Sports company PUMA will be joined by celebrities and young activists during its one-day “Conference of the People” in London on September 6, which will discuss solutions for some of the fashion industry’s most pressing sustainability challenges, with a special focus on Gen Z.
Joining Actress, Model and Activist Cara Delevingne, Writer, Director and Broadcaster Reggie Yates will be guiding the audience through the event. The panel discussions on the day will be led by TV Presenter and Paralympic Medalist Ade Adepitan MBE, Sustainable Fashion Journalist Sophie Benson and Vogue Business’ Sustainability Editor Bella Webb. The discussions will focus on waste and product afterlife, using more sustainable materials, managing eco-anxiety, protecting eco-systems and finding ways for the industry to collaborate to achieve results sooner.
“Over the years I’ve made documentaries that delve into fashion and sustainability. The conversation those films sparked were at the very least inspiring” said Reggie Yates. “I love the idea of joining an event where highlighting the solutions is a priority.”
The aim of Conference of the People, powered by PUMA, is to give the young generation a voice when it comes to making decisions today that will shape their future. The first discussion of the event will center on waste and some of the solutions the industry can find to become more circular. As an example, PUMA will give an update on its RE:SUEDE project, which aims to test a biodegradable version of the company’s most iconic Suede sneaker.
A discussion about materials will investigate what brands can do to make a positive environmental impact at scale by using more sustainable sources of cotton, polyester and other fabrics, while a talk about biodiversity will show how the choice of innovative new materials can be a part of the solution.
Eco-anxiety has become a difficult subject for many young people, amidst a constant stream of negative reports about the state of the environment. Together with Cara Delevingne, a panel will show ways of turning that negative energy into positive action. Finally, there will be a discussion to show how the fashion industry can come together to speed up positive outcomes for the environment.
The Gen Z representatives taking part in the discussions include sustainable lifestyle influencers Monika Poppy and Izzy Manuel, co-founder of Flock Together, Nadeem Perera, as well as co-founders of Earthrise Studios, Jack Harries and Alice Aedy.
Conference of the People will start on September 6 at 12:30pm BST (1:30pm CET, 6:30am CT) in London for 225 invited guests. The livestream of the event is free to access for all.