Cradle to Cradle Product Symposium & Fashion Workday - Recap


December 7, 2015
by Annie Gullingsrud

For most, the end of year is a time of reflection. For me, this year’s “end of year” reflection began in October and culminated shortly after the Cradle to Cradle Product Symposium November 12 and 13th. It’s been a thoughtful couple of months. 

Since the launch of the Fashion Positive Initiative in November 2014, I have been watching as the fashion industry has become informed about Fashion Positive and the benefits that a “more good” methodology and certification can have on a material, product, company, individual and the entire fashion industry. I first saw a positive response when Fashion Positive Leadership Phase partners were announced in November 2014. Next, I watched throughout 2015 as these Leadership Phase partners began their own journeys into doing “more good,” gracefully proving through their own vision, stimulated by Cradle to Cradle® and the certification, that it is possible to make a positive impact. Then, on November 12 and 13th this year at the Cradle to Cradle Product Symposium, I watched as even more industry individuals, companies, retailers, universities joined, engaged and saw first-hand the power behind this movement. The Symposium demonstrated to me how far we’ve come and that now we have the benefit of velocity and momentum.

The Cradle to Cradle Product Symposium exemplified what I think Cradle to Cradle and Fashion Positive embody best—a celebration: of the planet and all living things, innovation, collaboration.

This year gathered such an impressive group of fashion and apparel companies, retailers, organizations and universities, including Eileen Fisher, Walmart, Nike, C&A Foundation, H&M Foundation, Maiyet, Stella McCartney, Sustainable Apparel Coalition, VF Corp., Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), eBay, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, Columbia, Mara Hoffman, Parsons, Ralph Lauren, Target, Textile Exchange, Zero + Maria Cornejo and many more.  We were also able to gather stellar presenters across the two days—and in the case of the recycling innovation working group, the presenting companies were presenting in the room together for the first time, ever.

Below is a brief recap of the Fashion working groups and activities during the 2-day Cradle to Cradle Product Symposium. 

Fashion Working Day, November 12, 2015

A pre-symposium day gathering for fashion industry and other enthusiasts of circularity in the apparel industry.  

Recycling Innovation Working Group In-person meeting
The following eight companies discussed their solutions for fiber recycling.

Evrnu, SPC, Stacy Flynn & Christo Stanev (Read the Sourcing Journal article about Evrnu)
Re:newcell AB, Henrik Norlin
Saxion University of Applied Science, Gerrit Bouwhuis
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Petri Alava
Lenzing, Tricia Carey
Ioniqa Technologies, Susanne van Berkum
Worn Again, Cyndi Rhoades (Read the Sourcing Journal article about Worn Again)
Swerea IVF, Tobias Köhnke

If you’re interested in becoming a member of the Recycling Innovation Working Group, please contact

Lunchtime presentations
At lunchtime we heard presentations from suppliers with Cradle to Cradle Certified materials or those in the process of attaining certification.

Thread, Kelsey Halling
Botanical Colors, Kathy Hattori
Wet-Green, Dr. Germann
From Air, Fredrik Wikholm 

Systems for Take-back Working meeting
These companies presented their methodologies for a successful systems- for take-back in their companies or organizations.

Uniforms for the Dedicated - Fredrik Wikholm
The Reformation - Kathleen Talbot
Ellen MacArthur Foundation - Andrew Morlet
Shaw Carpet - Paul Murray
I:CO - Jennifer Gilbert
Looptworks - Scott Hamlin

Cradle to Cradle Product Symposium, November 13, 2015

Fashion Plenary
Systems Thinking: An in-depth conversation on the design tools and movements that are empowering brands and designers to join in creating restorative and circular design in the fashion industry.

Featuring moderator Julie Gilhart
Scott Mackinlay Hahn - Loomstate
Lewis Perkins - Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Linda Greer - NRDC
Scott Miller - Sustainable Apparel Coalition
Claire Bergkamp - Stella McCartney

Read the Women’s Wear Daily article about this plenary.

Breakout session
Overcoming Hurdles To Transition Towards Circular Economy: Lessons From Fashion Positive

Claire Bergkamp, Stella McCartney
Tim Coombs, Bionic
Jay Bolus, MBDC
Ignasi Cubiñà, Eco Intelligent Growth  

Fashion Positive partners, Stella McCartney and Bionic, discussed their journey in the last year toward Cradle to Cradle Certification.

Read the Sourcing Journal article about this breakout session.

Breakout session
Continuous Improvement And Going For Cradle To Cradle Gold In Fashion

Lauren Hurst, Maiyet
Tara Cappel, Metawear
Howie Fendley, MBDC
Ignasi Cubiñà, Eco Intelligent Growth
with Matt Scanlan, Naadam Cashmere

We heard from two Fashion Positive Leadership phase partners who discussed their projects: Maiyet Cradle to Cradle Certified cashmere yarn, and MetaWear Certified t-shirt. The panelists discussed how they will be advancing their certifications to GOLD-Level in the coming months with the help of their assessors.