TraceAbility. NetworkAbility. TransformAbility.

Stitching the blue way together

October 18th and 19th 2018 in Milan, Italy

The 5th bluesign® conference will take place on the 18th and 19th of October 2018 in the fashion capital, Milan. The conference takes place every two years and is the gathering of all the bluesign® system partners and broader sustainability community for an opportunity to exchange ideas and network with like-minded colleagues. There is also the opportunity to visit the Textile Exchange Textile Sustainability Conference in Milan during the following week from the 22nd-24th of October 2018. Inspiring days in one package for everyone who wants to pursue sustainability in the entire textiles value chain. Check back for the agenda and speakers.

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In Cooperation with:

Textile Exchange's 2018 Textile Sustainability Conference

The conference benefits professionals working in corporate social responsibility and sustainability, sourcing and supply chains, product and business development, design, education, and advocacy.



Simonetta Carbonaro will open the conference by highlighting the great challenge of transformation and why transparency matters in today’s society as well as how this connects to responsible industry. There will be time for an exchange of opinions to give everyone an opportunity to contribute. We will explore non-textile case studies to provide insight beyond our industry in order to gather new ideas and support common ones. Traceability and the need for transformation will be addressed during the brand session that will show the new directions taken by a number of brands. A high level discussion will explore finance in sustainability and additional topics important for a CEO’s agenda proving the business case of sustainability to re-design today’s business models. Given the daily news reports regarding the direction of our planet heading, one CEO will present how her company is approaching this challenge with the planetary boundaries framework. Providing solutions as part of the transformation, the blue way will be presented and discussed. Simone Cipriani will present a high energy closing keynote speech on how ethical fashion can be done in the most challenging locations. The conference will offer plenty of opportunities for match making and networking with other attendants and sharing your business prospects with like-minding colleagues in the industry. An exclusive social event will round out the conference and will share secret insights into the charming heart of the fashion metropolis Milan.

The detailed agenda will be updated frequently. Check back for the updated agenda.

  • 10/17/2018, Venue Officine del Volo
  • 10/18/2018, Venue Cavallerizze
  • 10/19/2018, Venue Cavallerizze
17:00 bluesign® system partner get-together - for system partners only
19:00 End
08:00 Registration
09:00 Welcome words
09:30 Key note "Transparency in the Era of Radical Transformation"

Prof. SIMONETTA CARBONARO, Professor in Humanistic Marketing and Design Management at The Swedish School of Textiles, University of Borås
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 “Traceability in Practice”

We will hear from other industries on how they have brought forward traceable systems from the beginning of the supply chain through to consumers.
12:00 Lunch
13:30 “Fashion brands insight”

Each segment of the apparel industry has unique challenges. In this discussion we will hear from 3 different companies that have taken different approaches to their unique challenges.
14:30 Coffee break
15:00 Match making 1
16:00 Wrap up day 1
16:30 Social event at Milan City
19:00 Dinner at Villa Necchi
23:00 End
09:00 Welcome day 2
09:30 “Sustainable Finance - Advancing sustainable development”

CARA SMYTH, Vice President of Glasgow Caledonian New York College
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 “Metrics in Sustainability - A Planetary Boundaries Assessment”

EVA KARLSSON, CEO of Houdini Sportswear

What is our entire impact on the world? This the question Houdini Sportswear used the planetary boundaries framework to start to answer. Their pilot study includes everything from environmental factors like climate change, freshwater use and biodiversity as well as social factors. We will also talk about their philosophy behind the work.
14:00 “The blue way – bluesign’s roadmap”

JILL DUMAIN, CEO of bluesign® technologies
14:30 Keynote "Not Charity just Work"

SIMONE CIPRIANI, Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre
15:15 Conference wrap up and closing words
16:00 End


Enjoy the evening of the first conference day on one of ten offered tours while networking and dining in one of Milan’s most famous villa’s from the 1930s.

