Apr 22, 2021
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BFC announces first IPF Forum, McQueen and Burberry CEOs among speakers

Apr 22, 2021

As sustainability events go, this is big. The British Fashion Council (BFC) is staging an inaugural 'Institute of Positive Fashion Forum' (IPF Forum) on 10 June with a heavyweight line-up of topics and presenters. 

Alexander McQueen - Fall-Winter2020 - Womenswear - Paris

It’s a day-long digital “thought leadership” event "designed to galvanise the British fashion industry alongside international businesses into global collaboration and local action", ahead of COP26, the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference, hosted in Glasgow in November. 

Focusing on catalysts for Positive Change, the IPF Forum will host inspirational talks and practical action-led discussions “to debate the important issues facing the fashion industry through the lens of the IPF Pillars, ‘Environment, People, Community & Craftsmanship and the COP26 themes Adaptation & Resilience, Energy, Finance, Nature and Transport’”, the BFC announced Thursday. 

Key topics will be discussed and presented through speaker programme and private roundtables. These will include the 'Race to Net Zero', 'Green Economy', 'Biodiversity', 'Circularity', 'Social Justice', 'Diversity and Inclusion' and 'Community'. 

Speakers will include business leaders, government representatives, environment experts, diversity advocates, creative directors, activists, editors and educators.

The first confirmed speakers include Emmanuel Gintzburger, CEO of Alexander McQueen, and Marco Gobbetti, CEO of Burberry.

June Sarpong, director of creative diversity for the BBC, will also be in conversation with Virgil Abloh, founder and creative director of Off-White and artistic director, Louis Vuitton Mens. 

Other confirmed participants include Ayesha Barenblat, founder & CEO of Remake; Bandana Tewari, lifestyle journalist and sustainability activist; Cyrill Gutsch, founder of Parley for the Oceans; Dilys Williams, director for the Centre for Sustainable Fashion; Jalaj Hora, VP product innovation & consumer creation for Nike; Laura Balmond, Make Fashion Circular lead for the Ellen MacArthur Foundation; and Nicolaj Reffstrup founder Ganni.

Additional speakers, sessions and keynotes will be announced in the weeks leading up to the event. 

The Forum will also launch the ‘IPF Future of Fashion Innovation Showcase’ to focus on UK innovation across each step of the fashion value chain. This promises to present “the most exciting and cutting-edge innovation to support businesses to become more responsible and circular and drive to the goals of COP26”. The project is curated by the BFC and Fashion For Good. 

Caroline Rush, BFC chief executive, said: “The last year presented the fashion industry with an opportunity to reset its priorities, however there is still urgent work to be done to ensure we reach the COP26 goals. 

“With the IPF Forum, we aim to bring the fashion industry together to make sustainable changes by providing practical steps from an incredible roster of speakers, each providing unique perspective on issues facing the industry”. 

The IPF Forum will be accessible through the IPF website with tickets for the day, priced £150, available now. Corporate packages are also available. BFC patrons and designer members will also be offered one complimentary ticket each as well as the opportunity to buy additional tickets at a special rate.

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