- Barruch Ben-ZekryVFGreensboro, North Carolina, USABarruch Ben-ZekryVF
Barruch Ben-Zekry is Director of Sustainable Products and Materials at VF Corporation. He is responsible for enabling VF’s Brands to grow their businesses while reducing their impacts through more sustainable products, materials and business models. In this role, he serves as a key point person for the company connecting the brand product teams, corporate innovation, strategy and supply chain to help VF and its brands create positive change and competitive advantage. Barruch has previously worked at Ernst & Young, Levi Strauss & Co. and the World Resources Institute. In addition to his sustainability experience, Barruch has spent time as an entrepreneur starting his own travel company, which he managed for 2 years.
Barruch earned his undergraduate degree in Environmental Economics & Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
- Tricia CareyExecutive Committee: Vice Chair - LenzingNew York City, New York, USATricia CareyExecutive Committee: Vice Chair - Lenzing
With a Bachelor’s degree in Fashion Merchandising from Marywood University and Associate’s degree in Textiles from the Fashion Institute of Technology, Tricia has held positions in fabric sales and development. Over sixteen years ago she started with Courtaulds Fibers in New York City as Apparel Merchandising Manager for TENCEL®. Lenzing Fibers acquired Tencel Inc in 2004 and Tricia continued her role in downstream marketing for the apparel market. Her global sourcing experience assists brands and retailers to evaluate supply chains and realize effective means of using Lenzing Fibers. She is also on the advisory board of the Textiles Department of FIT, as well as a member of Underfashion Club and Fashion Group International.
- Cara ChaconPatagoniaCara ChaconPatagonia
As Patagonia’s VP of Social and Environmental Responsibility, Cara leads a team of professionals that set strategy and implement Patagonia's sustainability initiatives. Responsibilities include guiding Patagonia's social and environmental supply chain programs that protect people and our planet (factories, mills, farms), ensuring animal welfare, traceability and content claims assurance of sustainable materials, maintaining footprint metrics, B-Corp reporting and B-Lab certification, and development of sustainability website content. Cara is the co-chair of Patagonia's Footprint Council, a group of executives that make corporate wide sustainability decisions. Cara also sits on Textile Exchange’s Board of Directors and was on the Fair Labor Association’s (FLA) Board of Directors from 2012 through late 2016.
Since 1998, Cara has worked in the corporate responsibility industry as an executive, consultant, trainer and auditor at STR Responsible Sourcing, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Bureau Veritas C.P.S. and CSCC. At STR, Cara held the position of Global Director, Training & Education where she led a large global team dedicated to the development and execution of CSR/sustainability trainings and capacity building engagements for brands, suppliers and over 300 in-house auditors. In her career, Cara has conducted over 1,000 supplier social and environmental compliance assessments and capacity building engagements in over 35 countries across 25 different industries.
She has a Master’s degree in International Affairs and a Bachelor’s degree in Government from California State University, Sacramento. She has lived abroad in Madrid, Spain and has traveled to over 50 countries around the world.
- Paolo FogliaICEABologna, ItalyPaolo FogliaICEA
Paolo has been personally involved in the development of the organic textile sector since 1998 when he developed the first Italian standard for organic textile and the related certification scheme. Paolo organized the first international conference on organic textile in Italy in 1999. He was appointed Textile Certification Manager in 2000. Since then, Paolo has been actively involved and committed in the development of the organic textile sector, managing ICEA’s certification scheme, participating in the development of the Global Organic Textile Standard and attending seminars/conferences around the world. He actively participates in the TE Global Recycled Standard International Working Group as well. Paolo has a master degree in agricultural economics, and more than 20 years of experience in the certification of environmentally sound and socially responsible products and services. Currently he is the Research and Development Manager of the Italian Institute for Ethical and Environmental Certification (ICEA) and, at the same time, holds the position of Certification Manager for several sectors including: textile, eco building materials, biofuels, CSR.
- Mitsuya InagakiKowa CompanyNagoyo, Aichi, JapanMitsuya InagakiKowa Company
Mitsuya graduated in 1987 from Ritsumeikan University in Kyoto, Japan, majoring in Social Science. From 1987 to 2002 he worked in the textile department as a production manager in Japan and Asian countries, specializing in cotton fabrics. From 1999 to 2002 Mitsuya served as a textile instructor for new employees, teaching the production of fabrics. In 2002 Mitsuya began research & development for promoting an organic cotton project. From 2003 to 2008 he managed the organic cotton project “*TENERITA” from fiber to retail in Japan. He is currently the Manager of Production Department, Lifestyle Business Division. He is currently promoting introduction of organic cotton to Japanese market.