Tour Options

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The Ambrosiana Art Gallery was established in April 1618, when Cardinal Federico Borromeo donated his collection of paintings, statues and drawings. Within the exhibition itinerary of the Pinacoteca are some of the most extraordinary masterpieces of all time, such as Leonardo's Musico, Caravaggio's Fruit Canestra, and the Preparatory Carton for the Raphael School of Athens, the Adoration of the Magi by Titian, the Madonna of the Pavilion by Botticelli and the splendid flower vases by Jan Brueghel. The Codex Atlanticus alone is worth a visit; it’s the largest collection in the world of drawings and autographed writings by Leonardo da Vinci and has been preserved since 1637 at the Veneranda Biblioteca Ambrosiana in Milan, one of the first libraries in the world to be open to the public. It is made up of 1119 sheets that embrace the intellectual life of Leonardo for a period of more than forty years - from 1478 to 1519 - covering the most varied of themes: From sketches and preparatory drawings for pictorial works to mathematics, astronomy and optics research, from philosophical meditations to fables and gastronomic recipes, up to curious and futuristic projects of contraptions such as hydraulic pumps, parachutes and war machines. Of the common tourist attractions, this Gallery is one of the most treasured museum in town.


Together with the Duomo, the Basilica of Sant'Ambrogio is the cradle of history and spirituality in Milan and a treasure trove of sacred art. The Basilica, dedicated to the bishop of Milan, is a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture in Lombardy.

A forgotten story links Leonardo da Vinci to Milan - the story of a vineyard. The same vineyard that Ludovico “Il Moro,” Duke of Milan, gave to Leonardo as a gift in 1498. A vineyard surrounded by legends involving Leonardo, his works and his followers. Today the vineyard is born again, within the original rows and with the original vine stock. The Duke of Milan, dreamt of building a new residential neighborhood where his most loyal men could live. Only a few traces of his dream remain today: the Cathedral of Santa Maria delle Grazie with Leonardo’s Last Supper and the magnificent Atellani House.

It is impossible to imagine the spectacle behind the anonymous façade of Corso Magenta. Outside, San Maurizio at the Maggiore Monastery looks like an ordinary church. As soon as you cross the threshold, you realize that it is one of the most beautiful treasures of Milan. Its magnificence comes mainly from its decor with its walls and ceiling teeming with paintings, stuccos, frescoes that cover every space, both in the public section as well as in the Chorus of the Nuns. The genius loci is Bernardino Luini, who worked there with his school from 1522 to 1529, portraying stories of saints, parables, episodes from the life of Christ and the Bible. The cycle of frescoes was defined as "The Sistine Chapel in Milan."


We take you on a nice walk from Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica along the city center and the must-see features of the city. A journey into history from its Roman origins of Mediolanum, to contemporary street art as well as the city’s secret gardens and villas.

(Saint Ambrogio Basilica - Catholic University – Saint Maurizio Monastery- Maurizio Cattelan sculpture “LOVE“ - the Stock Exchange Building and square – Piazza San Sepolcro – Duomo Cathedral interior visit - Saint Babila Church - Corso Venezia and Castiglioni Palace - via Mozart up to Villa Necchi.)


Come with us on a charming walk from Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica along the city centre and its iconic corners. A journey into history from the roman origins of Mediolanum, to the middle age impressive Sforza Castle, city’s theatres and squares and galleries.

(From Museo della Scienza e della Tecnica to Casa Atellani exterior – Santa Maria delle Grazie Church – Saint Maurizio Monastery – Teatro dal Verme– via Dante - Piazza Castello – Cordusio – Piazza Mercanti – via Santa Margherita – piazza SCALA – Galleria Vittroio Emanuele– DUOMO interior visit and then towards Villa Necchi)


Opened in 2015, this 4500 square meter space is dedicated to Giorgio Armani’s collections and creative inspiration. The minimalist and contemporary architecture allows the garments and accessories to pop like no other. The building with its stunning concrete floors, dimmed lights and essential, simple feel is all a tribute to Giorgio Armani’s style.

