Eco-Age Team Out and About

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.

Wednesday 29th January – Charlotte Turner speaks about ethics in the creative industry at London College of Fashion

On 29th January, Eco-Age’s Head of Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Charlotte Turner joined experts working in education, technology, and marketing for a networking debate for final year undergraduates, postgraduates, staff, and industry experts. Charlotte was joined by speakers including Lisa Levinson, Head of Marketing and Communications for the Diamond Producer Association, and Moin Roberts-Islam, Technology Development Manager a Fashion Innovation Agency.

The event ‘Brand Value: Ethics in the Creative Industry’ focused on two key topics: the customers’ shifting demands towards ethical business practices, and the psychology behind the internal debate between the pleasure of purchasing and buyer’s guilt. The participatory discussion ranged from consumer behaviour and psychologies, to holistic responsible workplace management – from production and manufacturing supply chains to the office setting, and even the circular economy and the role of blockchain for traceability.

Tuesday 7th January – Charlotte Turner and Emily Turner speak about sustainability in fashion at Conde Nast College

On 7th January, Eco-Age’s Head of Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Charlotte Turner and Communications Account Director Emily Turner went to talk to students at the Conde Nast College about the topic of sustainability in fashion, its significance – and what it actually means. 

The discussion covered issues from the climate crisis we are facing and the consequent biodiversity loss, waste and pollution, all the way to human rights violations and health and wellbeing in the fashion and textiles supply chain. The students asked insightful questions and engaged in debate as the roles and responsibilities of social media and brand influence were explored.

Charlotte and Emily were interviewed for the Conde Nast IGTV Q&A series, where their insights into sustainability in fashion can be found. 

Friday 29th November – Alessandra Gargiulo, Federica Bertolani and Emily Turner participate at global project launch for sustainable fashion and textiles in Armenia  

In November, the Eco-Age team went to Yerevan to help launch a two-year project focused on the sustainable development of Armenia’s fashion and textile industry. 

On November 29, our Account Director Emily Turner participated in the opening press conference alongside British Ambassador David Moran, and Armenian Fashion and Design Chamber representatives, President Vahan Khachatryan and Co-Founder Elen Manukya. 

The two-year project, “Creating a Sustainable Ecosystem for Armenian Fashion and Textile Industry”, will focus on upgrading technical and business skills, expanding the sector’s presence both locally and internationally, and developing sustainable production methods based on the recycling model. The project is implemented by Fashion and Design Chamber of Armenia in partnership with Fashion Scout and Eco Age.

Following the launch event and site visits to local garment production companies, Eco-Age Senior Account Managers Alessandra Gargiulo and Federica Bertolani ran two days of workshops and training sessions for local producers and designers respectively. The trainings focused on the key ingredients of a sustainable fashion industry, covering topics such as low-impact materials, traceability and supply chain management, with a special focus on the principles of a circular economy.

Saturday 19th October – Charlotte Turner speaking at Marguerite: Let’s Talk about Sustainability & Circularity in Fashion

On Saturday the 19th October, our Head of Sustainable Fashion & Textiles, Charlotte Turner participated in a discussion with Aja Barber, an inspiring writer and consultant focusing on sustainability, ethics, intersectional feminism, racism and all the ways systems of power effect our buying habits. The panel discussion, named ‘Who do we trust? Greenwashing and what brands are really doing to help us be more sustainable’ was moderated by Lifestyle Editor of The Independent, Harriet Hall and focused on the sustainability efforts of fashion brands, how sustainability information is published and marketed, and how to read between the lines in order to identify greenwashing – as well as considering just why we are in the situation we are in.

The day saw a range of experts take to the sofa, including author of How To Break Up With Fast Fashion, Lauren Bravo and environmental activist and digital content creator, Venetia Falconer. The panel discussions were just one part of the afternoon event hosted by Marguerite, a network for women who work in the visual arts with the mission of convening like-minded and creative women to address some of the wide-ranging issues faced by women in the design world. Event guests were able to experience panel discussions, pop-up shops, and upcycling workshops.

Image credit: Marguerite and Luke Fullalove

Friday 20th September – Charlotte Turner speaking at Pause Fashion Hub

On 20th September, Eco-Age’s Head of Sustainable Fashion and Textiles Charlotte Turner took part in a panel discussion as part of the 9th edition of the PAUSE Conscious Pop Up Store, consisting of a 10 day sustainable fashion store with a full agenda of inspiring and impactful activities. This event took place at the Freemasons’ Hall, an iconic destination in Covent Garden in London.

