On the Ground at the Textile Exchange Conference 2023
10 November 2023
Fashion, cotton, and textiles were on the agenda as the Oritain team attended the 2023 Textile Exchange Conference in London, England.
Textile Exchange is a global non-profit organization with more than 20 years’ experience working in the textile industry and supporting more beneficial environmental practices. The conference is a highlight of the industry’s events calendar, offering professionals the opportunity to hear from and connect with experts, leaders, and peers.
Oritain was proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the three-day conference, which attracted around 1,300 visitors from across the UK and abroad. Senior members of the Oritain leadership team were in attendance, alongside representatives from the research and development, product, sales, customer success, and marketing teams. They shared their highlights and insights and introduced some special charitable initiatives.
Origin programs and holograms
Oritain had a significant presence at the Textile Exchange Conference; welcoming visitors to a dedicated booth, chairing a panel discussion, and hosting an off-site dining event.
The centerpiece of the booth was a 3D hologram created especially for the event – an innovative way to showcase the science behind Oritain’s innovative forensic testing. The team were kept busy by a constant flow of attendees interested in the value of product traceability and origin fingerprinting.
A ‘spot the difference’ challenge brought to life recent regulations concerning product origin and the need for every participant in a supply chain to avoid materials deriving from identified risk regions. Visitors were asked if they could tell which product came from a region known to use forced labour, without the use of scientific testing.
‘On the Ground’ was the theme of the panel discussion chaired by Oritain’s New Verticals Lead, Oscar German. The panel featured senior experts from some of the sector’s leading businesses, Patagonia, Supima, and Cape Wools. The solution-focused discussion provided attendees with valuable insights into the current state of the market and ideas for improving their business.
Sustainability and growth at off-site event
Trade show attire was swapped for eveningwear as Oritain hosted 70 guests at the Old Royal Naval College’s Admiral’s House, on the banks of the River Thames. Guests were serenaded by a string trio, whose stunning classical music soundtrack perfectly complemented the elegance and grandeur of the venue.
In a short series of presentations took centre stage, Oritain Advisor Ana Hinojosa spoke about how Oritain is moving into the future with increased regulation coming into force. She said, “The technology to unlock supply chains is here today. The days of a tick box compliance are long gone – it’s an existential threat to reputation if businesses don’t get ahead of it, so companies that don’t disclose will attract greater scrutiny.”
Product Owner of Data & Analytics, Nick Franke, then presented our 2023 Market Insights report on how powerful the Oritain service can be in mitigating risk.
Sustainability was consistent theme throughout the conference, with special charitable initiatives woven into the evening event. The flowers used at the event from florist Pinstripes & Peonies were collected by volunteer-based group Floral Angels and repurposed into displays for local care homes and hospices, ensuring they continued to spread joy. In addition, an Oritain tree will now be planted on a National Trust site somewhere in the UK courtesy of our photographer, Jeff Oliver.
Reflections from Oritain leadership
The event was insightful and rewarding for all participants. Oritain team members spoke highly of the revealing conversations held with many attendees on subjects of regulation and its impact on business, the challenges of traceability in complex supply chains, and the global drive towards ESG principles.
Speaking of the event, Ana Hinojosa said, “Fashion and apparel are core to our business and close to our hearts. Oritain is proud to partner with the fashion, textile, and apparel industries to deliver on the world’s most important, most valuable, most easily lost commodity – trust. Because trust is at the heart of who we are and what we do.”
Addressing the importance of sustainability and authenticity, she added, “We all know that the world around us is changing. The pressure is on. We only have one planet. The water we drink, the air we breathe, the food we eat, the clothes we wear. They all require us to nurture both our planet and its people. And that is not easy in a world that is increasingly complex and fractured. It requires us to find new ways of offering reassurance and trust. And that’s why the work we do at Oritain to prove origin and support positive social and environmental practices is so vital.”