Blog: RITE conference sustains interest

Joe Ayling | 11 October 2007

If proof was needed that sustainability is high on the agenda for apparel and footwear firms, then the hundreds of industry figures attending RITE Group's conference on the matter yesterday provided it.

The conference, held in central London, brought forward a plethora of ideas on helping the environment whilst still growing a viable business model and not forcing consumers to make a trade-off to buy green.

Representatives from M&S, Timberland, Clariant, Levi, Patagonia and Invista were among the many speakers providing insight at the event, which RITE, a UK-based environmentally-friendly textiles forum, wants to make an annual affair.

By the end of the eight-hour event I had been enlightened on everything from the sublime, like how 80% of consumers are aware of environmental issues, to the ridiculous, like how we can strive to recycle 40 pairs of old tights.

I was particularly taken with the reluctance of some companies to use green credentials as a point of marketing. However, the good press attracted by M&S' Plan A and Levi's green T-shirts shows that word of mouth may well suffice in this area. Organic cotton was another subject of contention, as delegates deliberated its environmental benefits.

Hats off to the organisers, and you can look forward to seeing more coverage from the day on just-style soon.

By Joe Ayling, news editor


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