A passionate, thought-provoking and stimulating discussion on consumer demand for sustainable fashion kicked off Sri Lanka's first Ethical Fashion Symposium. The event taking place in Colombo this week is part of the inaugural Sri Lanka Design Festival, which aims to put the country on the map as a source of design as well as a manufacturing destination.

just-style reports on the outstanding quotes from the event so far.

"It's easy to complain 'somebody should do something about it,' but the fact is it's 'us' who should should do something to change the situation - particularly where ethical fashion is concerned," Colin McDowell MBE, fashion writer, editor and biographer.

"Yes there are green shoots, but they're not the same old plants. For me the green shoots that one sees are the first signs that new economic and social life forms are emerging. Social and business arrangements quite unlike what we've all known until now," John Thackara, leading voice in sustainable fashion.

"The global economic crisis has brought a new way of thinking...we're being encouraged to reduce, re-use and recycle what we consume and I think it's a circle that's going to continue, with customers demanding and retailers producing,"- Gillian Lipton, corporate responsibility manager, Monsoon Accessorize.

"Statistics show consumer demand is there for sustainable/ethically sourced products and as an industry we need to find a way to work together to communicate the stories in the supply chain so that this demand is satisfied," Claire Hamer, sustainable sourcing specialist.

"It's important the fashion industry doesn't look solely at its own area of expertise; it's terribly important to take a step back and see the bigger picture," Colin McDowell MBE, fashion writer, editor and biographer.

"Classical industry finds it difficult to measure anything that's not money...and this has brought us to the challenge we face today. What we value is what we measure, and what we measure is what we look after," John Thackara, leading voice in sustainable fashion.