JAAF as presenting partner for the 6th Responsible Fashion Summit

  • Focuses on the theme ‘Circularity-in-Action’

Sri Lanka’s Joint Apparel Association Forum (JAAF) signed on as presenting partner for the 6th annual edition of the Responsible Fashion Summit (RFS).

Focused on the theme “Circularity-in-Action”, this year’s event will be hosted on 8 November at the Shangri-La, Colombo. Notably, this year’s event will be hosted as a hybrid virtual event with a restricted physical audience, and a live stream for a wider local and global audience.

“JAAF is proud to serve as a partner to the RFS. Circularity in fashion is an absolute priority for our industry, given that we have always been ahead of the curve when it comes to sustainability and ethical manufacturing practices.

“This event serves as an opportunity to bring together Sri Lanka’s most dynamic and innovative players in the field of sustainable, ethical, and circular fashion, in order to collectively assess new opportunities to make our industry more sustainable, and relevant to global, environmentally-conscious brands and consumers. We are confident that these invaluable collaborations across industry lines will further accelerate Sri Lanka’s progress towards becoming the most sustainable apparel manufacturers in Asia,” JAAF Chairman A. Sukumaran stated. 

Circularity in fashion refers to business models that enable responsible design, sourcing, and production of clothes, shoes, or accessories towards sustainable and effective circulation in society, for as long as possible, in their most valuable form, before being safely returned to the biosphere when it fulfills its complete lifecycle.

Accordingly, all products are manufactured to be easily disassembled, and for component materials to either be broken down by nature or returned to production, in order to drastically reduce consumption and cut-down on negative environmental impacts.

These concepts will form the basis of all deliberations at RFS 2021, with the broader goal of going beyond shifting mindsets, by promoting knowledge and experience sharing, in addition to showcasing the local and global industry’s cutting-edge technical innovations, with the ultimate goal of accelerating the emergence of a circular Sri Lankan economy.

“Since its inception, RFS has been driven by the desire to walk-the-talk, this edition has been planned in a very interesting time. RFS is not only unique to Sri Lanka but also to Asia, it also showcases Sri Lanka’s efforts while bringing focus to key solutions that the global supply chain needs. As the apex industry body for Sri Lanka, I am glad JAAF has come on board this year. We hope to achieve more this year and keep the momentum going. There will be a lot of empowering discussions and an important evaluation tool to be launched. I invite all with interest in sustainability to join in,” RFS Founder Ajai V. Singh said.

Since its launch in 2018, RFS has continuously served as an essential platform for showcasing ideas and innovations with potential for global impact, and a forum for open dialogue between international and local industry leaders and experts.

Every edition of RFS has a different theme that reflects the issues the global industry is facing, and the summit is planned with relevant experts to add value to different aspects of global challenges broken into discussion panels. RFS is one of its kind in Asia and unique to South Asia. It has enjoyed an important following among fashion, apparel, and design sectors. Over the years it has showcased cutting-edge ideas that would aim to transform the apparel industry towards positive impact. The key emphasis is to make the ideas workable.

The upcoming edition of RFS will feature four high-profile panel discussions. The first panel will be on the topic “Impact of Circularity in Design” featuring David Abraham (Abraham and Thakore, India), Arujuna Hettinakanam (In-Cube Global), and Himanshu Shani (11:11, India).

The second panel will focus on apparel supply chain under the theme “Readiness, Challenges, and Opportunities regarding Circularity in Fashion Supply Chains” and will include Nissanga Warnapura (Hela), Thusitha Cooray (Hirdaramani), and Omoyemi Akerele (Nigeria).

Meanwhile, the third panel will be under the theme “Influence of Circularity in Textile Innovation” and will be comprised of Moyne Perera (Stretchline), Nalaka Senaviratna (Eco Spindles), Paige Earlam (Plexus-Cotton, UK and Africa), and Joy Nunn (Purfi US and Belgium).

The sessions will be concluded with the fourth and final panel featuring Stuart Rogers (HSBC), former SLAB Chairman Didul Kodagoda, Charini Suriyage (CHARINI), and Tharanga Gunasekera (HSBC), on the topic “Standardising Sustainable Design based SMEs and the introduction of the Responsible Meter”.

In addition to the above, there will be three point of view (POV) presentations by eminent industry experts like Tarun Tahiliani from India, Robert Lou from China, and Sharika Senanayake from Sri Lanka.

Notably, even the event’s partner hotel, Shangri-La – which has been linked to RFS since its inception – also boasts of progressive and important sustainable practices. Similarly, Eco-Spindles have been partnering with RFS since the beginning, and over the years they have showcased their new developments focusing on recycled yarns from plastic/PET. This time it will be an innovative product where yarns are derived from recycled fabric.

DHL, global logistics powerhouse partners with RFS for the first time and this global brand has innovated progressively while keeping sustainability at its core.

A first-of-its-kind designed garment evaluation tool will be launched at this platform called Responsible Meter, it is primarily focused towards MSMEs. It evaluates and scores the responsible performance of a designed garment, on the basis of its impact on environmental and societal wellbeing.

The 6th edition of RFS at 10 a.m. (IST) on 8 November at the Spice Ballroom, Shangri-La, Colombo. The live telecast links will be made available on social media and it will also be telecast live on CFW TV.