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The spark of change

In conversation with Elizabeth Abegg, Co-Founder & Chief Brand Officer, SPELL & The Gypsy Collective

One brand’s journey to responsible sourcing.

In 2016, Spell and the Gypsy Collective made the commitment to dig deep into their supply chain, learn further about process and understand more about impact.

This is a unique opportunity to hear from Elizabeth Abegg, the Co-Founder of Spell and the Gypsy Collective on how a customer query was the spark for change with one of Australia’s most popular brands and the integral role this commitment now plays in the future of their business.

What does brand leadership look like in the current climate of transparency and accountability?

Circularity in action

Clare Press, Podcaster and Sustainability-Editor-At-Large, VOGUE Australia

A profound shift in the way we think about design is taking place in waves across the industry.

What is this opportunity called circular fashion? Why do brands need to know about it and how can businesses of all sizes begin to think with circularity in mind?

An essential tool in any sourcing programme, considering cradle to cradle and circular thinking at the design stage is key to ensuring the usability and longevity of textiles whilst reducing fashion’s impact on natural resources.

Transparent supply chains & the race to end slavery : The Australian Modern Slavery Act

Mans Carlsson-Sweeny, AUSBIL Investment Management, Alexander Coward, Assistant Director, Senior Policy Officer, Modern Slavery Business Engagement Unit, Department of Home Affairs, James Bartle, CEO Outland Denim

Modern Slavery is hitting the headlines and for good reason. Each year, according to Walk Free Foundation, $4 billion worth of garments and accessories tainted by slavery are imported into Australia.

With a clear focus on supply chain transparency being key to the solution, the new Modern Slavery Act will require businesses to articulate their risks and demonstrate their actions.

This is new ground for the Australian fashion industry and means much more than just producing an annual statement. Beyond reporting requirements, what are the types of risks inherent in garment supply chains that brands need to manage? And crucially, what do brands do if they do find it?

Responsible materials sourcing

Lucy King, Sustainability Manager, Country Road Group & David Jones Limited, Brooke Summers, Cotton Australia and Stella Smith Stevens, Menswear Designer, Country Road

Natural resource depletion is increasing at an alarming rate. With the fashion industry responsible for large tracts of deforestation and high levels of water consumption in the production of just some of its popular fibres, brands are looking to alternative material sources to lower their impact.

Enter textile innovation and the circular economy. Reconfiguring fibre supply chains to sustainable and circular solutions is no small commitment though. Hear from leading brands transitioning from conventional to low impact materials and prioritising natural fibres. Learn how they got started, their challenges, the easy wins and what’s to come.

#metoo for garment workers

Dr Anu Mundkur, Head of Gender Equality, & Ruth Lancaster, Strategic Partnerships Manager, CARE Australia

How are we standing in solidarity with the women who make our clothes?

One in three female garment workers in Cambodia experienced sexual harassment in the past year. With 85% of the global garment workforce being female, sexual harassment and gender based violence is an issue that needs recognition and attention.

Hard to detect through audits, how do brands identify this behaviour In their workforce and go about addressing it? How as an industry can we challenge systemic behaviour doing harm to those we seek to empower?

CARE has been working with brands and their suppliers achieving some groundbreaking results. Giving women a voice to be heard, reducing absenteeism levels and proving the business case for a safe and dignified workplace.

Attendees will also learn about CARE’s campaign ‘This is Not Working’ and the STOP initiative and how these can help change the narrative for the women making our clothes.

Traceability 2.0: Technology taps nature for the answers

Sandon Adams, Managing Director, Oritain Australia

Tracing fibres to their country of origin has long been the holy grail of the apparel industry. With the possibility of substitution and blending along the supply chain and the added risk of raw materials being tainted by forced labour, the ability to reliably prove provenance and authenticate claims has been missing.

All along, nature has held the answer and now forensic science is bringing it to the fashion industry. Hear how Oritain is working with brands including The Kering Group (Gucci, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent) and Marks & Spencer to verify cotton and wool traceability from the field to the final product.

A game changer for consumer trust and supply chain integrity, its application has endless possibilities.

How does it work and which fibre is next?

On-shoring and the revival of Australian made: Beyond the rhetoric

Bianca Spender, Founder, Bianca Spender, Mary Lou Ryan, Co-Founder, Bassike and Andrew Cuccurullo, CEO Waverley Mills

Proximity to market, the ability to backfill at speed, oversight of working conditions and quality control. The pride in being Australian made. There’s good reason demand for local production is on the rise.

