WEAR 2017

NOVEMBER 13-14, 2017

Speakers

Keynotes by Kathleen Talbot, Ellen Karp, Stacy Flynn, & Giuliana Ortega

  • WEAR is a must attend event for sustainable fashion. The conference attracts a who’s who of people involved in the transformation of the fashion industry.
    Roger Williams Filmmaker – RiverBlue

Schedule

Morning

Textiles

8:00 am

Registration and continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Opening Remarks

8:45 am

Special Presentation by TESTEX + Peggy Sue Collection, winner of Canada’s Sustainable Fashion Award

9:15 am

Keynote: “The Global Consumer and Sustainable Textiles” by Ellen Karp. (Sponsored by TESTEX)

10:00 am

Break

10:15 am

Panel Presentation + Q&A: “The New Era of Textiles”

  • Daren Abney, Better Cotton Initiative
  • Giusy Bettoni, C.L.A.S.S
  • Lori Wyman, GOTS
  • Jennifer Osborn, Upper Canada Fibreshed
  • Chirag Tekchandaney, Co-Founder, Bombay Hemp Co.

11:15 am

Break

11:30 am

Workshops: Textiles


A Conversation About Smart Innovation & Materials with C.L.A.S.S.

Guisy Bettoni, CLASS

Sustainably Sourcing

Daren Abney, Better Cotton Initiative

WoolHack

Jennifer Osborn & Peggy Sue, Upper Canada Fibreshed & Peggy Sue Collection

Third-Party Certification for Organic Textiles

Lori Wyman, Global Organic Textile Standard

12:30 pm

Lunch

Afternoon

Waste

1:30 pm

Keynote: “From Sustainable to Regenerative: The Future of Apparel” by Stacy Flynn

2:15 pm

Break

2:45 pm

Panel Presentation + Q&A: “Textile Waste & The Circular Economy Model”

  • Tony Shumpert, Value Village
  • Simon Langer, Canadian Diabetes
  • Steven Bethell, Bank & Vogue
  • Annette Synowiec, City of Toronto

3:45 pm

Break

4:00 pm

Workshops:
Waste & the Circular Economy


Extending the lifecycle: Redesign and Renew

Jennifer Triemstra Johnston + Sarah Peel, Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles Studio (FACTS)

Textile Waste Management & Impact: Experiences from Here and Abroad

Lis Suarez & Anita Ahuja, FEM International/ Conserve India

From Waste to Resource: Design for Circularity

Tony Shumpert, Value Village

Optimism with Upcycling & the Circular Economy of Textiles

Steven Bethell, Bank & Vogue

5:00 pm

Closing Remarks

Evening

5:30-7:30 pm

Networking Reception @ Steam Whistle Brewery (Sponsored by IDRC)

Morning

Labour

8:00 am

Registration and continental Breakfast

8:30 am

Opening Remarks

8:45 am

Special Presentation: Ashoka and C&A Foundation “Fabric of Change”

9:15 am

Keynote: “Responsible Supply Chains” by Giuliana Ortega

10:00 am

Break

10:15 am

Panel Presentation + Q&A “Who Makes Our Clothes”

  • Clay Hickson, Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)
  • Julie Francoeur, Fairtrade Canada
  • Meghan Ryan, Business for Social Responsibility (BSR)
  • Ashia Sheikh, NEST
  • Daniel Schiff, Ashoka

11:15 am

Break

11:30 am

Workshops: Labour


Evolution of Responsible Sourcing

Clay Hickson, WRAP

Living Wage in Supply Chains

Julie Francoeur & Harvey Chan, Fair Trade Canada / Fair Labour Association

Advancing Women in Apparel Supply Chains

Meghan Ryan & Jorgette Mariñez, BSR

Increasing Transparency for Informal Economy Workers

Ashia Sheikh & Anita Ahuja, NEST / Conserve India

12:30 pm

Lunch

Afternoon

Water

1:30 pm

Keynote: “The Impact of Fashion” by Kathleen Talbot

2:15 pm

Break

2:30 pm

Documentary Screening: River Blue

3:30 pm

Break

3:45 pm

Panel Presentation + Q&A “Fashion’s Deep Water Impacts”

