New Horizons for the Textile and Clothing Industry

Circular | Transparent | Human | Digital


Prato / Italy

Niki Ernst

IACy / Founder

Sandwiched in cultures, driven by innovation and constantly inspired by some of the smartest people in the world, Niki commutes every month between San Francisco and Vienna and the rest of the planet. Niki is highly interested in impact; his goal is to change the life of 10 people each month.

As a public speaking coach he works with the global TEDx network; in 2015, he became faculty speaker coach at Singularity University.

IACy is an “innovation agency network” that curates innovation for global players.

Nin Castle

Reverse Resources / Co-Founder

Reverse Resources is developing a software for fashion industry to enable full virtual traceability and closing the loop of leftover fabrics and fibres from garment production. They help factories to provide remanufacturing and recycling solutions efficiently for their main buyers and offer an overview for the major brands to track the inputs and outputs of their suppliers. What can't be used internally is brought to a public online marketplace to find the next best user for these resources.

Neliana Fuenmayor

A Transparent Company / Founding Director

Neliana Fuenmayor is a London based, award-winning designer, creative entrepreneur and consultant who is pioneering sustainable innovation for #TransparencyInFashion. She is also focused on introducing blockchain technology for #transparencyinfashion supply chains. Working as a fashion designer in brand development and as a consultant for over five years has given her broad understanding of the complexity of the fashion business today. Amongst her innovative projects is as “#blockchaininfashion: 'From Farm To Finished Garment: Blockchain Is Aiding This Fashion Collection With Transparency'.”

She is founding director of ‘A Transparent Company’ a consultancy for sustainability, innovation & communication strategy.

Ina Budde

Circular Fashion

The future-thinking fashion designer Ina Budde founded Design for Circularity - a sustainable design consultancy to realize Design and System Innovation for a circular future of fashion. She was the second runner-up at the Audi Fashion Award 2012 in the category of sustainable and holistic design. She has a strong personal intention to provoke a shift of the current industry structure in order to build an intelligent and healthy circular system.

The circular.fashion system is an industry connecting platform for all stakeholders to collaboratively realize a cradle to cradle inspired circular economy for textiles. The Circular Design Platform supports fashion brands to design circular and sustainable products in a lean and efficient process. The Product Circulation Platform provides customers information of how to increase the useful life of products by circular retail models and orchestrates a partner network to enable material specific recovery for fibre to fibre recycling.

Marco Ricchetti

Sustainability Lab

Marco Ricchetti (1956), an economist, he is co-founder of Sustainability Lab, the first Italian social network on textile and fashion sustainability with over 1000 registered members, and member of the board of Blumine srl a sustainable fashion & rextile consulting company. He is currently consultant and advisor to the president at the Camera Nazionale della Moda Italiana and of Pitti Immagine – the organizer of Pitti Uomo. He previously served for 10 years as economic research director at Federtessile the Italian Federation of the Textile and Fashion Industry.

He has published over 30 academic articles, books and chapters in books on fashion economics, sustainability and circular economy. The latest are: Chapter The Fashion System in Italy structural changes and professional profiles (with P. Volonté), in “White Book – Fashion Education in Italy” (by the Education Committee of the Fashion and Accessory Round Table at the Italian Ministry of Economic Development), Marsilio, 2018, Neomaterials in the Circular Economy: Fashion, Edizioni Ambiente 2017; Chapter Shifting, Perspectives on Sustainability Supply Chain Management in the Fashion Business, (with K.Khurana), in “Fashion Tales, Feeding the Imaginary”, Peter Lang, 2017; Two decades of sustainable supply chain management in the fashion business, an appraisal, Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management, (with K.Khurana) 2016; The Beautiful and the Good, a view from Italy on sustainable fashion, (with M.L Frisa,) Marsilio, 2012.

Nicola Antonelli

Project manager at Luisa Via Roma, he has significant experience developing e-commerce for the luxury market, in particular focusing on strategies of web marketing. He coordinates a team of over 30 people who develop the company’s main marketing channels for its international markets. Before moving to Luisa Via Roma, Nicola was a digital consultant in various sectors and markets for B2B and B2C.

Anna Detheridge

Connecting Cultures

Anna Detheridge is a writer, lecturer and curator in the visual arts. She has taught at the Milan Politecnic, at the Bocconi University and at the Saic of Chicago. She has curated several major exhibitions including the Biennale of Photography in Turin in 2003, The Global Village at the Musée des Beaux Art in Montréal, and the seminal exhibition Arte Pubblica in Italia: lo spazio delle Relazioni in 2003 at Cittadellarte, Michelangelo Pistoletto’s Art Factory near Turin. She wrote regularly for many years for Il Sole 24 Ore, the Italian financial daily and its culture supplement, and for many other publications. She is author of Scultori della Speranza, l’arte nell’era della globalizzazione published by Einaudi PBE in 2012.

She founded Connecting Cultures, a non profit research agency based in Milan in 2001 active in the field of the Arts, Design and Sustainability. Connecting Cultures is committed to an inclusive approach to culture and an action research based method of working in the public realm. Connecting Cultures’ offices and archive are based in an old watermill, Il Molino di Sopra in the South-West area of Milan.

David Schmeilzeisen


David Schmelzeisen studied mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen University. He started to focus on textiles and textile engineering and received the Master of Science degree in textile engineering. He developed electronic sensor systems for the integration into textiles at the ETH Zurich. During his PhD he started researching on production technologies for smart textiles and is focusing on hybrid 4D printing technologies.