But can we meet it? An ageing workforce and outdated equipment are some of the vivid challenges facing Australian designers wanting to produce onshore.

With investment needed to modernise factories and training required to upskill the next generation of makers, who is stepping up to ensure local manufacturing thrives again? Hear from three brands whose roots are in Australian made, keeping homegrown alive.

The future is here

Gosia Piatek, Founder, KOWTOW, Courtney Holm, Founder, A.BCH & Zoltan Csaki, Co-Founder, Citizen Wolf

The future of fashion is bright with a growing number of independent designers establishing brands with sustainability and responsible sourcing at their core.

Challenging the status quo, these businesses are redefining supply chains, prioritising transparency and demonstrating bold, values- based leadership.

What hurdles are faced when innovating for a resilient future? How does sourcing and manufacturing differ in a non-traditional model? Are things getting easier as the world wakes up to the multiple crises on our hands?

For these leaders, creating a new future for fashion is the only option.





Water stewardship in apparel supply chains

Sophie Ge & Michael Spencer, Alliance for Water Stewardship Asia Pacific

The Asia-Pacific region, where the Australian apparel supply chain is centred, is facing growing water stress. Fast becoming one of the industry’s fashion victims, factories are under scrutiny for their management and pollution of this vital resource.

How can brands partner with their suppliers to ensure they are doing as much as they can to strengthen water governance in regions they produce in and help restore waterways and ecosystems? Water is not only a reputational risk but a business one.


Introduction to Textile Exchange

Valentina Zarew, Ambassador Australia & New Zealand, Textile Exchange

Textile Exchange is a global non-profit that works closely with its members to drive industry transformation in preferred fibres, integrity and standards and responsible supply networks.

The organisation identifies and shares best practice regarding farming, materials, processing, traceability and product end-of-life in order to reduce the textile industry’s impact on the world’s water, soil and air, and the human population.

Attendees will be introduced to the organisation as well as its fibre standards which support the integrity of product claims through third party verification.


Designing with circularity

Dr Clara Vuletich & Teslin Doud

The power of circular fashion starts in the design phase.

By designing for circularity and disassembly, repair, reuse and the designing out of waste becomes possible.

Attendees will learn the principles of circular design thinking and why the post use phase of a product and it’s repurposing can only be effective when circularity is applied at the start.


Sustainability storytelling: communicating value

Courtney Sanders, Co-Founder, Well Made Clothes & Claire Mueller, Brand Creative

Communicating value isn’t easy. Finding a genuine, engaging voice with customers is essential for any brand sharing their sustainability journey. As consumers become more sophisticated in their understanding and hold the industry accountable for it’s impacts, ensuring the message is honest and accurate is essential.

Attendees will learn customer insights from the Well Made Clothes values framework, how messages translate, and be guided through a process of value setting and transparency to assist brands with their own communications strategies.


Textile Waste Solutions: Avoiding landfill at all costs

Andie Halas, CEO Thread Together & Aife O’loughlin, Customer Experience Manager, Salvos Stores

It’s no secret we are swimming in textile waste. The crisis is looming large over the industry and solutions are being sought to reduce environmental harm whilst creating social impact at the same time.

So where can it all go? Not to China we know that much.

Thread Harvest provides one solution by matching donations of new stock from brand partners, including factory seconds and samples, to registered charities serving those that don’t have access to essential clothing. With over 30 fashion brands and 150 charity partners, community based ‘wardrobes’ and clothing hubs service those in need.

Salvos Stores are launching their new initiative ‘Moving the Needle’ calling on brands as well as consumers to partner up on ways to keep clothing out of landfill. Encouraging a collaborative effort, they are calling on the industry to work together towards a shared goal of an increase in textile diversion from landfill by 20% by 2022. Brands can sign up to the pledge by committing to at least one of a list of actions whilst consumers play their part too.

Learn more about these tangible and practical solutions designed to keep clothing in use and on our back, where it belongs.


Managing hazardous substances

Kate Barry, General Manager, TESTEX Australia

The dyes used in production are just as important as the choice of fibres.

Safe dyes protect garment workers, consumers and the environment and are increasingly the subject of regulation around the world.

Learn about the suite of Oeko-Tex standards for raw materials, the correct usage of the certification in brand marketing and how Oeko-Tex certification aligns with the ZDHC (Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals) Roadmap to Zero Programme.