The Innovation Forum benefits from the support of a newly established Advisory Board; which consists of six industry experts who provide insights on how sustainable practices can be further woven across the fashion industry. Collectively, these industry insiders support the curation of innovative (and sustainable) solutions throughout the entire value chain.
Dio Kurazawa, as founder of The Bear Scouts, assists influential brands with the implementation of innovative sustainable practices through the creation and implementation of socially responsible supply chains. Also serving as head of denim of globally leading trend-forecaster WGSN, Kurazawa has more than 20 years in the fashion industry. Kurazawa and his team of supply chain experts are proud supporters of social responsibility and start every project with sustainability as a core focus.
“In order to move forward and make meaningful change, we must come together inclusively and without competition.”
Jade Buddenberg has run Zalando’s sustainable fashion strategy for the last three years, working to make a more sustainable assortment accessible for the company’s over 29 million customers. She has also played a key role in developing Zalando’s newly launched sustainability strategy, do.More, which will help Zalando reach its vision to have a net-positive impact on people and the planet. Previously, Buddenberg advised sustainability stakeholder initiatives in both the private sector and for, e.g. Textil Bündnis and UN Women.
“Considering the serious challenges our industry is facing, bold innovations are necessary to find sustainable solutions for people and the planet. Collaboration is key. We are pleased to contribute to Innovation Forum through our scale across 17 markets, direct access to over 2,000 brands, 31 million customers and tech know-how.”
Brittany Burns is responsible for global expansion, scaling operations and developing partnerships across the Fashion For Good innovation platform. Prior to joining the initiative, Burns was Head of Growth at GeoPhy, an artificial intelligence start-up, where she led seed funding, Series A fundraising, investor relations and commercial operations, growing the company from 10 to 100+ staff across four countries. She also served in the Obama Administration driving sustainable design initiatives and digital services across more than a dozen federal agencies.
“Fashion for Good’s ambition is to reimagine the way fashion is designed, made, worn and reused. This systemic change cannot happen in a bubble. We’re excited to contribute to Innovation Forum to catalyse leading innovations and drive an open collaboration culture, a key step towards a circular fashion system.”
Julian Lings leads and manages sustainability at The North Face in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. His is also responsible for leading its efforts on environmental responsibility initiatives in product creation, supply chain partners, circular economy programmes and the company’s conservation agenda. Previously, Lings spent a considerable portion of his career at Tesco working across the business’ communications, government Affairs and sustainability functions. He has seen first-hand the evolution of the sustainability agenda and its potential.
“Groundbreaking innovation has been at the heart of The North Face for over 50 years and continues to drive our sustainability journey. Innovation Forum provides an exciting platform for stakeholders to come together and engage with some of the key pioneering innovators helping to shape a sustainable future for fashion.”
Christian Smith has over ten years’ experience in human rights and sustainability. He currently works with policy and strategy at Fair Wear Foundation and ensures that policies are updated to keep Fair Wear members ahead of the curve. He also works on the organisational strategy to drive the garment industry to become fair for all.
“Having workers understand their right to decent work and consequently their environmental rights, and then acting on those rights is the only way to have an impact on long-term systemic sustainable change in the apparel industry – in fact in any industry.”
Catherine Chiu, an expert with more than 20 years’ experience in textile and garment manufacturing, has overseen development of Crystal Group’s sustainability strategy and roadmap since 2008. Besides developing its five-year global sustainability targets, she is highly involved in sustainability projects in the Group’s factories in Asia, for example, she set up a low carbon manufacturing system and a female empowerment programme. To ensure transparency, she publishes the annual group Sustainability Report and disseminates best practices to various industry stakeholders.
“As a manufacturer, I would like to help drive process innovation, and not just product innovation in our industry, because it drives productivity, profitability and sustainability. This approach would help protect product integrity, production efficiency, employee welfare and the environment while adding value to our products and enhancing customer satisfaction.”