Blog: Sri Lanka Design Festival kicks off

Petah Marian | 15 November 2012

I'm in sunny Sri Lanka. Sadly, I'm not poolside sipping on cocktails, but hard at work bringing you the latest from the 2012 Sri Lanka Design Festival, which began last night (15 November).

Sri Lanka's garment industry has always differentiated itself by its sustainable and ethical credentials, and this year that focus is set to continue, with today featuring a sustainable fashion symposium, and a visit to the Hirdaramani Eco Factory.

Saturday, the Mount Lavinia Hotel will play host to the South Asian Leadership Forum. The programme will focus on speed to market as Sri Lanka becomes a fast fashion hub, not only for its own manufacturers but also for manufacturers based in India and Bangladesh looking for an easier route to Europe.

Speakers will include the heads of local manufacturers Brandix and MAS - Ashroff Omar and Mahesh Amalean.

Ultimo founder and CEO Michelle Mone will also be speaking about how to build brands, while Copenhagen Fashion Summit chairman Jonas Eder-Hansen will talk about the sustainability imperative.

Meanwhile, industry stalwart David Birnbaum is speaking, as is American Apparel Producers Network (AAPN) MD Mike Todaro, PVH's global supply chain VP Mark Green, Coats Thread global sales chief Stephen Forte and Tradecard CEO Kurt Cavano.

Today, I also visited the Brandix Eco Factory and met with Timex to learn about their plans. Stories on these, and more, will be going up in the coming days, so please check back often.

If you're attending the festival and want to say hi, I'm the the one that vaguely resembles an over-ripe tomato (the Sri Lankan sun has a bite).

And finally, if you have any tips on how to get rid of sunburn, please leave them in the comments. 


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