  • Alex Penades, Jeanologia
  • Roger Williams, River Blue
  • Luigi Caccia, ItalDenim
  • Maria Westerbos, Plastic Soup Foundation

4:45 pm

Closing Remarks

5:00-6:30 pm

Closing Networking Reception at WEAR Exhibitor Hall

  • Presenting at WEAR2017 was an amazing experience. It was wonderful to be able to share the results of the ground-breaking OEKO-TEXR global consumer survey with a diverse and knowledgeable audience but – equally important - I was exposed to so much about key aspects of the industry right now and into the future. It was a masterful learning experience and a pleasure to be there.
    Ellen Karp, Founder of Anerca International
  • I was really blown away at the level of interest and engagement by participants at the conference. I especially liked the breakout workshops during the day – it allowed everyone to connect and have multiple opportunities to network with different people in a variety of formats. The event was helpful to me as a waste management professional and I had a number of key 'aha' moments that I will be bringing back to share with my team.
    Annette Synoweic City of Toronto
  • The WEAR conference facilitates a very important conversation as our global apparel industry is in crisis. I was especially inspired by the solutions and collaborations that were evident at this year’s conference and I am more dedicated than ever to continue our work to build collective capacity to grow ourselves and our businesses at the same rate our changing environment requires
    Stacy Flynn, Evrnu.

PARTNERS & SPONSORS

  • I was able to get a glimpse on the next level of thinking about apparel & sustainability and the best part was that it came from so many different corners of the industry - so refreshing!
    Ariel Olsen, Target
  • WEAR is a must attend event for sustainable fashion. The conference attracts a who’s who of people involved in the transformation of the fashion industry.
    Roger Williams Filmmaker – RiverBlue

EXHIBITORS

Annette Synowiec

Manager (Acting) Business Operations & Change Initiatives Solid Waste Management Services, Policy, Planning & Support, City of Toronto

Annette is the Acting Manager of Business Operations and Change Initiatives in the Solid Waste Management Services Division at the City of Toronto. This is a new role at the City of Toronto that will be responsible for spearheading the Unit for Research Innovation and a Circular Economy. The formation of this unit is just one of the many initiatives that City Council approved in Toronto's Long Term Waste Management Strategy—Toronto’s master plan for waste reduction and recycling over the next 30-50 years. She has a Diploma in Public Administration and has worked in almost all aspects of the municipal solid waste management industry for more than 15 years including program planning, collections and processing operations and policy development.

Peggy Sue Deaven-Smiltnieks

Founder, Peggy Sue Collection

Peggy Sue Deaven-Smiltnieks graduated with a B.F.A. from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) and is the 2016 winner of the Toronto Fashion Incubator’s New Labels Competition. She founded Peggy Sue Collection Inc. with the mission of taking steps towards revitalizing the North American Farm and Fiber Industry. In a time where a garment's maker and its fiber source are anonymous, Peggy Sue seeks to affect change in the industry by producing an exclusively North American Ready-To-Wear Collection that honors the Farmer, the Maker and the Creator. For without their time-honored skills, knowledge and hard work there would be no fiber, no fabric, no fashion.

Lis Suarez

Founder, Director and Lead Trainer, FEM International

Lis Suarez Visbal-Ensink is a social entrepreneur and ASHOKA Fellow, passionately committed to the economic development of women and to sustainable development, both locally and internationally. Native of Colombia, Lis has more than 15 years of experience in international development, social entrepreneurship with a gender approach around the world. Working in access to market strategies and developing life cycles analysis and market research to artisans as well as develop and established businesses. Lis has a BA in International Development & Finance from the University Externado of Colombia and advance degree in Business Administration and Finance from Harvard University. She has pursue several courses related to Circular Economy, sustainability in the fashion industry and has lecture in different setting around these issues too. She has received various awards and recognitions for her commitment to sustainable development and corporate social responsibility, including the coup Coeur of Latin_american association of Quebec, special mention by the Quebec network of women and environment (RQFE) and as 1 of the 12 Equiterre’s women who are influencing Quebec Environment arena amongst others.