- Karla MagruderFabrikologyHoboken, NJKarla MagruderFabrikology
Karla Magruder has been in the textile industry for more than 25 years with global experience from fiber to finished garments. She founded Fabrikology International, a textile consulting firm, specializing in textile sourcing, education and business development in 2003. The company has worked in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors in building strategic development plans, launching new products, and organizing tradeshow seminars and conferences. Karla has led her team in supporting the development of trade between US brands and retailers and garment manufacturers from Haiti and Africa through USAID sponsored programs. She has worked as a Textile Exchange Ambassador with the mission of facilitating the acceleration of sustainable practices in the textile value chain. Prior to founding Fabrikology International she led the apparel launch of Ingeo fibers, the 1st manmade fiber created from 100% annually renewable resources, launched several performance fabrics and technologies in the outdoor and apparel market and headed the development of an active apparel collection for a global company. She has been a Contributing Editor to Textile Insight and EcoTextile News.
- Elayne MastersonExecutive Committee Chair, Esquel GroupNew York City, New York, USAElayne MastersonExecutive Committee Chair, Esquel Group
Elayne represents Esquel Apparel. Esquel is a $1.3 billion 100% vertically integrated Hong Kong based business. Esquel grows organic and conventional cotton, gins, spins, knits, weaves, makes garments, trims and owns 2 brands: Pye and Shirt Stop. Esquel has a long standing reputation for sustainability and positively impacting the lives of those employed as well as communities in which business is done. Elayne has extensive knowledge of garment manufacturing, merchandising, sustainability and a strategic understanding of the US retail industry. She has traveled extensively throughout US and Asia, resenting Sales, Merchandising and key account solutions. Elayne has previously been CMO of Wet Seal, Vice President Sourcing and Product Development at the Disney Store and Director at Express. Elayne has a Master of Business Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.
- Ben MeadHohenstein InstituteElon, North Carolina, USABen MeadHohenstein Institute
Ben is the Managing Director for Hohenstein Institute Americas. In this role Ben has OEKO-TEX responsibilities for the United States and promotes Hohenstein’s expertise as a globally recognized leader in textile research and testing. He also serves as the company’s liaison with governmental agencies, industry collaborations, and trade associations. He previously consulted with a variety of brands and industry associations including Textile Exchange and AFIRM. In those roles, Ben was responsible for content development, training, and establishing partnerships withindustry leaders and experts to increase industry engagement in green chemistry and sustainable textile processing. Ben started his career working for Nike, Inc where he helped develop a restricted substances program and was also involved in implementation of both sustainable materials and water programs. Ben has degrees in Chemistry and Textile Chemistry from North Carolina State University.
- Cheryl Millard-NuttNike Inc.Beaverton, Oregon, USACheryl Millard-NuttNike Inc.
Cheryl Millard-Nutt is the Sustainable Materials Director for Sustainable Product at NIKE, Inc. Over the last twenty years she has held various positions in the Nike apparel material team, working within multiple global product categories. Her interest and involvement in environmentally preferred materials elevated during her time working with Nike’s category teams and material suppliers while managing the Nike Apparel Materials Library. As part of Nike’s Sustainable Business and Innovation (SB&I) team for the past four years, Cheryl currently supports the integration of sustainable materials into Nike Brand and affiliates' footwear, apparel and equipment. Examples of her work include deep engagement with the Nike Material Sustainability Index (Nike MSI) framework creation, involving documentation and training tool creation for an expansive employee group, as well as a robust material supplier partner training and engagement rollout. Through her experience, Cheryl has developed a deep understanding of the value of sustainability and how to engage and embed sustainable strategies into the business.
- Mark ProséExecutive Committee: Secretary - Control UnionDar es Salaam, TanzaniaMark ProséExecutive Committee: Secretary - Control Union
Mark Prosé manages Control Union’s inspection, auditing and certification activities in East Africa. In this region Control Union focuses primarily on certification of social and environmental standards in agriculture. Mark has worked in the certification sector for Control Union since 2002, and has been involved in sustainable textile certification since 2004. In 2011, he moved to Bangladesh to start a Control Union office there. He did the same in Tanzania in 2014. Mark is a M.Sc. graduate of Wageningen University, The Netherlands, where he majored in Sociology and Economics of Rural Development. His work experience ranges geographically from Eastern and Southern Africa to South Asia and Central Europe.
