Eco-Age Team Out and About

By Eco-Age

The Eco-Age team are often out and about speaking about the latest developments in the world of sustainability at international events and conferences; follow us here for where to catch us next.

Tuesday 9th April & Wednesday 10th April, 2019 - Livia Firth and Harriet Vocking speaking at the IWTO Congress, Venice

This week our creative director Livia Firth and chief brand officer Harriet Vocking will be speaking at the 88th International Wool Textile Organisation (IWTO) Congress in Venice, Italy, which takes place from the 9th-11th April. Combining Italy's rich wool heritage with the latest research and developments in wool applications,  the programme highlights sustainability, traceability, wool décor and health and wellness along with visits to the headquarters of Benetton and Marzotto. 

On the morning of the 9th April, Livia delivered the keynote address, presenting the film Forever Tasmania and sharing the story of her trip to Australia to meet the wool growers.  “All too often we’re witnessing production travelling in the wrong direction. Increased volumes and the use of vast quantities of petroleum based, synthetic fibres suggest this model is consequence free. It isn’t,” she said. “But in Tasmania I found growers producing fine wool for the global apparel industry with a deep understanding of the need to work within the earth’s biological capacity. They were clear that their role was not just as fibre producers, but equally as custodians of this incredible landscape. When someone has changed over 20 years to embrace sustainability so deeply, that is very moving - not to mention, instructive.”

On the morning of 10th April, Harriet delivered a talk about Eco-Age’s work with wool, what becoming more sustainable means, Eco-Age Principles of Excellence, and three growth areas for wool (traceability, innovation, design) during the Sustainability session.  

Tuesday 9th April - Nicola Giuggioli speaking at Fashion & Design - Innovation and investment trends

To coincide with Design Week in Milan, Endeavor - a non-profit organisation that supports high-impact entrepreneurs - with support from Eco-Age, has organised an event focused on bringing together Milan’s leaders in the Fashion, Design and Lifestyle sectors with Endeavor’s entrepreneurs, mentors and members of the Board to share best practices and identify potential synergies and opportunities for collaboration. 

Nicola joined Simon Giuliani, Global Marketing Director, Candiani, in a panel discussion to explore how the implementation of digital and innovative technologies may improve the corporate sustainability of Fashion and Design companies, in order to reduce their environmental and social footprint and introduce circular economy strategies. 

"Thanks to technology, you don't have to compromise anymore with aesthetics. A sustainable fabric can be and look beautiful," said Simon.

"There is no point in demonizing companies because they sell, or consumers because they buy. It's how they do it that matters," added Nicola. "Communication is key to inspire and enable consumers to make the right choice, to show that sustainability is actually cool."

"Greenwashing exists, but communication can be the tool to fight it if you communicate in a way that is transparent and educational and tackles the key impacts of a firm, not to distract consumers from what are your key issues, but to educate consumers on what you do to tackle your key issues," he added.

Wednesday 3rd April, 2019 - Dolly Jones speaking at Royal Marsden Gala 

This morning, our Chief Content Officer Dolly Jones joined a panel discussion on the future of modern luxury at the Royal Marsden Gala with Mother of Pearl Creative Director Amy Powney, interviewed by Royal Marsden Gala committee co-chair Rosanna Falconer. All proceeds from the event go to the Royal Marsden. 

"The sustainability revolution we are seeing now reflects the digital revolution we saw all those years ago - luxury brands are slowly realising it’s an essential to have central to their business," said Dolly during the discussion. "As the consumer demands it; and the millennial workforce demand it of the businesses they work for, brands have to get their ducks in line."

"A clear conscience is the ultimate luxury," she added.

Tuesday 2nd April, 2019 - Livia Firth chairing a panel at Salone Del Risparmio

The aim of this year's Salone Del Risparmio event was to examine the changes that are revolutionizing the relationship between finance, the economy and respect for natural, social and governance equilibriums.   Livia chaired a panel discussion at the event, discussing how sustainability drives value into businesses. The risks from environmental, social and economic crises are clear to see - not just for our planet and society, but also the future resilience of the global economy. Forward thinking organizations are seizing the inherent opportunities of sustainable, resilient business models.

On the panel was Carlo Capasa, president of CNMI, who has been at the forefront of the sustainability movement within the fashion sector in Italy; supermodel and actress Eva Herzigova; and Rossana Orlandi - an icon of the design world globally who this year has launched a Plastic Free Prize at Salone Del Mobile.

"70% of consumers are willing to pay a premium price for sustainable products - a clear sign that sustainability will be the key driver of companies’ success," said Carlo Capasa during the discussion. "It is no wonder that investment in sustainable brands is growing. Today, 1 out of 4 dollars invested is directed towards companies which invest in their Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) performance. This trend is bound to continuously grow in the future."

"Here today, you have an incredible responsibility as you have the opportunity to create a positive economy," Livia told the delegates in attendance.  "Let’s move away from the concept of growing economy, to the concept of a positive economy; away from short-term data and analytics, towards long-term returns that are positive for our future generations."

"This is our responsibility, as citizens, today."

Watch the Live Stream of the event here: 

Eco-Age Team Out and About