Anita Ahuja

Founder, Conserve India

Anita is a writer, an artist and a designer but her most notable work has been as a social entrepreneur. She founded Conserve India, a NGO aimed towards sustainability in 1997. For the last 20 years, under her leadership, Conserve has worked in the promotion of energy efficiency, waste management, upcycling, skill-training and food security. She has won many accolades in this time- “Best Green Designer, Qatar, 2010”, “Ashoka fellowship, 2008”, “Letter of Commendation from Clinton Global Initiative, 2011”, have been some of her most notable achievements. Though her biggest achievement has been the innovation of “Handmade recycled plastic” (HRP), a means to upcycle low density polythene into a high-fashion material. She along with her husband, are joint patent holders for the material. Anita’s invention has led to developing HRP products which are now exported globally, resulting in upcycling of over 5000 tonnes of plastic waste.

Giuliana Ortega

Head of Instituto C&A

WEAR Keynote Speaker

Giuliana Ortega holds a degree in business administration from the University of São Paulo (FEA / USP), a postgraduate degree in global governance management from the Inwent / German Development Institute (Germany) and a master's degree in sustainability and social responsibility from Ashridge Business School (England) . Giuliana has been working with social responsibility and sustainability since 2002 and she has worked for Natura and the Ethos Institute. At C&A since 2010, Giuliana led the supplier and sustainability auditing areas until 2015, when she became the Head of Instituto C&A, the regional office of C&A Foundation in Brazil.

Chirag Tekchandaney

Co-Founder, Bombay Hemp Company

Chirag is the co-founder of Bombay Hemp Company, where he leads the
Hemp textile business and key people-related functions. He draws
marketing insights from his previous stint at Directi (an online web
solutions company) to develop BOHECO’s clothing brand, B Label, and
create a community of ecologically conscious consumers. While
positively disrupting pollutive fashion in India, Chirag is building a
brand philosophy to help the most marginal stakeholders of the
production chain – the farmers.

His ability to understand the bigger picture has roots in RCHR, a
social impact organization which he presided over as a college
student. During his tenure, he brought together over 300 peers for an
array of socially-driven activities like raising large funds for
cancer patients, opening windows to communication between students in
India and Pakistan via postcards, engaging with visually impaired
youth through dance, and so on. He later also joined a pan-India
student activity to bring solar lighting to rural India.
Even today, at BOHECO, Chirag heads B Label Handlooms, which brings
employment and income to over 150 women weavers in rural Uttarakhand.
His vision is to use BOHECO as a platform and hemp as a mouthpiece to
unite people to co-create a sustainable world.

Daniel Schiff

Fabric of Change Engagement Manager, Ashoka

Since early 2016, Dan has served as Ashoka’s engagement manager for Fabric of Change, a global partnership with C&A Foundation that supports the work of social entrepreneurs in making the fashion and apparel industry a force for good. Since launching in 2015, Fabric of Change has supported a cohort of social entrepreneurs and young innovators with more than $1 million CAD worth of direct funding and pro bono services.

Dan previously was global program manager for the Ashoka Support Network, a community of business leaders that advises and collaborates with Ashoka’s fellowship of more than 3,500 leading social entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Ashoka in 2013, Dan was a healthcare business journalist and editor. His first job out of university was in the apparel industry—managing logistics for the (now-defunct) U.S. retail chain Steve & Barry’s University Sportswear.

Dan received a B.A. in government from Cornell University and an M.B.A. with a concentration in sustainability management from American University. He is based in Washington, D.C.

Jorgette Marinez

Associate Director, Consumer Sectors, BSR

Jorgette leads BSR’s consumer products practice for the United States, and the global food, beverage, and agriculture practice. She focuses on aligning innovative sustainability practices with business strategy and operations, working with executives from the food, beverage, and agriculture; consumer packaged goods; apparel; footwear; and retail industries, among others.

Jorgette brings more than 10 years of experience consulting with multinational companies and governments, with expertise in supply chain management, procurement, strategy, and employee engagement. She has worked at Arthur Andersen, Great Place to Work, and Unisys. She also spent four years at PepsiCo leading global supplier CSR assurance. Jorgette speaks English and Spanish.

Jorgette holds a B.A. in Economics and Policy Studies, with a minor in Marketing, from Syracuse University.

