EventUCA Epsom | DepartmentResearch

29th Jan Accelerating Sustainability in the Clothing and Fashion Business Workshop


Accelerating Sustainability in the Clothing and Fashion Business Researcher workshop

29th January 2020
Business School for the Creative Industries (BSCI)
University for the Creative Arts (UCA)
Epsom, Surrey

Organised by Professor Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design ® at BSCIUCA and Professor Angela DruckmanCentre for Environment & SustainabilityUniversity of Surrey


The fashion, clothing and apparel sectors are facing an increasing number of sustainability challenges related to climate change, circularity and toxicity. This is creating new risks and opportunities related to business models, supply chain management, and materials sourcing and use.

Emerging issues

  • Clothing waste is a growing problem worldwide. McKinsey & Company estimated in 2016 that 60% of all clothing produced ends up in incinerators or landfills within a year of being made. European and other national policy-makers are waking up to this challenge. For example, the European Commission has already set a target for separate collection of waste textiles by 2025 and is likely to announce further policy initiatives to transition the clothing sector to a more circular direction.
  • Youth-driven climate change activism worldwide may lead to brand switching if brands are not able to demonstrate their sustainability credentials.
  • Consumer demand for fast fashion is increasingly coming under the spotlight as there is growing public scrutiny
  • Greenpeace highlighted – in their ‘Toxic Threads’ report in 2012 – the significant use of chemicals in the global fashion supply chain. As a result, retailers and brands are now passing increasingly tough chemical management requirements through supplier networks.
  • The plastics debate is driving the search for new sustainable materials. Prototypes are now starting to move from the margins to the market. This includes new technical materials e.g. Econyl 2nd life nylon fibres from waste fishing and biological materials e.g. Pinatex – a ‘vegan leather’ derived from pineapple fibres.
  • The adoption of wearable technologies is increasing. This has sustainability implications along entire supply chains, and, in particular, may increase ‘end of life’ waste issues if products are not designed to enable separation and disassembly.


The workshop designed for PhD and masters students, post doctorates and corporate researchers. The event is free but delegates must be prepared to present an outline of their research interests and network with others. All delegates attending will be expected to give a 3 minute oral presentation on their research interests.

Accelerating Sustainability in the Clothing and Fashion Business will be opened by Dr Bernice Pan, Founder & Creative Director at DEPLOY London. Bernice, a Cambridge University educated design entrepreneur, will outline trends and issues that a sustainable brand in the fashion business face in the short, medium and long-term.


10.00 Registration 

10.30 Introduction

Professor Martin Charter, Director, The Centre for Sustainable Design ® at BSCI, UCA

Professor Angela Druckman, The Centre for Environment & Sustainability, University of Surrey

10.40 Keynote Speaker: Presentation and Discussion

Dr Bernice Pan, Founder & Creative Director at DEPLOY London

11.25 Researchers ‘elevator pitches’ 

12.25 Speed networking 

13.00 Buffet lunch

13.30 World Café

  • Consumer behaviour
  • Materials innovation
  • Supply chains
  • Technological development

15.00 Report back

15.20 Discussion

15.50 Summary

16.00 Close

Note: the precise programme or structure of the workshop may be subject to change on the day


The workshop is limited to 20 researchers so early registration is suggested to avoid disappointment. 

To apply, email Ros on rcarruthers@uca.ac.uk

Please include the following information in your application:

  • Place of study
  • Level or type of study: PhD, postdoctoral research, masters, corporate R&D
  • Provide one or two sentences explaining your area of interest.

Please note: priority will be given to PhD students.

For more information contact:
Ros Carruthers
The Centre for Sustainable Design (R)
+44 (0) 1252 892772