Alex Smith has 19 years Multiple Fashion retailing experience, 16 at Buyer level or above, most recently as New Product Buying Manager for Oxfam’s sustainable fashion boutiques. Prior to this she worked for blue chip fashion retailers including Etam, River Island and Oasis.
Alex has worked on a broad range of clothing and accessory categories sourced from the Far East, India, Europe and the UK. Working on production structures, including direct, agent importing and CMT, Alex has incorporated product design, development and sourcing processes, critical path systems, quality and assurance testing standards and liaison with marketing/PR functions for bricks and mortar and online retail channels.
Amisha has over seven years of experience at the front line of the growing sustainable fashion movement, with a focus upon the creation, curation, and co-ordination of sustainable fashion campaigns and events.
She co-ordinated the RE-Fashion Awards, the first global awards for sustainable fashion in 2008, managed the EFF’s Spotlight on Sourcing event series, created and launched the SOURCE Network, created and hosted the Future Fashion series with Soho House, and launched the 12 Rules to Dress By (her guide to a sustainable wardrobe). Amisha is a talented and charismatic event host and writer.
Ben Ramsden launched underwear brand, Pants to Poverty in 2005 which sold 11 thousand pairs of pants in just 5 months. He was also the international mobilization coordinator for Amnesty International, directing 24 national offices, where he organized the development of the movement in terms of people, money, diversity and activism. After traveling developing nations for 3 years, Ben recognised the significant role the fashion and cotton industry can have in transforming the relationship between the world’s richest and poorest.
Today, Pants to Poverty is a leader in sustainable fashion for introducing socially responsible supply chains. The brand has also established a charity that uses a new scalable solution to moving kids out of forced child labour and into education.
Christine Gent MCSD, MA , has worked all over the world in Fair Trade, supply chain management, and product development. She is currently director of Fairly Covered, advisor to PeopleTree and has just completed working for Swiss company Pakka on the Geo Fair Trade project. Previously she was Ethical Trade Development Manager at The Body Shop, and has worked for World Fair Trade Organization (WFTO), United Nations Development Program (UNDP) , United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) and the International Research Institute in Sustainability (IRIS).
Clara Vuletich is a textile designer and researcher specialising in sustainable textile design. She develops and manages the Textiles Environment Design (TED) Resource at Chelsea College of Art & Design and helps to co-ordinate lectures and workshops on bringing sustainable textile design knowledge into the curriculum.
With a background working in fashion retail and buying, Clara has also worked as a sustainable textile consultant for various companies such as Better Thinking and John Smedley on a clothing project to develop the most sustainable and ethical t-shirt possible.
A Founder of the Ethical Fashion Forum, Elizabeth Laskar has over ten years experience in sustainable fashion. Specialising in project and event design, strategy and management, she has led fashion sector international development projects in Ghana, South Africa and the Commonwealth. Clients have included the BBC (TV and radio), V&A London, Paris Ethical Fashion Show, Ecologist, Bangladesh British Chamber of Commerce, and V Inspired with Ben de Lisi.
Emma is an experienced and professional Executive with a highly accomplished career in both Sales Management and Business Development. She has strong leadership skills, creative initiatives and strategic sales/buying and design planning abilities gained within a pan European environment. She also has extensive knowledge of retail, wholesale and online markets and their dynamics together with a career encompassing planning and international buying. EJ EllisJones Ltd was incorporated in December 2006. Utilising her previous experience she offers consultancy support for carefully selected brands which must exude quality at a price and collectively appeal to a wide range of consumer tastes, each giving a distinct diverse approach.
Francesca has over an 8-year experience in fashion retail and visual merchandising including extensive knowledge of global fashion markets, focusing on US, Brazil, Russia, Japan, China, Korea and Europe, across different formats, from discount retailers to department stores and independent companies. She travels the world in order to report and analyze commercial trends, photograph products, identify key trends in the context of the wider trends of the future seasons and of any given market.
Gillian Mead specialises in sustainable fashion research including supply chain analysis and sourcing from India. Gillian’s post-graduate work at Oxford led her to be awarded a scholarship from Cambridge to research textile dyeing in India. Since then, she has worked for the UN and has now founded an ethical women’s wear and jewellery brand, Araminta. Gillian is also on the committee of UKFT Rise, a supportive community for professionals and entrepreneurs in fashion for under 10 years. She organises networking events, engaging sustainability thinking and ethical fashion leaders with mainstream fashion.