Luigi Caccia

President, Ital Denim

Luigi Caccia is the president of Italdenim, a company based in Milan that specializes in the production of sustainable jeans. A family owned business since 1974, Cacci has been involved in denim since he was a child.

In the last 10 years he has been directly involved in the revolution of the denim process. Looking for new technologies and natural polymers, in addition to constantly studying new technologies through various businesses, Cacci has successfully reduced the amount of chemicals and water in the process of making jeans. Italdenim continually seeks to find new opportunities for one of the highest polluting processes in the textile industry.

Meghan Ryan

Manager, Supply Chain & Consumer Sectors, BSR

Meghan Ryan manages BSR’s consulting and collaboration efforts on supply chain sustainability in North America. She has supported companies through supply chain, strategy, and human rights projects, with expertise in the apparel, food, technology, and financial services industries.

Meghan partners with companies to develop supply chain strategies and tools, including risk assessment tools, supplier engagement programs, and sustainable procurement trainings for buyers; creates strategies to advance climate resilience and inclusive business in supply chains; and conducts human rights impact assessments.

Before joining BSR, Meghan led training and educational program development at the Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture. She also has previous experience in management consulting for the pharmaceutical industry, program management for Cornell Cooperative Extension, and inclusive business model and sustainable procurement strategy development for consumer products and food, beverage, and agriculture companies.

Meghan holds an M.B.A. in Sustainability from Bard College and a B.A. in Biology and a B.A. in Anthropology from Williams College.

Maria Westerbos

Founder & Director, Plastic Soup Foundation

Maria Westerbos (1961, Ethiopia) is an expert in mass communications, specialised in both traditional as well as new media. Her greatest talent is the ability to strategize and bring projects for social change to life, with an almost unerring instinct for what different target groups need.

Her most recent success was putting the Plastic Soup Foundation on the world map and transforming the attitudes of businesses, governments, consumers and NGOs regarding plastic microbeads in personal care products.

Jennifer Osborn

Shepherd and Co-founder of Upper Canada Fibreshed

Jennifer Osborn and husband Tim Fisher run All Sorts Acre, a sheep dairy specializing in gelato, wool, and pastured lamb, located Grey County, Ontario. The sheep they raise are bred for good milk production, good-growth on grass, and fibre.

Each year the farm produces approximately 225 kg of wool each year. Like most Canadian sheep farms, only a fraction may be suitable for next to the skin wear. Jennifer's training as a fine artist spurred her to learn the art of felt making. She makes and sell bespoke felt items from her wool, but she can only process so much in a year along with farming and milking. This lead her to look for other uses for the coarse wool stream. She found many other farmers were in the same predicament; "What to do with wool that isn't clothing quality?" Right now the average price of raw wool is below $0.60/lb.

This question has spurred her on to explore ways to use Canadian wool on a much larger scale. Jennifer aims to raise the profile of Canadian wool not only for clothing, but as an important part of a sustainable textile future.

Jennifer is also co-founder of Upper Canada Fibreshed.

Stacy Flynn

CEO and Co-Founder, Evrnu

WEAR Keynote Speaker

As the CEO and Co-Founder of Evrnu, Stacy’s focus is on transforming textile waste into a resource. Evrnu has invented the only regenerative fiber technology that turns post-consumer cotton waste into a pristine new fiber used in apparel, home goods and industrial textiles.

Stacy is an accomplished global textile development specialist who has led multi-million dollar programs at DuPont, Target and Eddie Bauer. She holds an MBA degree in Sustainable Systems, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Textile Development and Marketing from the Fashion Institute of Technology.

Stacy's personal mission is to ensure the textile industry is healthy and able to grow in the future by elegantly managing resources.

Tony Shumpert

Vice President of Recycling and Reuse, Value Village

Tony Shumpert oversees the recycling and reuse business operations for Value Village (also known as Village des Valeurs and Savers), a purpose-driven thrift retailer with more than 330 stores across Canada, the United States and Australia. During his 14-year tenure at Value Village, Tony has been instrumental in establishing the company as a global leader in clothing and textile reuse and recycling.