- Shona QuinnEileen Fisher, Inc.La Canada, California, USAShona QuinnEileen Fisher, Inc.
Shona is the Sustainability Leader at Eileen Fisher where her work focuses on guiding the company’s environmental strategy. Through cross department collaboration and outreach to external groups, she works to integrate environmental initiatives across company departments while building environmental awareness among customers, business partners and the larger apparel community. Shona's research is focused on the ecological aspects of clothing. This includes exploring material selection, life-cycle thinking and consumer behavior. Her 20 year career with leading clothing companies including Anne Klein, Calvin Klein Jeans, Macy’s Specialty Stores and Eileen Fisher has provided her with a diverse background in the apparel industry, including work in fabric research, product development, buying and sustainable development. Shona received her Bachelor of Science Degree in International Trade from the Fashion Institute of Technology and a Master's Degree in Environmental Management from Yale University.
- Andreas StreubigOtto Group-HamburgHamburg, GermanyAndreas StreubigOtto Group-Hamburg
Andreas joined the Otto Group (Hamburg) 1993 after taking his degree in mathematics and today heads their CR Division. He has been a guest speaker at various events in the textile and CR environment, e.g. at the German Retail Convention, serves as a member of the Advisory Board of Social Accountability International (SAI) and chairs the working group on "Sustainability in Logistics" of the Hamburg Logistics Initiative.
- Sarah ThorsonTargetMinneapolis, Minnesota, USASarah ThorsonTarget
Sarah Arrell has been with Target for 14 years and has responsibility for leading teams that span Product Engineering, Product Insights, Project Management and Global Operations for apparel, home, hardlines and commodity products. She has also led teams in Global Sourcing, and spent 11 years with Vanity Fair as the Target Representative in Minneapolis. She is passionate about sustainability, innovation and R&D, as well as understanding the guest needs. She was raised in Minneapolis and attended the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Campus for Accounting.
- Jerry WheelerExecutive Committee: Treasurer - Ecocentric BrandsDenver, Colorado, USAJerry WheelerExecutive Committee: Treasurer - Ecocentric Brands
As founder of ecoCentric Ltd, Jerry is dedicated to helping companies build sustainable operating plans that increase transparency, streamline processes and develop healthy products and business practices. Ecocentric's practices are designed to limit impacts, while connecting with sales and marketing to grow top line sales and a healthy bottom line. Ecocentric puts these practices to work with their own brands Kastlfel and Billboard Ecology.
- Marci ZaroffExecutive Committee: Member at Large - Marci ZaroffNew York City, New York, USAMarci ZaroffExecutive Committee: Member at Large - Marci Zaroff
Marci coined the term “ECOfashion” and is an internationally recognized ECOlifestyle entrepreneur, educator, innovator and expert. Founder of Under the Canopy and Metawear and Producer of “THREAD Documentary|Driving Fashion Forward,” Marci has been instrumental in driving authenticity, environmental leadership & social justice worldwide for over 25 years. Board Member of the Organic Trade Association, Textile Exchange, Fashion Revolution Day and Fashion Positive, Zaroff was a key figure in the development of the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) and first Fair Trade Textile Certification. Marci has received countless recognitions, including the Natural Product Industry's "Socially Responsible Business Award," New York Moves "Power Woman Award," Fashion Group International's "Rising Star Award” and a prestigious “Henry Crown Fellowship” of The Aspen Institute, and is featured in the book “ECO AMAZONS: 20 Women Who Are Transforming the World.”
- Simon CooperCSR Consultancy LtdCambridge, United KingdomSimon CooperCSR Consultancy Ltd
A qualified performance coach and business mediator, Simon graduated in 2005 with an MSc in Responsibility and Business Practice from the School of Management at the University of Bath. He is chair of the Schumacher Society. He has served as a Trustee of the Demos think tank, was a founder of The Hub Bristol, a new workspace for environmental and social entrepreneurs, and helped start the Association of Sustainability Practitioners. He is founder director of CSR Consultancy Ltd, the social enterprise which developed Universities that Count – the benchmarking program which applied the Business in the Community Corporate Responsibility and Environment Indices to the Higher Education sector. Funded by the four UK Higher Education Funding Councils, the program saw more than 50 universities taking part.