Graham was an employee of Marks and Spencer for 34 years. He worked in all clothing areas, at the company’s HQ, and as a fabric development technologist.
Graham spent much of his time at M&S working on innovation, developing new fabric sources and ensuring quality and performance standards were understood and achieved. In 2005 Graham became Marks and Spencer Sustainable Raw Materials Manager and led the introduction of Fairtrade, organic and recycled cotton, recycled polyester, organic linen and organic wool. This led to the overall development of a sustainable raw material sourcing strategy as part of M&S Plan A programme.
Jackie is a leading consultant in sustainable development related to fashion and textiles. She has a dual role, consulting for humanitarian and governmental organizations on one side, on the other, engendering fairer sourcing methods and responsible design practise to fashion corporations. Clients have included International Trade Centre (UN); the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London; Lanvin, Paris; Bessini group, Istanbul.
Whilst Jackie was head buyer at Stella McCartney, she orchestrated delivery of the eco-capsule, establishing organic sourcing chains through to briefing sales and design teams. She thus founded a sustainable sourcing pool within Gucci Group, exploring better processing methods, tracking products’ full industrial imprint. Her work with licensees such as Adidas and Target inspired a wider take up of organic and recycled fibres.
Dr. Jem Bendell focuses on strategy for high-end brands. He has been promoting and supporting responsible business as a consultant, academic and entrepreneur, since 1995. As a director of Lifeworth Consulting, he has worked with corporations, NGOs and United Nations agencies on corporate responsibility issues in over a dozen countries, and has lived and worked in 8 countries. He is a widely quoted commentator on sustainable luxury and has founded the “Authentic Luxury Network”:http://www.authenticluxury.net. He is a judge of Walpole British luxury association’s corporate responsibility awards.
An academic in international business strategy, he has 100+ published texts, including his book in 1997 which was the first to explore innovative partnerships between business and civil society for sustainable development.
Jocelyn Whipple is a leading expert in sustainable fashion. With over ten years practical industry experience in the UK and the US, and specialist knowledge of the definitions of ‘eco’ and ‘ethical’ textiles and fashion, Jocelyn is positioned to progress the expansion of more conscious consumer and manufacturing choices. She is the Founder of Loop Fabrics and Element23 and is closely involved with the Green Carpet Challenge, alongside Livia Firth.
Jules Hau began her career as a buyer in 1997 moving into sales & distribution soon after, working with brands such as Stone Island and Evisu. She made a conscientious move to work within ethical fashion in 2004, and has since focused on helping to develop and grow ethical and sustainable brands within the market. Working with the likes of People Tree, where she managed the Sales and Business Development. She launched the Foundation showroom in 2008 which has specialised in Sales and PR of responsible fashion companies.
Jules has promoted ethical fashion by representing companies and organisations such as Oxfam Trading, Pachacuti, From Somewhere, Eco Age, Ethical Fashion Forum, Monkee Genes, Matt & Nat and Komodo.
With her comprehensive knowledge Jules does a lot of brand consultancy through her work with both the Ethical Fashion Forum and The Centre for Sustainability.
For over a decade, the focus of Liz Parker’s work has been workers’ rights, corporate practices, supply chain management and social and environmental standards including fair trade and international trade policy in the garment and agri-food sectors.
She is an experienced crosscultural facilitator and regularly works with people from all over the world to support empowerment of vulnerable workers and producers in the supply chain. Liz has worked on projects for Labour Behind the Label, Banana Link and Aloua Ma’a Tonga Women in Development Association.
Lori Fox began her journey into fair trade in 2008 after making a major career shift from the film industry. She graduated from FIDM in Los Angeles, CA and joined Raven + Lily’s (R+L) volunteer design team. She began partnership visitations twice a year to Burundi, Ethiopia, Kenya, India, and Cambodia. Most of these partnerships were in their early development stages so not only did she help with product designs but also structural systems for partnership growth, quality control, and incorporating new local materials into their respective crafts. Lori’s background in Hollywood, CA included styling and fabricating for commercials, films, and music videos, (with clients such as Intel, Disney, Lady GaGa, and Rihanna). After joining R+L full time as lead designer in 2011 she continued to turn those styling skills toward the brand to help build their image. In 2009 they became part of the original EFF Fellowship 500. Lori’s designs for R+L can be seen in People Style Watch, ELLE, In Style, ONE, Free People, and TOMS Marketplace. As R+L has gone on to become a more established brand with much media success, Lori began foxLOR, with the desire to help other fair trade brands go to the next level. Currently she is working with brands in India, Ethiopia, Mexico, Nepal, and the USA.
