Towards a Circular Future: Revaluing Waste
Thursday 13 July
10:30 – 12:30
Join Fashion District for a series of discussions about how we can find innovative solutions to the environmental challenges posed by the fashion industry.
Each year, millions of garments end up in landfills around the world. Now the race is on to find groundbreaking solutions to tackle these challenges at each stage of the collection, sorting and recycling process. During this event, we will hear from pioneering businesses and institutions actively working on technologies and ecosystems to solve the UK’s fashion waste problem.
- Introduction: Setting the scene with Thushara Sabreen, Innovate UK
- Keynote: A deep-dive into London’s Fashion Footprint with Rachel Singer, ReLondon
- Panel discussion: How can we capture and revalue fashion waste? with Adam Mansell, UKFT | Erik Koep, Worn Again Technologies | Matt Hanrahan, Reskinned | Sue Fairley, New Look
- Roundtables: The future of innovative interventions
The event will be hosted over a light brunch, offering a relaxed setting to enjoy refreshments and engage in insightful conversations with thought-leaders.
Meet The Speakers
Thushara Sabreen, Innovate UK
Thushara Sabreen is an Innovation Lead for Creative Industries at Innovate UK. She plays a vital role in supporting the UK Creative Industries innovation strategy and leading multi-million-pound programs such as Creative Catalyst and Circular Fashion. With over 14 years of experience in the fashion industry, Thushara is an award-winning creative innovator, entrepreneur, co-author, and seasoned fashion tech professional. Her expertise spans from design and product development to launching ventures, having collaborated with renowned global brands and manufacturers worldwide.
Rachel Singer, ReLondon
Rachel Singer is the circular economy research coordinator at ReLondon. Working alongside UCL and Circle Economy, she recently delivered ReLondon’s latest report London’s fashion footprint which links textile material flows with their associated carbon emissions across London’s supply chain. ReLondon is a partnership between the Mayor of London and the London boroughs dedicated to enhancing waste and resource management to establish a leading low carbon circular economy in the city. Their team offers tailored support to government, businesses, and citizens, working towards waste reduction, increased recycling, and the acceleration of London’s transition to a low carbon circular economy.
Adam Mansell, UKFT
The UK Fashion & Textile Association (UKFT) is the largest network for fashion and textile companies in the UK. They bring together designers, manufacturers, suppliers, agents, educators and retailers to promote their businesses and our industry, both in the UK and throughout the world. UKFT are in a unique position representing the entire UK fashion and textile supply chain, from spinning, weaving and knitting, right through to the catwalk.
Matt Hanrahan, Reskinned
Reskinned makes it easy for brands and their customers to participate in a fully circular clothing economy, working to create a more sustainable clothing world. It links existing solutions with new tech ideas, expanding options for rehoming unwanted clothes. With a comprehensive end-to-end approach, Reskinned handles takeback, recommerce, and end-of-life recycling. Trusted by over 30 brands, it offers a flexible solution aligned with their individual needs, while driving program growth through circularity roadmaps.
Erik Koep, Worn Again Technologies
Worn Again was founded to drive the adoption of a circular economy. They strive to transform current textile recycling systems with scalable chemical technologies. Erik Koep, CEO, has lead and scaled multiple technology companies from start-up to exit. He joined Worn Again in 2021 and works to ensure the company has what it needs to transform the Worn Again chemical process into a sustainable, commercial reality.
Sue Fairley, New Look
Sue Fairley, Head of Sustainability, Sourcing and Quality at New Look , is leading New Look’s sustainability strategy and roadmap. After 35 years working in UK fashion retailers and brands, Sue has a strong foundation of how we buy and make our products, as well as a solid understanding of the value chain. This knowledge has been invaluable for steering New Look and supporting wider sector initiatives towards reducing impacts on people and planet. New Look are proud to have submitted their Science Based Targets this year, with a total business engagement in developing their roadmap to deliver decarbonisation. Check out New Look’s Sustainability Strategy and Reporting here.
Founded in 2005 by Cyndi Rhoades, Worn Again is on a mission to eliminate textile waste. Their pioneering work focuses on developing cutting-edge polymer recycling processes for polyester and cotton blend textiles. With a 1,000-tonne per year demonstration plant in Winterthur, Switzerland, Worn Again’s technology is advancing towards industrialization. In 2022, Cyndi co-founded Circle-8 Textile Ecosystems, aiming to establish a 50,000-tonne per year chemical recycling plant in the UK by 2026. Circle-8’s visionary approach will transform non-reusable textiles into high-quality raw materials, driving the transition to a sustainable future. Cyndi Rhoades continues to spearhead innovation in the pursuit of a circular economy in the textile industry.