Björn Brorström is vice-chancellor at the University of Borås and professor of Business Administration. In 1982, Björn Brorström earned his PhD in Business Administration at the University of Gothenburg with a thesis on how decision-makers use accounting information to assess operations and finances. Today, Björn Brorström has numerous local, regional and national assignments related to his position as Vice-Chancellor: member of The Association of Swedish Higher Education (SUHF); member of the National Library of Sweden’s national reference group; chairman of SUHF’s steering committee for the Forum for Library Directors; chairman of the Forum for Prehospital R&D in West Sweden; and chairman of Kommunforskning i Västsverige.
INTRODUCTION AND MODERATION
Simonetta Carbonaro is an expert in consumer psychology, strategic marketing and design management. She carries out research in the area of consumer ethos and behaviour, forecasting the directions consumer culture is moving in. Since 2002 she has been a professor in Design Management and Humanistic Marketing at The Swedish School of Textiles, where she has been initiating The Design of Prosperity initiative. She is also a partner at REALISE GmbH, a business consulting firm based in Germany, where she is actively involved in brand management.
Sofie Schop is the Senior Project Manager of Communications at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC). SAC is an industry organisation, which represents nearly 40% of all clothing and footwear sold worldwide. It comprises brands, retailers, manufacturers, government, and non-governmental organisations and academic experts. SAC developed the Higg Index, a holistic self-assessment tool for measuring environmental and social impact at all levels of the supply chain. Sofie’s role within SAC primarily focuses on creating Higg Transparency. Together with the SAC members, she co-creates communication tools to enable consumers to choose products based on trusted sustainability information.
KEYNOTE STAGE INTERVIEW
Bruno Pieters, the Belgian fashion designer and art director highly regarded for his avant-garde creations and sharp tailoring, believes that “fashion is about beauty and that the story behind fashion can be equally beautiful”. He developed his craft working with designers including Martin Margiela and Christian Lacroix and for brands as Delvaux and Hugo Boss before taking a sabbatical time travelling through India. The radical effect of that experience rose the bar of his concern for the environment, animal welfare, and children’s causes. In 2012 he founded Honest By - the world's first 100% transparent company and pioneer in price transparency, which represents a revolutionary new statement in the fashion world.
In 2014 Pieters established the Future Fashion Designer Scholarship (FFDS) – the scholarship designed to support students with the ambition to work in a transparent and sustainable way outside the existing fashion mould. Successful applicants are not only awarded a share of a total annual bursary of 10,000 euros, but benefit also from guidance and mentoring from Pieters and his Honest By team. Pieters also launched the 'List ' on his Honest By website: a freely accessible databank of sustainable fabric and yarn suppliers that enables designers to make even more informed choices regarding ethical fashion. As Pieters explains: “Every yard of fabric a designer orders can be a tool for change.
Hendrik Alpen is working as Sustainability Business Expert in H&M’s Head office in Stockholm, Sweden. From here, he leads in the company’s stakeholder engagement work. During 15 years at H&M, he worked in various positions in Sweden, Germany and Bangladesh, including responsibility for H&M’s sustainability communication and its award-winning sustainability reporting.
Sandy Black is Professor of Fashion and Textile Design and Technology at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts and member of the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, with extensive experience in both the fashion industry and academia. In the last thirteen years Black's research has examined the way the fashion industry is changing and must radically evolve to accommodate environmental concerns.
With her groundbreaking books Eco-chic: The Fashion Paradox and The Sustainable Fashion Handbook, Black is a pioneer in the academic community, exposing the naked truth behind the clothes we wear, exploring alternate practices and assessing their feasibility.
Black leads the Considerate Design and FIRE (Fashion, Innovation, Research, Evolution) project series and she publishes widely on fashion & textiles design and sustainability, and their intersection with science and technology. She is founder and co-editor of the journal Fashion Practice: Design, Creative Process and the Fashion.
Sigrid Barnekow is Program Director of Mistra Future Fashion, a research program on sustainable fashion. It serves for a future positive fashion industry, where new knowledge and innovations drive systemic change. The research is cross-disciplinary and covers Design, Supply Chain, User and Recycling, in a consortium with 50 research and industry partners.
Sarah Ditty is the head of policy and campaigns at Fashion Revolution, the global movement calling for greater transparency in the fashion industry. Sarah works to influence the public, the industry and policymakers towards a more ethical and sustainable fashion future, as well as leading the development of Fashion Revolution’s annual Fashion Transparency Index.
Sarah previously headed up research and content at Ethical Fashion Forum, supporting small fashion businesses to grow sustainably. She has also worked for materials sourcing platform lesouk.co, circular resource consultancy Worn Again, and fair trade fashion NGO Trading for Development.