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Textile Industry searches for Transparency, Collaboration and Innovation to overcome Sustainability Challenges

TraceAbility. NetworkAbility. TransformAbility.

Stitching the blue way together


  • Simonetta Carbonaro
  • Dr. Peter Bartsch
  • Sebastiano Sardo
  • Wendy Waugh
  • Cara Smyth
  • Jill Dumain
  • 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.

Sustainability Director at Lenzing Group

Peter Bartsch has 20 years of experience in textile industry. He worked in R&D, technical customer services, business development and marketing. He has gained experience throughout the entire supply chain including brand and retail level before taking responsibility for Corporate Sustainability in Lenzing Group from 2014. As head of sustainability department, Mr. Bartsch is responsible for the integration of sustainability in different business functions and for the implementation of the sustainability strategy in the Group. He reports directly to the Management Board of the Lenzing Group.

He is a board member of DTB, a German association for partnering and dialog within the textile industry. Mr. Bartsch has obtained a PhD at the Institute for Textile Chemistry at University of Stuttgart/Germany in 1995.



Product and Marketing Manager at Eataly World

Sebastiano Sardo is Strategic Marketing Manager at Eataly World – a joint venture of Coop Alleanza and Eataly. He was responsible for the opening and the launch of FICO agri-park in Bologna and the Selection and commercial dealing with all the companies involved in the project.

Head of Sustainability, Inter IKEA Group

Lena is the Head of Sustainability at Inter IKEA group with responsibility for the IKEA sustainability strategy and strategic initiatives. Working with the ambition to create a positive impact on people and the planet, on topics such as how to enable and inspire new sustainable living behaviors, design & develop new products & solutions, selections of materials and responsible sourcing standards. Lena has a passion to work with innovation and change and has worked over 20 years in the sustainability field. She started at IKEA ten years ago and prior to IKEA she worked as a researcher and in different functions within the in IT and Medical device industry in the US. She has a business degree, a master in environmental policy & management and have in attended corporate responsibility courses at Harvard and Copenhagen Business School. Lena is also board member in the Saw a Seed Foundations, a initiative that has worked with regeneration of rain forest in Borneo for soon 20 years. She is currently member of the Multi-stakeholder Advisory Committee for Sustainable Lifestyles and Education Programme, a 10-Year Framework of Programmes on Sustainable Consumption and Production. Her passion is also social entrepreneurship taking part in project globally in relation creating new innovative ways of working in the handicraft sector e.g. in India and Vietnam.

Environmental Sustainability Manager, Stella McCartney

Debra joined Stella McCartney in 2016 and is the Environmental Sustainability Manager. Debra works with suppliers and supply chain teams to implement sustainable sourcing initiatives and reduce the environmental impact of the supply chain. Before joining Stella McCartney, Debra was a sustainability and climate change consultant at PricewaterhouseCoopers where she primarily worked with Kering on their annual Environmental Profit & Loss. The E P&L is an innovative tool that quantifies and monetises the impact a business has on the environment from the production of raw materials used to its direct operations. She holds a Master of Science in Environment and Development from the London School of Economics & Politics, and Bachelor of Arts in Geography from the University of Oxford.

Global Sr. Manager EHS of Levi Strauss & Co

Szilard Szarvas is Global Sr. Manager EHS of Levi Strauss & Co. Sustainability department. He together with a team has been working on various external programs on water quality standard, restricted substances lists and chemical full formulation hazard screenings. By sharing LS&Co. approaches with others he can work together to move the industry forward while reducing the impact on the planet. Through collaboration and cooperation with governments, NGOs, suppliers and even competitors, together his team can ensure the progress made is shared and, as a result, people everywhere can benefit.

Head of Manufacturing and Sustainability at Theory

Wendy Waugh is the head of Manufacturing and Sustainability for Theory, a groundbreaking contemporary brand based in New York City. In her 18 years at Theory she has been a driving force for change and a talented problem solver. Wendy is a hands-on executive with a wide range of expertise and experience. Amongst her many accomplishments are developing and putting into place two different product management systems, leading raw material and design operations teams, and implementing change towards innovation and sustainability in all aspects of the business. Wendy has a passion for creative thinking, both at work and in her life outside of work where she is an accomplished fine artist who focuses on large-scale figurative art.

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.

Jill Dumain
CEO, bluesign technologies ag

Jill Dumain stepped into the role of CEO at bluesign technologies in January of 2017. She has been a strong advocate and supporter of bluesign since its inception in 2000 and paved the way for Patagonia to be the first brand member. Jill held various senior positions at Patagonia in a career including textile research and development and environmental strategy for more than 27 years. She has also held leadership and board positions at the Organic Exchange, Textile Exchange and the Sustainability Working Group at the Outdoor Industry Association. She was the Chairwoman of bluesign technologies’ Advisory Board from 2011-2017. Throughout her career, Jill has traveled extensively globally giving her a chance to interface with many different types of companies throughout the supply chain committed to performance in textiles and environmental responsibility in the industry.

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.


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.

  • 10/17/2018, Venue Hotel The Square
  • 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

Radical Transformation. It is a big statement. Simonetta will guide us through a conversation on why society needs this transformation today and how traceability and transparency into supply chains is a pre-requisite to achieve the important radical actions in our industry now.
10:30 Coffee break
11:00 “Traceability in Practice”

- DR. PETER BARTSCH, Sustainability Director, Lenzing Group
- SEBASTIANO SARDO, Product and Marketing Manager of Eataly World
- LENA PRIPP KOVAC, Head of Sustainability, Inter IKEA Group

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
13:00 “Fashion brands insight”

- DEBRA GUO, Environmental Sustainability Manager of Stella McCartney
- SZILARD SZARVAS, Global Sr. Manager EHS of Levi Strauss & Co
- WENDY WAUGH, Head of Manufacturing and Sustainability at Theory

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.
14:00 Coffee break
14:30 TraceAbility - NetworkAbility - TransformAbility

Have you ever tried to find the best connections in your supply chain to begin a new project or research an innovation? We will come together to map the current reality while deepening the discussion towards opportunities in our industry.
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

Investors are demanding transparency, more sustainable practices, and decision useful environmental, social and governance information. They expect ‘progress, not perfection’ on specific issue areas. With all of the sustainability priority areas available today, it can be overwhelming. Cara will share her thinking on the best approach to using the investor’s lens to planning a sustainability strategy for all different parts of the supply chain, and why it can make your business more profitable.
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.
11:30 Transparency - Collaboration - Innovation

Aware of the opportunities, we can design the future we want to see in our industry. Following this discussion, we will know others on the same path thus building our networks for shaping the solutions.
13:00 Lunch
14:00 “The blue way – bluesign’s roadmap”

JILL DUMAIN, CEO of bluesign technologies ag

We are in one of the most dynamic times with sustainability work in the textile and apparel industry. bluesign has been updating their strategy and roadmap and we will hear about their plans for the future.
14:30 Keynote "Not Charity just Work"

SIMONE CIPRIANI, Head of the Ethical Fashion Initiative of the International Trade Centre

A story of making wonderful high-quality products in the most unlikely places. This talk will empower everyone to look at the ‘impossible’ as not only possible but inspirational.
15:15 Conference wrap up and closing words
16:00 End


Enjoy the evening of the first conference day on one of 6 remaining 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.


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.


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.

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."



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


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.


The bluesign® conference takes place every two years. With this open conference for guests and bluesign® system partners, bluesign® provides a platform upon which all the companies along the supply chain have the opportunity to get to know each other, exchange information, be involved via special sessions, and learn new views about sustainable solutions and business models. Hot topics from within the industry and the outside world were discussed and answers given.