- Dr. Narasimha DonthiChetana SocietyHyderabad, Telangana, IndiaDr. Narasimha DonthiChetana Society
Dr. D. Narasimha Reddy is currently a Member of the Consultative Committee of Cotton Advisory Board, Ministry of Textiles. He is also a Member of Regional Advisory Group, of NABARD, a rural development bank. He was a member of IFOAM-Asia Board. He has established community initiatives in urban and rural areas on water, electricity and handloom textiles. Wide ranging initiatives on handloom sector, included successful restoration of HS classification for handloom products. He has a wide knowledge on energy, textile, agriculture, industrial sectors and urban problems. His Ph.D on ‘Nuclear Energy Policy’ has enabled him to select handloom production as the best method of textile production in the current context of concerns over climate change. He also advises farmers unions on agricultural policies.
- Eric DucoinSustainable Cotton ConsultancyGrenoble, FranceEric DucoinSustainable Cotton Consultancy
Eric Ducoin is a sustainable cotton consultant working to ensure that cotton production is done with livelihood and environment preserved. Since 2000, he has been conducting market research and promoting organic cotton. He has initiated the Himshikha Development Project in 2007, and is currently working on a poverty eradication initiative with organic cotton farmers. The sustainable frame includes agriculture, livehood and farmers family opportunities. The Originality is to achieve almost the cotton market price. Eric has degrees in Green Energy and Business, with an emphasis on international marketing.
- Sevilla GrangerGapSan Francisco, California, USASevilla GrangerGap
Sevilla Granger has worked extensively in various aspects of the sustainable textile and creative fields in the US and Europe and has served on various international working groups such as the Sustainable Textiles Coalition and the International Wool Standard Working Group. Sevilla’s professional commitment to sustainability in the industry is matched by her love of travel and involvement as an artist and organizer in the San Francisco arts community. Her commitment to sustainable home fashions sprang from her undergraduate work at North Carolina State University, well known for its Textile program, where she received her degree in Environmental Design with a minor in Textiles. Her professional engagement with advancing sustainability in the industry gained traction during her work at William Sonoma. It was further refined with leading US home textile brand Coyuchi, where she lead the team to be the first GOTS certified home textiles brand, as well as achieving Fair Trade certification.
- Edward HertzmanSourcing JournalNew York, NY, USA
- Subindu GarkhelFairtrade FoundationLondon, UKSubindu GarkhelFairtrade Foundation
Subindu Garkhel has hands on commercial experience of working in the clothing industry in India, Bangladesh and the UK. With a Masters in Social development from the top International Development university, she brings in a perspective and sensibility of the challenges and realities of both worlds. She is passionate about participatory and inclusive approach to development. This is aligned with the principles of Fairtrade, where she works. She looks after cotton and textiles here.
- Dr. Charu JainBurberrySingapore, Republic of Singapore
- Ferdi KaygusuzerEgedeniz TekstilAlsancak, Izmir, TurkeyFerdi KaygusuzerEgedeniz Tekstil
Ferdi has been in the textile industry for 15 years. He has started from scratch and worked himself through many posts to become General Manager of Egedeniz. Ferdi
has experience in the whole chain from spinning through knitting/weaving, dyeing and cut/sew of organic cotton products, almost the whole process. He has built the ISO and Quality Assurance system at Egedeniz, and still leading improvements for ERP systems within the company. Ferdi was involved in GOTS certification processes and has worked in CSR programs of many of the company’s customers and NGO’s where Egedeniz became a model in many projects. Ferdi has been and is still actively involved with designers, product/materials developers and quality assurance teams of many of Egedeniz clients.
- Sreeranga RajanDibellaBangalore, Karnataka, IndiaSreeranga RajanDibella
Sreeranga has been in the industry for the past eighteen years and has worked in all stages of the value chain from cotton farming, ginning, spinning, fabric and garment manufacturing to brand management. He is passionate about reducing the negative impact of the conventional practices of the textile industry. Sreeranga joined Fairtrade Foundation to develop strategies for Fairtrade cotton in the UK market and also started his own brand ‘Arthur and Henry’ to demonstrate to the industry that is possible to make fashionable, long lasting, quality products using organic cotton. Now as a CEO of Dibella India, Sreeranga is actively promoting organic textiles in the hospitality and institutional market in India. Sreeranga has a degree in Textile Engineering from PSG College of Technology and an MBA in Organizational Strategy from the London Business School.
