An interindustry discussion: How can the fashion industry collectively achieve decarbonisation targets?

by Asian Dialogues on Sustainability in the Textile and Garment Sector last modified 2022-05-23T16:19:16+07:00
  • When May 19, 2022 from 02:30 PM to 04:00 PM (Asia/Bangkok / UTC700)
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Many global brands have signalled their commitment to keep the climate from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius by publicly putting their names to science-based climate targets. The Sustainable Apparel Coalition, which has over 130 brand members, has committed its members to a 45 percent reduction in emissions by 2030. At the COP26 meeting in November 2021, 130 companies joined in an announcement that they would reach net-zero emissions by 2050.

But how will we collectively achieve these targets? Writing for Wired, journalist Alden Wicker has written: “Forget swapping in energy-efficient light bulbs in retail stores—according to the World Resources Insti-tute, 96 percent of a fashion brand’s footprint is in its manufacturing supply chain. In other words, it’s the factories (and to a lesser extent, farmers who grow cotton and raise sheep for wool and cows for leather) who will have to do the work so brands can reach these lofty, well-publicized goals.”

This panel discussion brings together key industry perspectives for a candid conversation about how to collectively achieve our climate goals: will universal science-based targets will have the impact for which we hope? What’s the plan for achieving these targets? As an industry, are we aligned about what that plan should be? What role should context play in figuring it out (geography, infrastructure, politics)? What’s a just way to decide what each actor along the supply chain’s contribution to collective goals should be? How do we define equal effort?

The conversation will be moderated by Kim van der Weerd. Co-founder and Host of Manufactured Podcast, Intelligence Director at Transformers Foundation, and Advisor to the Asia Garment Hub.

SPEAKERS:

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Mitsuko S. Wong is the Sustainability Lead, Product and Supply Chain at Ralph Lauren. She is also the co-chair of the UN Fashion Charter’s Low Carbon Manufacturing Working Group and member of the Steering Committee. Mitsuko has a long track record working in climate and supply chain sustainability initiatives. In addition to holding non-profit and corporate roles, she has consulted on various subject matters from corporate sustainability strategy and reporting, to energy, carbon, water, and environmental management.

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Bradley Abbot is a senior energy specialist with the Global Green Growth Institute and Leads the EU Switch Asia Funded Switch Garment Project. The Switch Garment project is a cooperation between GGGI the Garment Manufacturers Association in Cambodia, and the international energy and environment NGO Geres with the objective to improve competitiveness of Cambodian garment factories by scaling up investment in sustainable energy technologies and practices. Brad has worked for over 20 years as a resource efficiency and sustainability focused on the development and delivery of strategic initiatives covering the built environment, industrial process, and international development cooperation.

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Geoff Nichols
Employed by Nike for 27 years starting as Chemical Engineering Director in 1996 then holding roles in Innovation, Lean manufacturing and, since 2018 in Sustainability as Energy Deployment Director overseeing energy strategy deployment to the Nike supply chain. Geoff has worked for Nike in several Asia locations including Taiwan, South Korea, China, Vietnam, and Singapore.  Prior to Nike he worked in the construction chemicals industry in China, Saudi Arabia and the UK. Originally from New Zealand he has worked abroad since 1989. He is now back in New Zealand with his Irish wife and two of their three daughters.

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Martin Su is the Circulator and Chief Sustainability Officer at Yee Chain International Co.,Ltd, a fabric manufacturer headquartered in Taiwan and producing across Vietnam, China, and Indonesia for 20+ years. With a background in waste management and climate finance in both corporate and non-profit settings, Martin serves as the CSO for the company’s path towards a circular textile model. He has initiated collaborations with Fashion for Good, Forum for the Future, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Circular Taiwan Network, and beyond.  Martin was invited as a speaker for G20 Workshop on Circular Fashion, selected as the Next Gen voices for the Copenhagen Fashion Summit and presented at various other local and global events, providing a manufacturer perspective on circular fashion.

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Zaki Saleemi is Vice President of Crescent Bahuman Ltd, the first vertical denim jeans company of Pakistan.  It is a purpose-built factory and residential campus spread over 600 acres of land that has an in-house recycling plant that consumes sourced post-consumer waste and internal post-industrial waste fiber.  This facility also has a Cradle 2 Cradle Gold certification. Zaki’s experience in the textile industry also includes Klass Textiles Mills, Gul Ahmed Textiles Mills, US Apparel & Textiles, Neela Denim (Sapphire Fibres Ltd), and Rajby Industries. Zaki is proud to be a part of Rivet magazine’s top 50 most influential denim personalities for the year 2021.