Moderated by Mike Redwood of Leather Naturally, the organisers of the first edition of the Sustainable Fashion Conference, held during the APLF in Hong Kong on March 14, described it as “pragmatically informative and a true eye opener for many participants”. Panelists with backgrounds ranging from design to leather tanning debated about sustainability today. Topics discussed included blockchain, a technology that proves the integrity of a fully transparent supply chain.

During his presentation, Mark Blick, Head of Government Solutions, Diginex, told the participants that there are 40.3 million labour slaves in the world today and explained how blockchain can help with the issue. “Blockchain empowers good actors to do the right thing”, he said. Ralph Goodstone, founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum, explained how textile and clothing waste account for 20% of landfill volumes and highlighted the need to discourage fast fashion. Other panelists included Birgit Schnetzlinger, Lenzing’s Segment Manager Footwear – Global Business Management Industrial; Orietta Pelizzari, owner of Mattori Studio; Dr James Vreeland of Naturtex and Paulo Amaury, Director of Brazilian tanners, Nova Kaeru.