Ngaire Takano is a leading fabric sourcer in the UK, working with many top brands and famous fashion houses. She has travelled the world in search of unusual prints, silks, hemp, slow fabric, banana, naturally dyed tencel not only for their beauty and drape – but also because of the story they tell.
Ngaire provides sound knowledge and inspirational ideas, and thrives in a fast pace environment with tight delivery deadlines. Saving money, integrating a cleaner buying process (traceability + sustainability), looking for alternatives or sourcing that ”one off piece” is what Ngaire does best.
Whether you are seeking 50 metres for an ethical fashion line or 5 metres for that (green) carpet haute couture dress, Ngaire can advise on the traceability of your supply chain and happily share experience of collective buying practices.
Paula Rogers has 25 years experience in the international supply chain management of Textiles Clothing and Footwear. She started in manufacturing for one of Marks & Spencer largest UK manufacturers. In Hong Kong she managed the CSR, production and quality operations of 6,000 factories in 80 countries, for a major trading company. She has worked with BRAC, one of the world’s largest NGO’s, based in Bangladesh, developing an international platform for their 65,000 fair trade artisans.
Currently, Paula is Executive Committee member of the Fair Trade Association of Australia and New Zealand (FTAANZ). As Industry Liaison to the Council of Textile & Fashion Industries of Australia Ltd she works with industry, governments and organisations pursuing transparency, sustainability & accountability.
Phil is a graduate colour chemist who has wide ranging experience in the textile industry gained from a career that has spanned research, manufacturing and retail; fibres, fabrics and garments; legislation, environmental compliance, standardization and innovation. He was dyeing and finishing manager for Marks and Spencer prior to setting up Colour Connections Textile Consultancy in 2007.
Phil developed EcoMetrics, a simple eco-impact calculator to help industry and brands identify areas for improvement. His core knowledge and expertise is in dyeing, finishing, chemicals and sustainability but he also has an ability to understand the needs of different links in the textile supply chain.
Pradip Mehta is a Fellow of the American Society for Quality (ASQ), The Textile Institute U.K., an author, a teacher and an executive with 32 years of diverse quality management experience. As a consultant he has advised the largest South African retailer on their quality assurance budget, helped improve the Khamir Craft Resource Centre to give market access to local artisans and advised the National Institute of Design in India on implementation of ISO 9000. He has conducted countless seminars on quality and compliance across the apparel sector including faculty training, at numerous institutions in India. His quality management expertise led to work with the Army & Air Force Exchange Service in Dallas Texas.
Rebecca Earley leads the Textiles Environment Design (TED) Project at Chelsea College of Art & Design, a research cluster set up to develop eco-design strategies for textile designers. She is an award-winning fashion textile designer whose research work and creative practice has sought to develop design strategies to reduce the environmental impact of textile production, consumption and disposal.
Rebecca¹s own label collections explore an exhaust printing process that she developed in 1998. This process produces no water pollution or chemical or fabric waste. Rebecca has worked to commission for Harvey Nichols, Liberty, Barneys, Levi¹s; Damian Hirst; Bjork; Simply Red; Cher; Kylie Minogue, and many others.
Simon Ferrigno is an expert in organic cotton. He has investigated the problems in conventional cotton, promoted organic cotton, and analysed sector trends on a global level. Simon is also familiar alternatives such as Better Cotton and Fairtrade cotton. He is a member of the RITE (Reducing the Impact of Textiles on the Environment) Group, sits on the Soil Association Textiles Standards and Trade Group and is a member of the Better Cotton Initiative Advisory group.
At present, Simon works with a mix of public and private clients on developing organic and sustainable cotton programmes aimed at increasing the positive impacts of their cotton use. He authored and co-authored a wide range of reports and articles on cotton.