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Beyond 2020 – Survival of the smartest

The ASBCI’s Beyond 2020 event series concludes in May with a digital conference that will discuss the route to a smarter future for fashion.

29th April 2021

Knitting Industry
 |  Halifax, United Kingdom

Knitted Outerwear, Sports/​Activewear

After a year of disruption, the need for change has never been so apparent. The fashion industry must get smarter, more agile, more transparent, and more sustainable. Speakers at the Association of Suppliers to the British Clothing Industry’s (ASBCI) Beyond 2020 – Survival of the Smartest conference on 12 May 2021 will dissect what ‘smartification’ really means and explain how fashion businesses can apply smart principles to ensure they are fit for purpose for the coming decade and beyond.

The conference, which is organised with event technical partner Lectra and sponsored by Advanced Supply Chain Group, follows two successful free webinars in December 2020 and March 2021 on Smart Skills and Smart Consumers respectively, and will bring the learnings from these two webinars together for an in-depth look at the broader topic with the aim of providing actionable insights to delegates from across the sector.

The speaker line up spans the whole supply chain from product conception to consumer purchase. Experts will outline the imperatives of a new era for the global fashion industry as it grapples with the twin pressures of Covid-19 and the climate crisis. These speakers will draw on their own knowledge and experience as well as wider industry learning to examine the new technologies, strategies, and skills that will help the industry forge a more sustainable future.

Confirmed speakers include Marcella Wartenbergh, CEO of the Pepe Jeans Group, who will be interviewed by Ton Wiedenhoff, Alvanon Executive Director for Europe. Marcella and Ton will discuss how smartification differs from pre-pandemic ‘work smarter’ concepts, and what organisations should be doing right now to ‘smartify’ their businesses. Marcella will also touch on what she believes the implications might be if the industry as a whole fails to embrace smartification.

Keynote speaker Ed Gribbin, formerly president of Alvanon and now CEO of strategic advisory firm Gribbin Strategic LLC, will share his thoughts on supply chain innovation in an age of disruption. Ed will look at how the fashion industry should respond to the climate crisis and the chaos of Covid and how businesses can leverage the latest technologies to future proof their operations.

Jenny Holloway from Fashion-Enter in her presentation 'Smart Sourcing and the new manufacturing recovery' will discuss fast, flexible, and sustainable local sourcing, including the importance of partnerships, the role of UK manufacturing in post-Brexit Britain and the technologies that can deliver this.

The digital journey and how the right technology can support the smartification of the fashion industry will be covered by Steffan Meiler from Lectra, while digital psychology expert Andrew Nicholson from Kulea will provide his insight into how the pandemic has impacted consumer behaviour now and in the long-term. Caroline Ellis from Advanced Supply Chain Group will then look at intelligent supply chains post-Covid and how the sector can respond and adapt to the new retail demands.

Finally, UKFT CEO Adam Mansell will close the conference with his presentation on ‘The future of fashion – the big picture’ examining how the events of 2020 have changed the sector’s priorities as well as the long-term impact of Brexit on UK fashion.

The conference includes two Q&A sessions, where delegates can put their questions directly to speakers, moderated by conference chair Dr Julie King, ASBCI Event Director.

The conference will take place on 12 May 2021 across two two-hour sessions from 10am to 12pm and from 1pm to 3pm. Delegate places include both sessions and cost £25+VAT for ASBCI members and £75+ VAT for non-members.

To book, please visit:

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