PAUSE Conscious Pop-Up is a dynamic experience where sustainable brands from all over the world share their stories, showcase their concepts and offer their designs in a playful and inspiring atmosphere. The London pop-up showcased an exquisite curation and selection of 100 sustainable designers from all over the world, plus performances and exhibitions from local and international artists, live fashion editorial photoshoots, educational experiences and panel discussions.

Charlotte’s panel, titled ‘Be the change now: Solutions to build a sustainable brand’ explored opportunities and barriers for creating a brand with sustainability at its core, addressing issues such as the climate emergency, and supply chain solutions to create fashion with a reduced environmental impact and more positive social impact.

Monday 16th September – Charlotte Turner speaking at Sustainability and Creativity Symposium, Helsinki Fashion Week

Yesterday, Charlotte Turner, Eco-Age’s head of sustainable fashion and textiles, participated in a panel discussion at the Sustainability and Creativity Symposium as part of the Helsinki Fashion Week Symposium Tour. Charlotte joined a collective of sustainability experts; ranging from fashion week organisers to activists, academics and journalists to discuss the relationship between creativity and sustainability. The panel was moderated by Evelyn Mora, founder of Helsinki Fashion Week, who led the team of experts including core member of the Union of Concerned Researchers in Fashion, Amy Twigger Holroyd; freelance sustainability journalist Bel Jacobs, and Extinction Rebellion’s Sara Arnold; to discuss the current landscape of the fashion industry, and share possible solutions to minimise its impact on society and the natural world in light of the climate crisis we are in. The overarching message was that we need to collaborate with urgent grassroots, government and industry action to rethink the entire fashion system, from implementing real living wages to readdressing how we consume and express ourselves through fashion. All of this without forgetting the important role that creativity plays in both fashion and working towards a more sustainable future

The event was part of Helsinki Fashion Week’s mission to spark much needed conversations between the public, designers and brands alike to engage in a more responsible fashion industry. By the time Helsinki Fashion Week comes to an end, symposiums will have been held at four of the world’s major cities, with each event featuring The Fashion Installation: Connecting Fashion & Impact, which aims to gather the perspectives of select sustainability-focused Finnish and international designers who present their different narratives by creating reduced-impact garments and translating sustainability into something tangible in the creative design process. Last week saw an exploration of cultural influence in New York, and the coming weeks will witness an exploration of traditions in Milan, and the canvassing of luxury in Paris.

Thursday 12th September – Charlotte Turner speaking at the Prince’s Trust Fashion Futures

Last night, our head of sustainable fashion and textiles, Charlotte Turner took part in a panel discussion at the Prince’s Trust Fashion Futures, a social initiative propelled by 2210 Fashion, WeWork, AOFM Pro and INANCH LONDON. The event was centred on the bi-annual catwalk initiative that focuses on bringing recognition to emerging young designers and providing them with a free platform to exhibit their creations. Although this year’s designers vary in background, methods and approach to design, their collective work is a response to the environmental and societal impacts associated with the fashion industry and show that good design and good practice are far from mutually exclusive. 

As a mentor for emerging designers, the cause is close to Charlotte’s heart and she joined the Fashion Futures designers on stage to be interviewed by Isabella Charlotta Poppius of the Evening Standard Insider.  The group shared their various sustainability journeys and discussed the importance of responsible design in the current fashion landscape, and the challenges faced by emerging and sustainability-focused designers. It is an exciting time for designers with a sustainability focus: the increasing level of public awareness combined with changing attitudes towards responsible fashion can be harnessed and used as a vehicle for much-needed change in the industry.  

The Prince’s Trust works towards empowering emerging professionals, whether through its Trusts, programmes or initiatives such as this one.

Image credit: Philipp von der Heydt 

Monday 1st July – Charlotte Turner speaking at Net Zero London

Last night our head of sustainable fashion and textiles Charlotte Turner participated in Net Zero London, an event held as part of Climate Action Week. The event was organised by Arup and C40 Cities and focused on their collaborative research findings with Leeds University which explored consumption-based emissions of capital cities around the world, and in London’s case the implications of achieving the city’s net zero target. The term ‘net zero’ means the balancing of emissions through absorbing the equivalent amount from the atmosphere, and if we are to meet the global warming target outlined in the Paris Agreement, global carbon emissions must reach net zero by 2050.

