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Sustainable Brands Conference, June 2 -June 5, 2014

By Annie Gullingsrud

Tags: sustainable brands (1) , fashion positive (4)

The Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute attended this year’s Sustainable Brands Conference in San Diego on June 2 to June 5, 2014. In attendance were over 2000 leading sustainability, business and brand strategy, product design, supply chain and communications executives from top global brands, NGOs, academia, thought leaders and solutions providers. Representatives from companies and organizations included Desso, City of Palo Alto, Avery Dennison, Coca-Cola, Plum Organics, Patagonia, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Target, Healthy Child, Healthy World, Levi Strauss & Co, Lyf shoes, and many, many more.  

The Tuesday plenary kicked off with a presentation from Alexander Collot d’Escury CEO of Desso, a company who’s committed to Cradle to Cradle design principles and certification. Alexander talked about Desso products, and provided an inspiring description of how Cradle to Cradle certification has paved the way for circular economy and innovation in their products. This was the first of many mentions and discussions of the circular economy and Cradle to Cradle design principles and Standard. Many attendees quoted William McDonough, including Doug Levy who wrote “Can’t Buy Me Like” citing McDonough’s memorable quote, “would you call your relationship sustainable?”

A highlight of the conference was the panel lead by Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute Senior Vice President, Lewis Perkins. The panel, “Cradle to Cradle: Optimizing the Building Blocks of Fashion,” featured panelists from Designtex, Shaw Industries and Loomstate to demonstrate successful execution of Cradle to Cradle certifications and to provide an example for the fashion industry. The panelists at Designtex and Shaw Industries spoke about their success in applying Cradle to Cradle Certified™ to their products and their successful executions of reuse. Scott Hahn, co-founder of Loomstate, a sustainable clothing company that focuses on organic cotton garments, also expressed his confidence of applying the Cradle to Cradle Certified Product Standard to fashion products and materials. Lewis provided an overview of Cradle to Cradle Certified, the Fashion Positive Initiative, and released the new report “Textile Opportunities for Cradle to Cradle Certified Products.” The report, created by MBDC, provides a market analysis on textiles and accessories employed in the fashion industry and identifies priority products and materials that have high potential for Cradle to Cradle certification. 

Overall, Sustainable Brands demonstrated the enthusiasm and efforts of many companies pursuing a sustainable path.  Cradle to Cradle Certified was presented as a way to powerful pathway for creating the circular economy.