

The day was enhanced with plenty of opportunities to network, mingle and to share experiences and thoughts. In between the crowd we also spotted a People Tree item – the Abigail leaf print dress – worn by the lovely Jo Salter, founder of ‘Where does it come from’ a 100% transparent brand.

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‘91% of companies don’t know where their cotton comes from’ –Sarah Ditty

The closing plenary ended with a question to the audience: will technology transform the fashion industry for the better or for the worse? With a show of hands, the majority of delegates voted for the positive perspective while no one thought that technology would worsen the current state of fashion.

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