Sustainability specialists from a range of industries including food, fashion and city planning shared their responses to the report’s findings, discussing the current carbon emissions situation in their field, and suggested actions we can take to reduce consumption-based emissions.

Charlotte joined other industry experts such as Kath Dalmeny of Sustain and Derwent London’s John Davies on stage to discuss current sustainability issues in their respective fields, and possible solutions to these issues.

For fashion and textiles, this includes exploring and investing in circular systems that close the loop on the colossal volumes of textile waste that is generated by almost every nation on earth. Three varied yet viable options that stand to benefit brands, customers and the wider environment were discussed, including rental and resale business models, as well as garment repair and take back schemes.

Wednesday 19th June 2019 – Livia Firth at Cannes Lion

Thursday 13th June 2019 – Dolly Jones at “Just How Ethical Is Your Brand Story?” Panel at Annabel’s

This morning, our chief content officer Dolly Jones discussed how the increasing awareness around issues such as diversity and climate change in recent years means brands must make sure their message feels more authentic than ever before, during a panel discussion at Annabel’s alongside Mother of Pearl’s Amy Powney, ambassador of Skin&Tonic ethical skincare Jodie Kidd and stylist and Oxfam ambassador Bay Garnett. 

Dolly quoted Joan Didion: “People tell each other stories in order to live,” before adding, “Starting with the provenance of your clothes, it’s the story of consumerism that is changing.”

Thursday 6th June 2019 – Sustainability panel discussion at Misha Nonoo pop up

Last night Charlotte Turner, Head of Sustainable Fashion and Textiles at Eco-Age, participated in a panel discussion focused on sustainability and fashion at the Misha Nonoo pop up in Marylebone.

Charlotte joined Ethical Fashion journalist Bel Jacobs, Cora Hilts, co-founder and CEO of Rêve En Vert, and Henrietta Thompson, co-founder and Director of HARTH on the panel chaired by Misha Nonoo. 

The conversation explored the different ideas and definitions of the term “sustainable”, how the industry’s sustainability (or lack thereof) is portrayed in the media, and the future of sustainable fashion – and the fashion industry in general. 

It was an incredibly engaging event incorporating viewpoints and experiences from different industries and sectors, from design, retail and business models, to education, communications and media, addressing fashion, textiles, and interiors.

The audience participation was equally inspiring, with insightful questions relating to business models, the role of influencers, accessibility to more sustainable fashion, and traceability of supply chains. 

The Misha Nonoo pop up will be open until the end of the month on Marylebone Lane.  

Wednesday 29th May –  Harriet Vocking chairing a panel at the ‘Reuse, Recycle, Rethink’ panel at the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress, Barcelona

Over 2,500 presidents, CROs and executives gathered in Barcelona today at the Retail & Brand Experience World Congress – the first international gathering addressing how the retail environment is responding to the challenges and opportunities posed by emerging technologies, omni-channel, real estate, and changing consumer expectations.

Our chief brand officer Harriet Vocking chaired the “Reuse, Recycle, Rethink” panel, where she was joined by three leaders in sustainability within the fashion industry to discuss why addressing your environmental impacts is not only better for the planet,  but also makes good business sense.

Joining Harriet for the panel discussion were Alberto Candiani, global manager at Candiani Denim – Europe’s largest denim mill at the forefront of sustainable denim production through its low-impact processes; Trisha Gregory, co-founder and CEO of Armarium – an online luxury rental and styling destination; and Giulio Bonazzi, CEO of Aquafil – creators of ECONYL recyclable nylon yarn made entirely from plastic waste.

Wednesday 01 May, 2019 – Eco-Age at the Sustanable Pop-Up

This week our partnership manager Robyn Hamilton attended the launch of the Sustainable Pop-Up, a showcase of new talent in sustainable style. Speaking on behalf of Oramai London, one of the first brands to be awarded the Eco-Age brandmark, Robyn talked all things Eco-Age and the pleasure of working with Oramai under the brandmark intitive. 

The pop-up itself was a mecca of creatives with sustainability at heart; from Oramai London delivering beautiful hand-crafted pieces, to menswear linen pioneers Flax. The pop-up runs from 1st May – 14th May 10am – 9pm AT 341 Kings Road. 

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.”