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Steven Bethell at The Innovation Forum 2018

Posted on March 18 2018

Five years after the Rana Plaza incident, this Fashion Revolution Week the Innovation Forum is hosting a two-day conference on Sustainable apparel to discuss how brands can transform supply chains. With global speakers from all areas of the fashion world, the conference will look at the latest innovations in circular fashion, transparency and factory engagement in the apparel industry. 

Our very own director Steven Bethell will be taking part at this year's event, so we caught up with him to find out more about Bank & Vogue's involvement.

Steve Bethell

Why did Bank & Vogue decide to get involved in this year's Innovation forum?
With over 20 years of working in the recycling industry, and with 15 years of Beyond Retro, we see this is an exciting time for our industry. There is a huge possibility for the landscape of second-hand fashion to change in the next 20 years and we are excited to be a part of this future. 

 The Innovation Forum has a huge list of guest speakers and an amazing agenda, which talks are you most looking forward to?
I'm interested in everyone's idea's, it's extremely important in this industry to listen to each other and share new thoughts and breakthroughs.

 Tell us a little more about the talk your taking part in?
'How can brands ensure that circularity is embedded from the design stage? ' is a panel discussion to create conversation around the future of manufacturing. 
We'll be sharing our experiences through the success of our Beyond Retro Stores in UK and Sweden have proved that there is a huge appetite for a sustainable alternative! The transparency of the 'used' industry makes us different to the other methods of manufacturing all over the world, and though it's not easy, it's an exciting challenge that we are looking forward to discussing further. 

I'll be in discussion with Katrin Ley from Fashion for Good, Cecilia Takayama from Kering, Cyndi Rhoades from Worn Again and Sigrid Barnekow from Mistra Future Fashion

How are Bank & Vogue helping to transform the supply chain?
We're excited about going to the next level and providing a second life for used fabrics in our vintage offering and our Beyond Retro LABEL range which creates trend-led, upcycled pieces from reclaimed fabrics. There is a transparency throughout Bank & Vogue and the wider team, we're proud to show where our pieces come from and who is making them. 

 What is the importance of an ethical and sustainable economy to you?
I am constantly getting energy from nature, which gives me the motivation to find out how to make less impact on the world. 

 What advice would you give to those who want to contribute to the circular economy on a smaller scale?
Start with actively looking to buy used items, after a while, you'll get a daily appetite for it. Ask questions, find out where is the product coming from? Who made it? How is it made? How did it end up here? Find value in your new-to-you purchase!

For more ways to keep sustainable read our 10 tips on reducing your environmental impact!


 To find out more about the innovation forum, listen to podcasts with people in the industry and to find out more about the Sustainable Apparel Conference, head over to their website: innovation-forum.co.uk

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