- Pamela RavasioEuropean Outdoor Group (EOG)Zurich, Switzerland & UKPamela RavasioEuropean Outdoor Group (EOG)
Pamela Ravasio is the European Outdoor Group (EOG)’s Head of CSR & Sustainability.
The EOG is a membership association with over 90 corporate and 10 national associate members. It represents at least EUR 10 billion on retail sales level in Europe alone. Pamela has accumulated around 20 years of global experiences, working for leading businesses, academia, and as a consultant, liaising closely with textile businesses, as well as NGOs. She is a widely published author in the textile field, and holds professional qualifications in corporate governance, textiles, CSR and sustainability, along with a PhD in industrial and production management.
Pamela is also the chair of the sustainability committee for the Federation of the European Sports Goods Industry (FESI). She is further a steering committee member for the Global Social Convergence project, which is led by the C&A Foundation, the Sustainability Apparel Coalition together with around 70 global signatory brands and manufacturers.
- Eric WilmannsBrown & WilmannsSanta Barbara, Calif., USAEric WilmannsBrown & Wilmanns
Eric Wilmanns has worked in the environmental field for the past 20 years, including 15 years in environmental management working with industry. In his consulting practice, he focuses on technical issues around assessing the life-cycle impacts of materials and processes as varied as textile dyes and finishes, polymers, and building materials. At Patagonia’s Environmental Assessment Program, he coordinated research and technical analysis, specializing in environmental life-cycle analysis of products and manufacturing processes, pollution prevention, energy efficiency, and education of internal staff, vendors, and the public. At the USEPA and Los Alamos National Laboratory, his work resulted in the development of innovative treatment and remediation programs for wastes from various industries. Eric received his Master's degree in environmental engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an Artium Baccalaureus in geochemistry from Occidental College in Los Angeles, California.
- Alison WardCottonConnectLondon, United KingdomAlison WardCottonConnect
Alison Ward is the CEO of CottonConnect working with a team of 40 in the UK, India, Pakistan, China and Peru to create more sustainable cotton supply chains from farmer to store. The goal of CottonConnect is to create a transparent, fair and sustainable cotton supply chain. Prior to this, Alison worked at Cadbury / Kraft Foods Cadbury Alison was the Global Head of Corporate Responsibility responsible for: the Cadbury Dairy Milk global move to Fairtrade in 5 chocolate markets; the development of “The Cadbury Cocoa Partnership” a £45 million investment into cocoa sustainability; along with CSR reporting, global community investment and environmental commitments.
At Kraft Foods, Alison was Associate Director Sustainability, working as part of a small team to develop the company’s strategy for sustainable cocoa, a $400m investment called CocoaLife. Alison joined Cadbury from a trade association and worked at Hill & Knowlton for many years.
- Adam MottAdam Mott ConsultingHong Kong, AsiaAdam MottAdam Mott Consulting
Adam Mott was the Director of Sustainability for The North Face. In his role, Adam developed and integrated the sustainability strategy across the entire business. Specifically, he oversaw the development of environmentally responsible products, greenhouse gas emission management and reduction, community engagement and the elimination of operational waste. This involved working closely with internal and external stakeholders to understand, measure and reduce the environmental and social impacts of the business. In September, 2015, Adam started a new position as Director of Product Traceability & Responsible Materials at VF Corporation in Hong Kong. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Finance and a Master of Industrial Design degree.
- Amy WilliamsCalifornia College of the ArtsSan Francisco, CAAmy WilliamsCalifornia College of the Arts
Amy Williams endeavors to incorporate both social and environmental protection as an underpinning for all product development from material sourcing to finished artifact. A practicing fashion designer and design consultant, Amy received her BFA from Parsons School of Design in New York, and received further training in Paris and Los Angeles, where her passion for sweater design enabled her to focus her design attention in the contemporary women’s market for over two decades. Amy currently is a mentor, a design director, professor and illustrator in San Francisco, CA. Amy’s decade in academic leadership at California College of the Arts, established the fashion design program as an acknowledged international leader in fashion sustainability education and innovation with a foundation built with high industry skills and rich aesthetic design expression.
