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First Responsible Fashion Summit today aims to position Sri Lanka as destination for ethical fashion

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Responsible Fashion Summit Board of Advisors (from left): Dr. Anush Amarasinghe, Ajay Amalean, Ajai V. Singh and Sarinda Unamboowe

  • The Responsible Fashion Movement brings thought leaders to create action based agenda

Sri Lanka takes the lead in Asia with the innovative first edition of the Responsible Fashion Summit, the first of its kind to push the envelope to bring about changes in the mindset which has a direct positive impact on the fashion supply chain. The summit is part of the Responsible Fashion Movement that was launched last year with the introduction of Sri Lanka’s first Fashion Hackathon called The Making of the Green Tee. The hackathon involved design students from various fashion schools. 

The key vision of the Responsible Fashion Movement is focused on being responsible, staying accountable and keeping fashion clean. Every effort, collaboration and partnership lead to these goals while empowering all the stakeholders and creating an eco-system that facilitates the change in the industry towards the vision.

“I believe in The Responsible Fashion Movement and its vision to bring about a positive change in the fashion supply-chain. At MAS ethical business is part our DNA and we consciously invest in sustainability. As Sri Lanka has set high bench marks in compliance and other standards and we are well set to lead by example in the field of sustainable fashion, this summit aims to showcase Sri Lanka as a destination for Responsible sourcing and design. The Responsible Fashion Summit is a thought leadership platform to share our collective knowledge within the industry to provide sustainable solutions to fashion,” says Ajay Amalean, Director MAS Holdings, Board of Advisor Responsible Fashion Summit

Responsible Fashion Summit is envisioned as a platform that will bring together global thought leaders to share relevant knowledge to create action. Knowledge-to-Action is one of the key pillars of the summit and the movement. The movement has created 08 impacts that offer solutions to the issues that the global fashion industry faces today.  The 08 impacts have a dynamic base that evolves to keep them relevant to address issues. 

“This is something very close to my heart, the direction of The Responsible Fashion Movement and Responsible Fashion Summit is very carefully chosen to impact and bring about globally relevant solutions, the agenda is dynamic, inclusive and covers every part of the supply chain from Design to Disposal. This has the potential to position Sri Lanka strategically and lead the way in Asia and beyond. It’s a great start with like-minded corporate friends,” says Ajai V Singh, Founder of The Responsible Fashion Movement.

This movement and the summit present relevant solutions in a format that builds an eco-system for any global brand willing to engage with to obtain solutions. The summit positions Sri Lanka as a nation that is not only sensitive to issues the global fashion industry faces but as a nation that has also stepped forth to create a platform to discuss solutions and offer answers to the questions the global fraternity faces.

“As sustainable textile sourcing becomes more important across the entire supply chain, we at Beira are pleased to partner a movement that not only promotes responsible fashion but one that can redesign the future of fashion,” said Dr. AnushAmarasinghe, Managing Director, The Beira Group, Board of Advisors, Responsible Fashion Summit.

This platform aims to focus on creating knowledge into measurable action, building a new generation of designers who are green conscious, and showcasing real time case studies compiled by leading manufacturing corporations as open source for others to follow. It also activates innovation regularly to affect supply chain and come up with new products. The example of this was the announcement of the hackathon called the making of the Green Tee, which was to bring about solution in the most basic piece of garment a tee-shirt. 

“The Responsible Fashion Summit is unique from the perspective that it focuses on solutions, showcases Sri Lanka in a new light and it is relevant to global issue, we are showcasing real time case studies as practices which can be replicated. I hope to see this summit become an influential platform in the world, impacting action and direction. I am excited to be part of it,” says Sarinda Unamboowe, MD MAS Kreeda, Board of Advisors, Responsible Fashion Summit.

The summit will host globally recognised speakers who are subject matter experts starting with Global Sustainable fashion Icon and UNESCO Ambassador Bibi Russell who will speak on engaging Communities in creating Responsible Fashion. Bibi Russell was recently in London along with Stella McCartney and others pushing the sustainable agenda. 

Lynne Franks is a global Fashion personality, OBE, the founder of London Fashion Week, and actively working on sustainable mandate, bringing to forefront gaps that can be filled to make fashion move in the right direction. Orsola De Castro the Founder of Fashion Revolution will present a message.

Sarinda Unamboowe, MD of MAS Kreeda, a well-known Sri Lankan corporate leader who has created a brand of activities that showcase his thought process of approaching global issues with solutions that can be replicated and shared. 

Dr. Anush Amarasinghe, MD of Beira Group, who is leading a corporate which has its foundations on creating recycling products to give them renewed lifecycles, one of the most unique sustainable businesses in Sri Lanka.

Nikhil Hirdaramani, Director of the Hirdaramani Group, who is on the international sustainable boards and leads his group’s initiatives in that direction.

Anusha Alles, the Head of CSR at Brandix, will speak on the impact Brandix has had through their project that focuses on water.

Mihirini De Zoysa, the MD of Corporate Druids is the moderator of the summit.

Four student designer teams will present the results of the hackathon The Making of the Green Tee, the panel will give feedback and pick a winner. The panel consists of Lynne Franks, Bibi Russell and Sarinda Unamboowe. This will be followed by the announcement of the next Hackathon.

Responsible Fashion Summit is presented by MAS Holdings who have a strong background in responsible and sustainable fashion, in association with the innovative Beira group supported by Brandix and Hirdaramani group with consistent ethical direction. The summit is on 19 March at the Blue, Hilton Colombo. Registration begins at 9 a.m.

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