Dear BoF Community,
As the United States is rocked by anti-racism protests and coronavirus cases surge globally, with the climate crisis still looming in the background, it’s time for fashion to take a clear-eyed look at its role in the world. Consumers and government regulators are paying more attention than ever, and so must fashion professionals. Please join us on 17 June 2020 for the BoF Professional Summit on How to Build a Responsible Fashion Business, where we will cover topics from racial equity to workers’ rights and the climate emergency.
With its tremendous power and influence, the global fashion industry has a moral obligation, not only to shareholders, but to a wider set of stakeholders, from employees and garment workers further down the supply chain to society at large and the health of the planet.
Last year, the global fashion industry produced 114 billion pieces of clothing: mostly cheap, disposable products, manufactured in enormous quantities, using a vast amount of natural resources, often by workers toiling away in horrific conditions at a huge social and environmental cost. Meanwhile, the fashion industry is also having a reckoning about its own racism. The sector has long profited from black culture, appropriating its "cool" to sell clothes while the industry’s power structure remains largely white. Virgil Abloh and Balmain's Olivier Rousteing are the only black creative directors at major global brands, and there are almost no black CEOs.
How to Build a Responsible Fashion Business
It will take visionary leadership, imagination and collaboration to create a more just, inclusive and sustainable fashion industry. This will require allocating investments now, even when budgets are tight. We also need effective government policy, alignment from fashion educators, concerted commitments and actions by fashion companies to address carbon impact and human rights across the entire value chain, and a new lexicon for engaging with customers in an honest way that excites them about a more responsible fashion industry. Nothing will be easy or straightforward, but we need it now more than ever. And we invite you to join us in these important conversations.
The BoF Professional Summit will be broadcast live online and will comprise a practical, half-day programme of conversations, workshops, keynotes and panels led by BoF’s expert editors and correspondents, aiming to help business leaders, creatives and entrepreneurs begin their journey towards more responsible fashion business practices. The BoF Professional Summit is presented by Shopify Plus.
Reimagining Racial Equity From the Ground Up
Aniyia Williams, Founder & Director, Black & Brown Founders & Zebras Unite
From Crisis to Progress: The Future of Labour Rights in Fashion’s Supply Chain
Kalpona Akter, Founder & Executive Director, Bangladesh Centre for Worker Solidarity
Sarah Ditty, Global Policy Director, Fashion Revolution
Sarah Kent, Sustainability Correspondent, The Business of Fashion
Has 'Sustainability' Become a Dirty Word?
Eileen Fisher, Founder & Co-Chief Executive, Eileen Fisher Inc.
August Bard-Bringéus, Co-Founder, Asket
Gabriela Hearst, Designer, Gabriela Hearst
Lauren Sherman, Executive Editor, The Business of Fashion
Workshop 1: Measuring Your Progress: How to Reduce Environmental Impact and Increase Social Justice
Amina Razvi, Executive Director, Sustainable Apparel Coalition
The Rise of DTC: How To Scale Responsibly
Shimona Mehta, Head of EMEA, Shopify Plus
Workshop 2: A Fashion Upcycling Workshop: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Nicole McLaughlin, Designer, Nicole McLaughlin
Chantal Fernandez, Senior Correspondent, The Business of Fashion