Ad Hoc Advisors
- Jill DumainBlue SignVentura, California, USAJill DumainBlue Sign
Jill Dumain attended the University of California at Davis and majored in Textiles and Clothing. She has worked in the Fabric Laboratory, Fabric Development and began to lead the organic cotton project in 1994. She is currently the Director of Environmental Analysis and helped lead the development of the Common Threads Garment Recycling Program and The Footprint Chronicles website. She is involved with the Eco-Working Group in the Outdoor Industry Association. Her position has evolved into Director of Environmental Strategy with her current collaborative projects.
- Eraina DuffyNike Inc.Beaverton, Oregon, USAEraina DuffyNike Inc.
She has been employed with Nike, Inc. for the past 32 years. Her experience at Nike has been centered on materials research and development. She has led the operations efforts of the Nike US-based global materials organization, and product development teams in Hong Kong and the US. Eraina is a senior sustainable materials researcher in Nike’s global Materials Science Innovation team, specializing in environmentally preferred materials. Eraina works in collaboration with global research organizations and material suppliers to identify, research and develop materials that reduce the environmental footprint of Nike’s athletic performance products
European Board of Trustees
- Heinrich SchultzExecutive Committee: Chair - OrganiMarkStellenbosch, South AfricaHeinrich SchultzExecutive Committee: Chair - OrganiMark
OrganiMark, founded in July 2008, is a food, textiles and leather supply chain engineering and management firm linking sustainable primary producers with high value local and global markets. The Firm specializes in supply chain optimization and trade management through investing in agricultural production zones and value added processing facilities for sustainably produced products. The company’s aim is to create sustainable businesses through long term supply chain partnerships in line with its brand integrity and identity, which promotes economic, social and environmental responsibility.
Heinrich is also the Chairman of Textile Exchange Europe and recently founded the Southern African Sustainable Cotton Cluster where he serves as Executive Manager and Board Member. Heinrich has a Business Degree from the University of Pretoria (South Africa) and completed his training in Leather Processing with LIRI at Rhodes University (South Africa), and Textile& Garment Manufacturing with CSIR TexTech at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (South Africa).
- Dr. Helen CrowleyExecutive Committee: Vice Chair - KeringParis, FranceDr. Helen CrowleyExecutive Committee: Vice Chair - Kering
Helen is a Conservation & Ecosystem Service Specialist at Kering, owners of Puma and many other brands such as Stella McCartney, Gucci, Yves St Laurent, and Volcom. She has worked in the international conservation and development arenas for over 25 years. Most recently, Helen has focused on integrating biodiversity and ecosystems into corporate sustainability strategies including exploring ways for small scale producers to participate in global supply chains. She spent many years working on projects in Africa and Madagascar for the Wildlife Conservation Society including developing the first REDD project in Madagascar and a program of organic cotton production with local communities in Zambia and Madagascar. Helen has a PhD in Ecology at the Australian National University and is on the Board of the Wildlife Friendly Enterprise Network.
- Aydin UnsalExecutive Committee: Treasurer - Egedeniz Textiles A.S.Izmir, TurkeyAydin UnsalExecutive Committee: Treasurer - Egedeniz Textiles A.S.
In the late 1980’s, after 10 years in the family business of trading and processing various agricultural products in Turkey, Aydin began contracting farmers to grow local organic dried fruits. Aydin has been one of the early producers and exporters of various organic fruits, mainly dried grapes and figs. During early 1990’s he helped found Egedeniz, a family company, which is the pioneer company in Turkey dealing in production and sales of certified organic cotton from fiber through yarns, fabrics and garments.
- Ben RamsdenExecutive Committee: Secretary - ResonanceLondon, United KingdomBen RamsdenExecutive Committee: Secretary - Resonance
Ben is the Managing Director of Pants to Poverty. Established as part of Make Poverty History in 2005, he ran the social business in his spare time for 2 years while working in international mobilization at Amnesty International. He has now built the company in partnership with Chetna Organic and Armstrong to embrace a new and developing value chain community model from cotton to bottom. Distributing in over 20 countries, P2P is now recognized as the UK’s leading ethical underwear brand. Establishing new models in value chain mobilization and efficient distribution of value, the organization has the opportunity to become a truly powerful player in the fashion sector. They have recently set up a charity called Pi Foundation for which Ben is also Director.