Tony is passionate about reuse, representing Value Village through his membership on the National Zero Waste Council’s Circular Economy Working Group, as a board member of Secondary Materials and Recycled Textiles Association (SMART), an international trade association focused on promoting high standards and best practices for reducing solid waste by recycling textiles and related secondary materials, and through his Huffington Post contributions.

Harvey Chan

Chief Accountability and Innovation Officer, Fair Labor Association

Harvey Chan is Chief Accountability and Innovation Officer for the Fair Labor Association.  In this role, he leads a global team that provides auditing, research and remediation services to global brands.   Harvey has also led the compliance and or quality programs for retailers MEC and Hbc and was a management consultant with KPMG and IBM.

As former Chair of the Fair Labor Working Group of the Outdoor Industry Association, he led the development and adoption of its first-ever fair labor code and program. He currently sits on the Board of Fashion Takes Action, is a long-time volunteer for Oxfam and Save the Children, and is an occasional instructor on sustainable supply chains at various universities.  From 2012 to 2015, Harvey trained and advised European companies on responsible sourcing for the Business Social Compliance Initiative (BSCI) in Brussels.  He has lived and worked in Johannesburg, Hong Kong and throughout North America.

Julie Francoeur

Executive Director Fairtrade Canada

Julie’s passion sits at the crossroad of sustainability, international development and trade. That’s an ideal spot from which to lead Fairtrade Canada as Executive Director.

She has an MBA in Emerging Markets, a BA in International Development and a Diploma in African Development. She started her career in Montreal with Équiterre in responsible cotton import supply chains and sustainable trade advocacy. She then worked in Bolivia on closed loop municipal waste management for 2 years before moving to the Caribbean to run field operations for Fairtrade International. She built sustainable supply chains from the ground up working with farmer coops, brands, traders, millers, factories, unions, governments and everyone in between in 13 different countries. Her work on climate change mitigation, labour rights and social compliance in coffee, cocoa, bananas, mango, wine, cotton and sugar shaped her. When she moved to Argentina in 2012, her focus changed to South-South trade and the role of governments in enabling systemic changes in terms of trade, human rights, sustainable urban planning and poverty reduction.

She knows hands-on that sustainable supply chains and empowering farmers and workers is messy hard work that often fails. But she has also seen success and is adamant to help others scale up that impact. She is now based in Ottawa with her husband and lively 4 year-old son.

Clay E. Hickson

Vice President, Strategy & Business Development
Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP)

As Vice President, Strategy & Business Development at Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), Clay manages international operations and helps develop and refine WRAP’s strategy, specifically focusing on managing relationships with global brands/retailers and governmental and other stakeholder organizations.  He has developed and led seminars and other initiatives around the world in the field of social responsibility, which have facilitated understanding of socially responsible and ethical practices.

Previously, Clay was Executive Director of TowsonGlobal Business Incubator as well as Director of Rhôton Hill Group, a management consulting firm he established.  He also was Director of International Business Services for International Technology and Trade Associates, Director of International Programs for the World Trade Center Boston, and Account Director with Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide (Taiwan).  Current affiliations include the US Council for International Business, the American Apparel and Footwear Association, and the US Fashion Industry Association.

Clay received his MA in International Relations from the School of Advanced International Studies at The Johns Hopkins University and received his BA in International Relations from The George Washington University.  He also studied Chinese at Columbia University and is fluent in Mandarin.

Daren Abney

Membership Engagement Manager, Better Cotton Initiative (BCI)

Daren Abney joined the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) as the Membership Engagement Manager in 2014, where he focuses on servicing members and ultimately supporting their procurement of Better Cotton. This includes work in global supply chain engagement, training Retailers and Brands, and event management. Prior to BCI, Daren worked as Membership Manager at Textile Exchange for 6 years, focused on sustainability related issues for the textile supply chain. Daren has a BA in Advertising and Marketing from Texas Tech University and is currently based in Texas.

Lori Wyman

Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Representative for North America

Lori Wyman is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) Representative for North America. GOTS is the worldwide leading textile processing standard for organic fibers, including ecological and social criteria. She is also an organic food processing inspector for both the USDA/NOP (USA) and COR (Canada) organic programs. She has conducted organic, sustainable, and social compliance audits on both farms and factories nationally and internationally on every step of the organic supply chain from the farm level to finished product.

Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston

Program Director for the Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles Studio

Jennifer Triemstra-Johnston has worked as a costume designer on over 175 theatrical productions across Ontario. This field introduced Jennifer to the upcycling and redesigning of apparel as she turned modern garments and materials into historical looks on stage. She is currently developing her new endeavour, Pick a Posie, as a sustainable costume company that offers costumes for party rentals and sells second-hand theatre costumes to the public through festivals and pop-up shops.

Jennifer is the Program Director for the Fashion Arts & Creative Textiles Studio (FACTS) at the Canadian Centre for Rural Creativity in Blyth. The program supports the creative community with workshops and visiting artists. FACTS promotes the fibreshed movement while expanding their own mandate to encompass found resources to encourage up-cycling and product innovation.

Since 1999 Jennifer has worked as part-time faculty at various departments including the School of Fashion and Theatre School at Ryerson and Theatre and Dance programs at York.

Jennifer holds an Honours BFA in Theatre Production from York and a MA in Fashion from Ryerson. The MA program gave Jennifer insight into the future of Canadian fashion and the desire to promote the relationship between skills, innovation and sustainability in fashion and artisanal production.

Steven Bethell

Co-Founder of the Bank and Vogue family

As co-founder of the Bank and Vogue family of companies, Steven has been a thought leader and pioneer in the post-consumer textile space for over 20 years. He has dedicated his work life to innovative and relevant solutions to the crisis of stuff.

Bank and Vogue actively works with over 250 charities and private collectors across North America to maximize the value of post-consumer waste and find creative uses for this “waste” stream. Steven and his team have traveled to over 30 countries working extensively amongst the robust second-hand markets of the world.

The retail arm Beyond Retro has been the leader in Vintage clothing in Europe for over 15 years.  With 8 stores and a thriving eCommerce branch, Beyond Retro can be found on the cover of Vogue, featured in the Huffington Post or worn by Adele.

Beyond Retro Label is a line of unique, re-worked items handcrafted from carefully selected vintage fabrics available at Beyond Retro stores or at High Street retailers such as Urban Outfitters or Top Shop.

Steven is also the brainchild behind the largest remanufacturing plant in the world, where the circular economy for textiles is brought to life.  Taking post-consumer waste and transforming it into relevant products, Steven works with big brands to help them bring their sustainability platforms to the next level.

Simon Langer

Canadian Diabetes

Simon is the lead executive charged with overseeing Diabetes Canada's National Textile Diversion/Stewardship Program. Diabetes Canada is the largest charitable collector of used textiles in Canada and is proud to divert over 100 million pounds of textiles from the landfill on a yearly basis. Working in partnership with municipalities, provinces and the federal government to create and or improve their textile diversion programs while helping to support the 11 million Canadians that have diabetes or prediabetes.

Simon has presented at numerous conferences across the county concerning Diabetes Canada's Textile Diversion Program and reuse initiatives. Some of these conferences include the Ontario Waste Management Association and the Coast Waste Management Association.

Daniela Siggia

VP of Development for Textile Waste Diversion

Daniela Siggia is VP of Development for TWD & post secondary guest lecturer on sustainable economic development. Daniela spearheaded municipal curbside collection programs for textiles for both the town of Aurora and the town of Whitechurch- Stouffeville, as well as the 50 million pound pilot project.

Kathleen Talbot

VP Operations & Sustainability, Reformation

WEAR Keynote Speaker

Kathleen joined Reformation in 2014 to help further the brand’s mission to lead and inspire a sustainable way to be fashionable, and challenge the status quo in the fashion industry. Reformation designs and manufactures limited-edition collections in its Los Angeles factory - the first sustainable sewing factory in the U.S. Kathleen directs  sustainability programs that range from fabric sourcing, supply chain compliance, and operational efficiencies to make beautiful styles at a fraction of the environmental impact generated by most fashion brands.  Kathleen also works on customer-facing campaigns and services to raise awareness around the impact fashion has on the environment, and innovative solutions.

Prior to joining Reformation, Kathleen worked as a Sustainability Officer for Marymount California University and as a National Science Foundation consultant for public school districts. Kathleen received her MA in Sustainability from Arizona State University’s School of Sustainability.