Not to be missed is a walk in the nearby area of via Tortona and via Savona, where each April the Milan Design week “Fuori salone” comes to life. In this part of the city, however, the creative atmosphere remains fervent for the rest of the year, with its reconverted industrial building, stylish contemporary shops and flats, photo-shooting studios, emerging fashion designers and artists.


As stated by architect Rem Koolhaas: “The Fondazione is not a preservation project and not a new architecture. Two conditions that are usually kept separate here confront each other in a state of permanent interaction, offering an ensemble of fragments that will not congeal into a single image, or allow any part to dominate the others.

New, old, horizontal, vertical, wide, narrow, white, black, open, enclosed – all these contrasts establish the range of oppositions that define the new Fondazione. By introducing so many spatial variables, the complexity of the architecture will promote an unstable, open programming, where art and architecture will benefit from each other’s challenges.”

And then there’s ART – a permanent collection and temporary exhibitions.


Explore the city that has learned to innovate architecture through sustainability.

The new city icons: City Life with the archi-star projects from Zaha Adid, Arata Isozaki, Daniel Libeskind; Porta Nuova Gae Aulenti District (arch De Lucchi / Cesar Pelli / Cucinella), the Google Building by architect William McDonough & Partners totally eco-sustainable, il Bosco Verticale (The Vertical Forest) by arch Stefano Boeri, La Biblioteca degli alberi (the Library of Trees). In Milan old and new buildings, offices and houses, coexist in perfect harmony.


Visit sustainable Milan by bike along the numerous biking paths in the city center.

Guides will stop to explain in front of the major cultural highlights.


Enjoy the new and fun way to visit the city! Photograph the monuments comfortably seated on an electric rickshaw and let yourself be led by your personal driver. Eco-friendly and covered, so you'll always be sheltered from the rain and the sun!


Brera was once a bohemian artists and intellectual district, it is today one of the coolest places in the city, full of art galleries, antiques, refined boutiques, design showrooms, small restaurants and cafes where you can enjoy the ever-present aperitif. The Pinacoteca, on the 1st floor of the historic and wonderful Palazzo di Brera (and its beautiful courtyard, the Academy and the botanical gardens), preserves precious works, including the dead Christ of Mantegna and the Supper in Emmaus by Caravaggio, the famous Kiss of Hayez and other jewels of Italian and foreign peinture from 1400 to 1800.

Villa Necchi Campiglio

Villa Necchi Campiglio, an extraordinary house tucked away in the center of the city, built between 1932 and 1935 by Milanese architect Piero Portaluppi, and subsequently renovated by fellow architect Tommaso Buzzi, the house reflected the entry of Rationalism into modern architecture. It is surrounded by a large garden, tennis court and swimming pools. The Necchi Campiglio family certainly lived in style – they were well-known members of the Milan industrial bourgeoisie and led prosperous and polished lives. Their home is a stunning harmonious combination of architecture and decorative arts. The inhabitants of the house were the sisters Gigina and Nedda Necchi, and Gigina’s husband, Angelo Campiglio. They were significant producers of cast iron and enameled sewing machines and were known for luxurious parties, for which the house was perfectly suited. The New York Times reported, "With its marble-trimmed facade and no-nonsense layouts, Villa Necchi was a modernist palate cleanser in a city chock-full of ornate palazzos. Villa Necchi’s soaring, impressively stolid rooms, with their lozenge stucco ceilings, walnut parquetry and heavy sliding doors, convey both an air of grandeur and a strict sense of discipline."