The Institut für Textiltechnik (ITA) of RWTH Aachen University is associated with the department of Textile Engineering. ITA is a part of the faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the RWTH. ITA is responsible for the textile-related curriculum of the ‘Plastics and Textile Technology’ discipline of study in various Bachelor's and Master's degrees in mechanical engineering at the RWTH Aachen.

Jesse Marsh

TCBL / Project Manager

Jesse Marsh obtained his BA in Fine Arts at Williams College (USA) in 1975; with the Hubbard Hutchinson Fellowship he moved to Milan to work in the studio of Marco Zanuso, one of the fathers of the Italian school of industrial design, and later as a free-lance designer. In fifteen years of professional activity, he confronted a range of technologies, processes and product sector, from chairs to artificial lungs, and received numerous patents and awards. In the late 1980s his interest shifted to information and communication technologies, participating since then in the research teams of over 40 collaborative international projects funded by the European Union.

Over the last ten years, he has been an active member of the Living Lab movement, proposing a user-driven “co-design” approach to ICT R&D and innovation and regional development policies in general. He is the founder and coordinator of the Territorial Living Lab TLL-Sicily, a member of ENoLL (European Network of Living Labs) since 2007, and has been Special Advisor to the President of ENoLL since 2009. In that context, he is also a consultant to the City of Palermo for its Open Data and Smart City strategies and has advised the Sicilian Region (under contract with Formez) for the role of Social Innovation and Open Data in the regional Digital Agenda and Smart Specialisation Strategies 2014-2020.

Douwe Jan Joustra

C&A Foundation

Douwe Jan Joustra is a system-ecologist based on his education in forestry, landscaping and nature-management. He is Head Circular Transformation at the C&A Foundation, worldwide. His key competency is his ability to work in multi-stakeholder processes, with transdisciplinary themes from a systems perspective. He knows how to manage transitions from practice and has a strong feeling for the energetic society: how can people get incorporated in new programs.

Through financial support, C&A shares their expertise and provides access to a network of specialists, strengthens platforms, NGOs and other changemakers. They can then transform the fashion industry and make it work better for every person it touches. They focus their work on four areas where they believe they can have the biggest impact; accelerating sustainable cotton, improving working conditions, eradicating forced labour and strengthening communities.

Stefano Panconesi

Casa Clementina, President

Free-lance consultant, Panconesi has been researching natural dyes, their sources, uses and local traditions. He has studied historical recipes and textile materials, and the application of dyeing techniques to the textile industry, collaborating with important fashion brands. He also is an expert in eco-friendly, non-polluting materials and products suitable for industry. As a GOTS inspector he is an expert in all that concerns the legal aspects of natural production and sustainability.

In 2010, together with his partner arch. Sissi Castellano, he restored a 19th-century house at Pettinengo, near Biella, which is now the base of CASA CLEMENTINA, an association whose aim is to rediscover and promote old hand-weaving and natural dyeing techniques.

Veronica Tonini

Ferragamo / Chief Risk Officer and Group Sustainability Coordinator

After working as Manager at Arthur Andersen, one of the world’s "Big Five" accounting firms, Veronica decided to turn to the textile industry, accepting a position for Warnaco Group - subsequently PVH - an American clothing corporation specialized in the design, production and distribution of Calvin Klein brand clothing and accessories where she held the position of European Internal Auditor & Risk Management Director.

Her interest for the textile and clothing industry led her to join one of Italy’s biggest luxury company, Salvatore Ferragamo, where she focuses on identifying, analyzing and responding to risk factors throughout the life of a project and in the best interests of its objectives.

John Cleuren

European Commission / Senior Expert Industrial Technologies

John has been working for more than 20 years for the Research and Innovation Framework Programmes of the EU. He coordinates the implementation of the Industrial Technologies part of Horizon 2020. In his career he has been for more than 10 years the main contact for the European Technology Platform for the Future of Textile and Clothing. Although no longer directly responsible for the textile and clothing sector, he keeps a close eye on the sustainable future of the sector in Europe. With his background in ICT he strongly believes that the digital economy is crucial for the wellbeing of the T&C sector in Europe at all levels and for all stakeholders.

Francesco Marini

Marini Industries

Bio forthcoming

Stefano Mangini

Born in Italy, after Polimoda in Florence he moved to New York where he completed his Bachelor and got
his first job in the fashion industry. From there life took him to live in the USA, India and China working for fashion and design companies in the respective countries. After gaining his MBA degree from Bocconi Business School (Milan) he moved to Hong Kong to take a position as an executive for a leading brand of the Louis Vuitton Group before venturing into the creation of his own company.

Having lived since 1995 in Asia, he has witnessed the evolution of China and its impact on the rest of South East Asia. As CEO of NOAH BRAND ENERGY, he consulted Chinese and Hong Kong Companies on strategy and Branding. Stefano Mangini regularly gives speeches and workshops with: HKPC, Polimoda, Bocconi University, Ching Hua university, The Italian Chamber of Commerce, Italian Institute of Foreign Affairs, Confindustria Italy, and for his clients around China.

After completing the round the world on his motorcycle and volunteered in educating children through photography along the way, he is now professor at Polimoda teaching BRANDING baed on the book he wrote BRAND INCEPTION. He is currently also University Student at Milano Politecnico Studying Space Habitat Design and Orbital Hotels Design.