- Mani ChinnaswamyAppachi Cotton Company/EthicusPollachi, Tamil Nadu, IndiaMani ChinnaswamyAppachi Cotton Company/Ethicus
Mani hails from a 3rd generation cotton family. Cotton production is something that runs in his blood and has for generations. His grandfather started a cotton ginning business in 1946, today called Apachi Cotton. Mani, an MBA graduate from the University of Philadelphia, developed a model of Integrated Cotton Contract Farming (ICCF) in 2002. In 2008, Mani joined forces with his wife, Vijayalakshmi, established India’s first ethical fashion brand “Ethicus” in 2009, something that would connect him to the end-customer and earn them an identity. The couple bought 22 old jacquard handlooms, repaired them and set them up within their own premises. Their Ethicus brand (“Ethics” and “Us”) caters to the demands of customers for a higher-end stylish handloom project.
- Avinash KarmarkarPratibha SyntexIndore, M.P., IndiaAvinash KarmarkarPratibha Syntex
Avinash is working as Vice President- Vasudha Farm Initiatives with Pratibha Syntax Limited, a large vertically integrated and sustainably driven textile manufacturing company. Promoting sustainable agri practices with 30000+ farmers. He is also on Executive Committee of Abinav NGO promoting organic farming since last more than 10 years.
- Tong YeungMecillaHong Kong, ChinaTong YeungMecilla
Tong is a Director of Mecilla Limited. He has over 6 years of experience in the sustainable agriculture and apparel industries. Tong and Mecilla are pioneers in developing sustainable farming in rural China with a network of farmer’s co-ops,
Agricultural experts, brands and designers.
- Arun AmbatipudiChetna OrganicSecunderabad, India
- Anna-Karin DahlbergLindexGothenburg, SwedenAnna-Karin DahlbergLindex
Anna-Karin has a background as Assortment Manager at Lindex Ladies’ Department as well as head of Lindex production offices in China, India and HK/Guangzhou. She is s responsible for a global team of 13 people (formal manager and content manager) and Lindex sustainability work on product and production. The primary goal is to successfully support and govern teams in buying and production to reach Lindex sustainability goals for 2020. Anna-Karin and her team set strategies, decide on suitable projects, set and own the tools used and deliver goals, news and progress to the communication team. They all train colleagues globally and set up routines and guidelines for how to work with environmental and social projects as well as sustainable fibers and processes. Her team also works with labels and packaging, quality and children’s safety requirements, and instructions for suppliers.
- Amit ShahSpectrumMumbai, IndiaAmit ShahSpectrum
Amit, CEO & Founding Director of Spectrum International has been an integral part of the textile industry for the past 18 years. Starting with his 80-year old legacy business of cotton spinning, Amit integrated the business backwards to farm and gin organic cotton in 1998. Since then Amit has always focused in trying to create a business model that has social, environmental and economic development as its core drivers. Amit's unique strength lies in bringing to commercial fruition ideas that most often stay in the realm of non-profits. Today, Spectrum works with over 30,000 farmers for growing organic and sustainable products in India in 4 different states and catering to over 10 retailer brand value-chains globally. Amit's personal goal right from the beginning was to work with marginal farmers of India for the development of society creating businesses that not only excite the bottom-line but add value to the people of this country and the world. He strives for every day.
- Bruno Van SteenbergheGreenLama SPRLGenval, BelgiumBruno Van SteenbergheGreenLama SPRL
Bruno Van Steenberghe has worked in the textile industry for 18 years. He’s been in charge of the sourcing, product development, supply chain and sustainability for different brands and has extensive field experience in many countries. After 12 years in the conventional textile industry he decided to follow his convictions by returning to study in 2010, focusing on sustainable apparel/textiles to enhance his expertise. He then co-created the sustainable brand Stanley & Stella in 2011 being responsible for building the sustainability strategy and production supply chain from scratch and improving local working conditions through several projects. Stanley & Stella is today a top user of Organic Cotton, growing very fast for the last 3 years since 2013, and are a success story in their market. In 2015, Bruno left Stanley & Stella and decided to launch a new brand of home textiles. He also provides consultancy services to other entrepreneurs and companies, assisting in their journey towards sustainability.
- Prama BhardwajMantis WorldLondon, UKPrama BhardwajMantis World
Prama started Mantis World with her student savings and it is now a successful supplier of blank clothing to the imprintables industry across Europe. Sourcing from Tanzania, Bangladesh and Pakistan, they were the first company in the UK imprintable sector to introduce organic cotton garments. Mantis World is recognized as a pioneer in sustainable fashion basic blanks, the largest supplier of blank babywear in Europe and has won multiple awards.