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DAY 3 Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 10:00 am – 12:00 pm EDT
Wednesday, April 28, 2021, 9:00 pm - 11:00 pm ICT/GMT+7


10:00 am EDT / 9:00 pm ICT/GMT+7

Welcome and round up of key takeaways from the four panels (4/13 and 4/20)

10:10 am EDT / 9:10 pm ICT/GMT+7

Breakout Sessions

All moderators and panelists from the panels on 4/13 and 4/20 will be present and the following thought-leaders will also join to infuse even more dynamism and help to identify next steps:

Corporate Sustainability Manager, Elevate Textile/A&E

Ms. Rithu Raman

Research Associate, Corporate Research & Engagement team,
NYU Stern Center for Sustainable Business

Director of Outreach and Engagement at Alliance for Water Stewardship, Alliance for Water Stewardship

Ms. Libby Sommer

Director of Corporate Responsibility, Bolt Threads

Ms. Elba Pareja-Gallagher

Stakeholder Engagement, UPS

Mr. Rakesh Vazirani

Head of Sustainability Services, Consumer Products,
TUV Rheinland

Ms. Anne-Laure Pedegert

Co-founder, UPCYBOM/Fashion Theory

Vice President, Brands for Good

Ms. Aurelie Rossini

Director of Project Management, Drip by Drip

10:50 am EDT / 9:50 pm ICT/GMT+7


11:00 am EDT / 10:00 pm ICT/GMT+7

Readout of Breakout Groups

11:05 am EDT / 10:05 pm ICT/GMT+7

Plenary roundtable discussion: Identifying the Key Tenets of the Action Plan

11:50 am EDT / 10:50 pm ICT/GMT+7

Wrap up of Conclusions: Request for Volunteers to Finalize the Plan

11:55 am EDT / 10:55 pm ICT/GMT+7

Closing of Events

Senior Advisor on women’s economic issues to the Assistant Secretary of Economic and Business Affairs and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the U.S. Department of State

Register Here

Shelby Arnold

Sustainability & Customer Compliance Manager, Elevate Textiles, Inc.,

Shelby Arnold is the Sustainability & Customer Compliance Manager at Elevate Textiles, Inc., manufacturer of distinguished fabric brands and thread solutions for automotive, apparel, interior furnishing, and specialty products. She is responsible for managing sustainability initiatives, internal programs, and customer compliance globally with Elevate.  Shelby previously worked with A&E (a division of Elevate Textiles) for 2 years as the Technical Markets Sales Lead.  She earned a bachelor’s degree in Materials Science & Engineering with a minor in Chemistry from Clemson University. 

Etienne White

Vice President, Brands for Good, Sustainable Brands

Etienne is a marketing strategist, writer and coach, and the Vice President of Brands for Good at Sustainable Brands. With more than 20 years of global brand management and marketing experience, Etienne has extensive knowledge in building both mainstream consumer brands and eco labels.

Prior to heading up Brands for Good, Etienne founded and ran a company called ‘Possible’ for four years. Through ‘Possible’, she worked at the nexus of sustainability and marketing to help make the impossible, possible, with a diverse array of brands in the US, Europe and Latin America. Previously, Etienne was Chief Marketing Officer at the Forest Stewardship Council, where she led the research, strategic and creative development of the global ‘Forests for all Forever’ rebranding. Before this Etienne held positions as VP Marketing for two US specialty retailers.

Etienne began her career with over a decade in advertising (working at agencies such as Fallon and Leo Burnett) leading award-winning, business-building marketing for a variety of global brands including Citibank, Nintendo, and Procter & Gamble. Etienne is a native of London, England but now resides with her family in the US.


Getting to Comprehensive Value Chain Accountability Mechanisms

Building on the four panels where issues of improving information flow to different parties (from women workers to businesses, from businesses to women as customers, from women entrepreneurs being able to identify sustainable suppliers) was a cross-cutting theme, this breakout session will foster engagement on existing and innovative mechanisms available or being developed to improve information quality and accessibility of brand and supplier commitments and actions and allow performance comparisons.  Participants can identify transparency mechanisms that will stimulate accountability and can encourage an accelerating shift in business practices that build in water sustainability.  Participants can discuss how to encourage a more comprehensive look at the whole value chain and to publicly share performance of brands or their suppliers.  New tools using innovative technologies are proliferating including apps, certification mechanisms, Tracking/Traceability, Verification, Transparency, Labelling and (RFID, QR Codes, Blockchain), and C-Suite and NGO-led campaigns have shed light on concerns related to water quality and quantity in the fashion value chain.  What else can be done to raise awareness about water and apparel in Southeast Asia and South Asia?