Alex Penadés

Customer Success Director, Jeanologia

Alex Penadés joins Jeanologia in 2011 as Customization Technology Manager, and Group Marketing Director.  In 2017, he has been assigned as Customer Success Director for the Key North American Brands.

Alex has always directed innovative business launches for both public and private companies in the US, France, Japan or Italy.

He has developed much of his career in fashion & lifestyle groups, and specifically, in projects with high technological, and digital components.

In the past, he worked in strategic projects for companies like UBS, Nespresso, Louis Vuitton, or America’s Cup Management.

Alex Penadés has participated in more than 200 market launches and brand repositioning projects. He is also very active in training activities for young entrepreneurs.

Nowadays, he passionately combines his two professional challenges: the successful launch of all new sustainable, and efficient Jeanologia projects with his college lectures in Valencia.

Born in Caracas, Alex Penadés is the son of Spanish emigrants. He lived in Venezuela until the age of 13. He moved to Valencia (Spain) in the early 80s. At age 16, he went to Rhode Island where he graduated from High School in 1985. He has degrees in Economics and Business Studies from the University of Valencia, MBA degree from the University of Houston, and a Master in Business Innovation degree from the University of Deusto.

He currently resides with his wife, Marta, and his kids, Martin, and Alma in Spain, their country of origin.

Leslie Gilbert

Public and Youth Education Coordinator for York Region’s Environmental Services Department

Leslie Gilbert is a graduate of the University of Guelph with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Protection. As a Public and Youth Education Coordinator for York Region’s Environmental Services Department, Leslie has been responsible for the development and implementation of several communication campaigns supporting the Region’s Waste Management Team including the rollout of the Green Bin program, household hazardous waste messaging, new depot openings and most recently the Good Food campaign that supports the Region’s food waste reduction strategy.  As well, Leslie has played a role in public outreach and education attending public events, schools and workshops on behalf of the Region.

Stephanee Passant

Project Manager with the Sustainable Waste Management Team

Stephanee is a Project Coordinator with the Sustainable Waste Management Team where she has supported the development of several SM4RT Living initiatives (York Region’s Integrated Waste Management Plan) in partnership with various local municipal partners and community stakeholders. Prior to joining the Region Stephanee worked at various environmental non-profit, government and private organizations with a focus on environmental outreach and education. Stephanee is a graduate from the University of Waterloo and holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies.

Julie Hordowick

Program Manager with the Sustainable Waste Management Team

Julie is a Program Manager with the Sustainable Waste Management Team at the Regional Municipality of York. She leads a team that works collaboratively with municipal and community partners to support implementation of the Region’s long term waste management plan, including pilot programs focused on waste reduction and reuse. Julie has 15 years of experience in the environmental field, focused on developing community-based programming in a variety of areas including water, waste, and natural heritage.  She holds a Bachelor of Environmental Science and a Master of Science, both from the University of Guelph, and a certificate in Public Relations from Ryerson.

Ellen Karp

Founder of Anerca

WEAR Keynote Speaker (sponsored by TESTEX)

Ellen Karp is the founder of Anerca International Inc., a consumer research and consulting company with clients in Canada, Europe and the United States. Anerca is known for creative explorations of consumers’ thoughts and dreams and their translation into ground-breaking brands and products. A former cultural anthropologist, she is known also for her understanding and interpretation of global socio-cultural trends.

A decade ago Karp, who had worked for years with some of the world’s major apparel brands, became interested in the growing trend towards sustainability in relation to textiles. As she conducted her own research with consumers throughout North America, this curiosity became a passion. In early 2017, Anerca was engaged by OEKO-TEX®, the global textile certifier, to conduct an in-depth study in ten countries in commemoration of their 25th Anniversary. It is the first of its kind to report on textile sustainability from a strictly consumer perspective.

“Anerca” is an Inuktitut concept-word meaning “song,” “soul,” “poem” and “breath.” It essentially means “renewal” and it is Karp’s hope that this work might represent another small step towards a revitalized planet.

Karp sits on the Board of Directors of the IWPR (Institute for Women’s Policy Research), a Washington, DC think tank.

