WTS Explores Business Basis of Textile Sustainability
The World Textile Summit, a unique one-day event that brings together the world’s most influential textile business leaders to debate issues of strategic importance to the global industry, gave more than 150 textile industry leaders a range of expert insights into the business issues that feed into decisions on sustainability in the textile supply chain.
Co-located with ITMA 2015 in Milan, the world’s most prestigious exhibition of textile manufacturing technology, the Summit had a programme designed to examine how investment in ‘clean’ manufacturing or the use of sustainably sourced materials can help add value to companies at all levels of the supply chain, WTS said in a press release.
It opened with a keynote address by Mary Porter Peschka, Director, Advisory Services, at the International Finance Corporation (IF), a division of the World Bank. Peschka explained how the IFC, which operates as the Bank’s commercial arm, assists Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) in developing economies, often providing investment finance where other sources are either unavailable or too expensive. It also provides consultancy to industry and governments on measure to improve sustainability.
The subject of sustainability aligned with the overarching theme of ITMA 2015, which continues at the Fiera Milano Rho, in Milan until November 19, and the event was structured to assist senior textile decision-makers in formulating strategy. Its elements include the role of sustainability in differentiating brands and companies, business profitability and security, investment decisions, the circular supply chain, customer acquisition and retention and product development
Paula Oliveira, Director, Interbrand, who explained how sustainability can deliver a marketing edge by differentiating brands and companies. Vivek Tandon, co-founder of French private-equity investor Aloe Group, which specialises in sustainable investments and has interests in the fibre sector, gave an investor’s perspective.
There then followed a session in which three textile industry leaders gave their first-hand accounts of the advantages of investment in ‘clean’ manufacturing. Maurizio Ribotti, of Canepa SpA (Italy), Roger Yeh, of Everest Textile Co Ltd (Taiwan), and Ajay Sardana, of Aditya Birla Group (India), each briefly described their company’s experience and joined an open discussion on the investment case for ‘green’ technology.
The event ended with Burak Tun, Director Sales, Menderes Tekstil (Turkey) and Alan Garosi, Global Marketing Manager, Fulgar (Italy) each presenting a short case study, focusing on their own company’s application of environmentally friendly materials, and were joined on the platform by Peter Waeber, of bluesign technologies, for an open discussion on the strategic choices to be made in material selection.