Many in the industry acknowledge there is a clear need to connect the many fragmented standards and certifications out there and to provide citizens and consumers with reliable information and encourage a shared vocabulary on performance measures. Together we can examine what role policy can and should play in order to facilitate and accelerate this consolidation.  Participants should explore how to change the course toward water sustainable fashion through responsible use and design of the various tools, and how to credibly articulate commitments made.  Participants can also discuss how measurable performance indicators will provide more confidence in the fashion industry’s sustainability transformation which will ultimately ensure its resiliency.  If the public and companies seeking to become more water sustainable have access to information on supplier sustainability, factory work conditions, community water stewardship actions, we will be closer to engendering a real transformation.


Encouraging collaborative business models for apparel and textile water sustainability

Several of the panels picked up on how apparel companies are beginning to establish new ways of thinking and new business models to tackle water challenges, with collective action, collaboration, and partnerships being key drivers. Many companies recognize that wider stakeholder engagement is crucial to achieving  their goals. By supporting water resilience across their entire value chains, preserving and restoring freshwater resources and supporting communities at the basin level, apparel companies could not only become more resilient themselves but could achieve a net positive water impact.

Some thoughts to consider are:
How can we expand collective action at the watershed and basin scale? And how can we improve action in the facilities? How can training inside the factory, inside the company, and in the community be seen as value generating? Some companies have created incubators, established foundations, participated in creative financing models – have these worked, why have they worked when they have.   How can we engage effectively with policy makers or what role can policy play in reinforcing these changes within companies to revise how they determine value for their shareholders?

By forming alliances with other companies (Open Letter, CEO Water Mandate, etc), supporting material innovation (bio-based/biomimicry) to help technologies get to scale, designing with water and circularity in mind from conception, both business and the planet benefits. How do we encourage these alliances to form in order to boost progress, reduce risk and positively impact value.  Those companies engaging in collaborative partnerships with suppliers, designers, logistics services companies, water-sustainable upstarts, other water-intensive and water-polluting industries, and academic institutions encouraging multidisciplinary approaches to water stewardship will build in resiliency.  We are seeing companies expanding incorporation of ESG throughout their business model, what is needed to get from first-movers to a more comprehensive shift in business approaches?  Implemented properly these collaborative business models can make the fashion industry a sustainability leader for other industries to emulate. This breakout session will look at ways in which the apparel sector can foster new models and strategies that account for water and sustainability through multi-disciplinary, multi-stakeholder engagement.

Dr. Beeta Ehdaie

Dr. Ehdaie serves as Senior Advisor on women’s economic issues to the Assistant Secretary of Economic and Business Affairs and Special Assistant to the Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment at the U.S. Department of State.  She led in the conception and now the development of the Economic Bureau’s “Providing Opportunities for Women’s Economic Rise” (POWER) initiative.  She also advises on U.S. policy and programs aimed at fostering economic inclusion, supporting entrepreneurship, innovation and sustainable economic growth.  In her role as Special Assistant to the Under Secretary, Dr. Ehdaie works on foreign policy matters pertaining to the science, environment and global health, which entails organizing and shaping the Department’s engagement on economic and health responses to global pandemics and climate change. 

Women’s economic advancement in STEM has been at the heart of Dr. Ehdaie’s previous international experience and entrepreneurial ventures. She has worked in South Africa and Uganda to transfer innovative technologies to the field through the development of business models aimed at empowering local women entrepreneurs.  Dr. Ehdaie is also co-founder of Silivhere Technologies, Inc., and recipient of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences Science Policy Fellowship.  She has a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Virginia and completed her post-doctoral fellowship at the Gates Institute at Johns Hopkins University.