UKFT hosts first Sustainability in UK Textiles conference


UKFT and The Textile Livery Group held the Sustainability in UK Textiles conference earlier this month to share best practice on sustainability within the UK textile industry and discuss how the sector can grow its capacity and capability, while remaining competitive.

The conference, held on the 12 May 2022 at Drapers Hall in London, brought together leading textile manufacturers, innovators, policymakers and sustainability experts to explore the opportunities a greater drive to sustainability offers the UK textile sector.

The conference was opened by UKFT President Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, an enormous supporter of the sector, and featured an address from Minister Jo Churchill, Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA), outlining early proposals for legislative changes, including Extended Producer Responsibility.

Speakers from leading textile manufacturers including Alex Begg, AW Hainsworth, Camira Fabrics, Humphries Weaving and knitwear specialist John Smedley shared their latest experiences and developments, while leading academics from the University of Huddersfield and University of Leeds outlined how the research and education can support the sector.

Dr John Parkinson from iinnouiio explained how his start-up is reinvigorating traditional recycling techniques to recover wool and cashmere for today’s market, while Jo Dawson, founder of HD Wool and chairman of wool merchant H Dawson, outlined how he is building on a 130-year heritage to take the performance benefits of wool to a new audience.

Megan Stoneburner from Textile Exchange, presented a series of tools to measure and monitor sustainable performance and Anthony Burns from ACS Clothing, a Scotland-based enabler of circular fashion, discussed how the company is now looking beyond Net Zero.

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