  • Simonetta Carbonaro
  • Cara Smyth
  • Simone Cipriani

Professor in Humanistic Marketing and Design Management
The Swedish School of Textiles University of Borås

Simonetta is a consumer psychologist and the cofounder of REALISE, a strategic consulting company specialized in brand direction, marketing and design management. Her consumer insights and foresights are supported by 25 years of research in the area of consumer ethos and behavior. As professor in design management and humanistic marketing at the Swedish School of Textiles University of Borås, she directs The Design of Prosperity initiative focused on socio-cultural forces fostering sustainable societal change. In the past, she led EU commissioned research projects at the Domus Academy postgraduate design school in Milan. For over 25 years, she has been working with CEOs and key executives of international fashion, home design and food businesses for the design and implementation of purpose-driven brand and communication strategies. At the same time, she has been educating and leading designers, copywriters and creative leaders in the challenging goal of translating the message of sustainability into communication models with powerful ethical and aesthetic impact. Simonetta belongs to the Advisory Board of the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute/MIGROS - one of the oldest and most renowned European Think-Tanks of the consumer goods industry. She is a member of the BOD of Gebana, one of the first fair-trade enterprises in Europe and she is a member of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition Higg Index Transparency Steering Team.

Vice President of Glasgow Caledonian New York College

Cara Smyth is the Vice President of Glasgow Caledonian New York College (GCNYC), the first international institution of higher education in the United States to receive degree granting authority, and founder of the renown Fair Fashion Center (FFC). With the unique mission to facilitate the incorporation of sustainable practices into fashion, the FFC is proving the business case for sustainability by turning global issues into industry opportunities. In her role bridging the industry, academia and a sustainable future, she now serves on the Sustainability Advisory Council for MarieClaire, is a board member for Glasgow Caledonian University, Sing for Hope, and a Tribeca Disrupter. 

CEO Houdini Sportswear

Eva Karlsson is the CEO of Houdini Sportswear, a progressive and rapidly growing Swedish company in the outdoor industry and bluesign® systems partner since 2009. Since she together with a team of likeminded came onboard in 2001, they have been redesigning its business to become a force for good – providing circular and sustainable products, offering product-as-a-service solutions and building a co-creative community for open-source innovation, sharing knowledge and inspiring to reconnect to nature.

Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre
(ITC is a joint agency of the United Nations and World Trade Organization)

Simone Cipriani oversees the promotion of trade and incubation of creative micro-enterprises within marginalized communities in Africa and Haiti. Operated through the wider “Poor Communities and Trade Programme” launched by the ITC, the Ethical Fashion Initiative, spearheaded by Cipriani, launched Ethical Fashion Africa Limited in Nairobi and through partnerships with designers such as Vivienne Westwood, Sass & Bide and Stella McCartney, has created a hub for creative manufacturing and production in countries such as Ghana and Uganda, using fair trade labor and ethical fashion practices.



Milan is an attractive and charming city with a vibe that balances old-world romance and history with urban grit and cosmopolitanism. Today, Milan enchants, fascinates and inspires reflection on urban transformations, it is a city that frees a potential energy that the world finally seems to have noticed. While it may be known for its role as a fashion and design capital, the city’s grand style doesn’t stop there. The storied city has a colorful history that stretches back to 600 B.C. and includes a period as capital of the Italian Empire, under Napoléon. Surprising is the harmony that has been created between large, new buildings and historical ones, the contrast between old and new is very strong and yet it is never discordant. Many of its most interesting sights and attractions are not readily apparent, so you’ll need to dig a little deeper to discover the gems that really make the city unique. Luckily, Milan is surprisingly walkable and at times feels more like a compact town than a major European metropolis. The architecture is as varied as its museum and gallery offerings from early medieval to mid-century through to contemporary. Its design and fashion heritage also provide the city a cosmopolitan personality you won’t find anywhere else. There is bustling life here. There is renewal.

Museo Nazionale della Scienza e della
Tecnologia "Leonardo da Vinci"
Via Olona, 6, 20123 Milano


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We are pleased to present MCL News & Media as the media partner for the 5th bluesign® conference. The publisher of Ecotextile News, MCL is the leading platform for the global textiles supply chain in sustainability and innovation in the textile industry.

Please send any press inquiries to



The bluesign® system reduces the environmental impact of the entire textile supply chain. With its holistic approach, Input Stream Management provides an efficient solution for chemical suppliers, textile and accessory manufacturers as well as fashion brands. Stating the principles and monitoring the implementation of the bluesign® system, bluesign technologies ag encourages the textile industry to increase its efforts in sustainable processes.