Giusy Bettoni

CEO and founder of C.L.A.S.S.,

Giusy Bettoni is CEO and founder of C.L.A.S.S., a unique worldwide platform set up in 2007 that showcases exclusive fashion, textiles and materials created using smarter sustainable technology for fashion designers, industry and business. She has been working within the textiles system for more than 30 years, starting with “hands-on” experience within the raw material market development sector, and ingredient branding approach working for major international organizations. She has dedicated the last 10 years focusing on communicating and developing a clear message of key competitive advantage role of innovating in a responsible way in the textile and, fashion market. She is also consultant about responsible innovation for Premiere Vision, the leading “fabric” fair at international level and advisor of Eco- Age and of the Eco Chic Design Award.

Ashia Dearwester

Chief Strategy & Partnerships Officer, Nest

Ashia Dearwester is the Chief Strategy & Partnerships Officer for Nest (www.buildanest.org), a nonprofit which for more than a decade has been a fundamental force in building a more circular global artisan economy where handworkers, brands, and consumers are connected through transparency, education and macro-scale solution building. Ashia leads Nest’s development programs by channeling the might of partnership to mobilize funding, resources, and industry talent to artisans worldwide.

Ashia has served an integral role in the launch of Nest’s Artisan Advancement Project, an industry-wide initiative to bring ethical compliance training, assessment, and remediation to the informal economy for global craft production. She regularly serves as a trusted advisor to major brands and philanthropic foundations seeking guidance in improving their supply chains.

Prior to joining the Nest team, Ashia served as Director of Development for Audubon New York the state office of the National Audubon Society and worked alongside the Rockefeller family leading national projects focused on human rights, sustainability, and women’s advancement. She has a degree in Cultural Anthropology and International Development from Dartmouth College and has spent time living in Brazil and New Zealand studying culture and craft.

Roger Williams

Executive Producer, River Blue

Roger Williams a passionate filmmaker as well as the CEO and President of IIPC, Inspired Image Picture Company Inc., a National Production and Broadcast Rentals facility.

Timing, as they say, is everything. After four years of work as a freelance camera operator, Mr. Williams formed his own company, just in time to field a phone call from TSN – The Sports Network that opened the door to him becoming their West Coast “videographer”, a professional relationship that has continued to expand to this day. Timing was again on his side in 1987 when he serendipitously found himself as a pioneer on the ground floor of the EPK – electronic press kit, production industry.

Since that day Roger Williams’ services have been sought and he has more than 400 of these programs to his credit for leading studios and producers in the film and television industry. Today Mr. Williams is in constant demand as one of the premier producers and directors in the ever evolving EPK / DVD / on-line digital content industry.

Mr. William's credits are virtually synonymous with IIPC, the Company, as it exists today through growth, expansion and corporate acquisitions over the past 30 years. He has an acclaimed record of achievement in directing and producing specialty content for broadcast, including lifestyle and reality series programming as well as live sports and music production. He has long produced his own independent television programs and video documentaries from conception to distribution. Currently, Roger is Producing and the cinematographer for: RiverBlue a feature documentary exposing the Fashion Industry’s environmental impact on the World’s major waterways.

Among his production credits are Hollywood & Vines, Inside the Ride, China Town Canada, The Lodge, Fishing with Shelley and Courtney, Forbidden Places - Silent Witness, a Gemini award-winning documentary for the Discovery Channel, and The Rise and Fall of Bruce McNall, a Gemini award-winning documentary for TSN.

Once again timing and opportunity arose when David E. Kelley decided to take his hit series Boston Legal out of the studio and into the Canadian Wilderness. Roger got the call to Co-Produce the episode Finding Nimmo for Mr. Kelley, which became an Emmy winning episode for the series. In 2009 Roger and company won the coveted VANOC Torch Relay, going up against International companies.

The bid was won on the creative concept that Roger and his team provided. As the official chronicler of the Torch Relay they covered 12,000 torchbearers with both stills and video, with over 600 hours of footage the team created news packages that were downloaded by over 5000 media worldwide, created torchbearer videos, and produced over 1.2 million stills.

Roger continues to work as a Director of Photography, Director and Producer for numerous networks and studios and Independent Producers as well as create his own Passion Projects or as he calls them Projects with Purpose.

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