CEO of Jack Wolfskin
Richard Collier has been the CEO of Jack Wolfskin since joining the company in December 2020. He is responsible for the stewardship of the brand and its international growth. He has more than 25 years of experience in Sporting Goods and Outdoor brands, most recently as Chief Product Officer for Helly Hansen where he guided its product and operations divisions. He started his career working for Adidas AG and has also worked as a management consultant at Kurt Salmon Associates where he had clients such as VF, Nike and Polo Ralph Lauren. An avid outdoor athlete, Richard is a graduate of the University of Oxford. He lives in Oslo, Norway with his wife and three children.
Keynote Speaker 2021
Brand Service Manager Europe at bluesign Technologies
Antje Fehling is a sustainability professional with a passion for reducing the environmental impact of the textile industry. Antje has more than 20 years of experience in apparel brands with expertise in textile materials and supply chain management.
Keynote Speaker 2021
Founder, The Valuegraphics Database
After a career spent developing ideas and concepts to engage stakeholders for several hundred organizations, David Allison recognized the need for a more scientific method to determine what really influences people to do the things they do. The result is The Valuegraphics Database, the first global dataset created specifically to help organizations predict and influence behavior using the values we share. His current best-selling book on Valuegraphics, We Are All The Same Age Now, was named by INC. Magazine as one of the top-ten leadership books of the year, and Kirkus Reviews called it “A genuinely original contribution to marketing literature.”
- VALUEGRAPHICS: How to activate your target audience and boost marketing performance
Content Lead for Start by WGSN
Graduated in Fashion Business by Anhembi Morumbi and with courses in Journalism and photography in New York, Sofia has worked as a fashion producer before joining the Ascential group, working for the Product Design division as a Content Lead for Start by WGSN and Use Fashion. Over the last 7 years, she specialized in trend research, studying and developing content about consumer behaviour and fashion trends.
- Emerging Trends for the A/W 21 Season by Start by WGSN
Owner, Knitwear Lab
Thijs knitted his very first sweater at the age of twelve. Since then, he has done many knitting developments and productions for bigger and smaller brands. His hands-on 40 years of experience in industrial knitting has taught him how to manipulate fiber, stitches, tension and color. Since 2013, he has been investing his knowledge and time setting up Knitwear Lab and building it into an international knowledge and development center for industrial knitting. Knitwear Lab develops smart technological applications for industrials knits. Their team of knitwear specialists combine material research with the latest knitting technologies. The combination of technological innovation and a design-driven perspective is what makes knitwear Lab truly unique. They want to make an impact by sharing knowledge and craftmanship. Besides developing knitwear for clients, they organize courses for designers and brands. It is their aim to inspire the design industry with the endless (sustainable) possibilities knitwear has to offer.
- Innovative knit developments through cross-industrial collaborations
New business manager
Gaia is a young professional and knitwear enthusiast. She started off as a knitwear merchandiser for commercial European brands and joined Knitwear Lab in the summer of 2019 as a knit developer and business representative, with a high affinity for sustainability. She enjoys introducing brands and people from various industries to the wide application of industrial knitting and the latest sustainable innovations. Knitwear Lab develops smart technological applications for industrials knits. Their team of knitwear specialists combine material research with the latest knitting technologies. The combination of technological innovation and a design-driven perspective is what makes knitwear Lab truly unique. They want to make an impact by sharing knowledge and craftmanship. Besides developing knitwear for clients, they organize courses for designers and brands. It is their aim to inspire the design industry with the endless (sustainable) possibilities knitwear has to offer.
- Innovative knit developments through cross-industrial collaborations
Lead Product Designer at Bellroy
Bellroy is a forward thinking product led brand based between Melbourne (Fitzroy) and the Surf Coast (around Bells Beach) of VIctoria, Australia. Their focus on growth mindset and challenging assumptions has led to a wide range of innovative approaches to their mission of being global leaders in carry. Since 2015 James has used his softgood design experience abroad, 3 years in Vietnam and 7 years in, to aid Bellroy's rapid growth into new categories and greater product complexity. "At Bellroy we have bootstrapped a collection of thought ideas and frameworks that help us get great product into the world more effectively, if you can't sell an idea with some tape, a stapler and some scraps, you don't have an idea"
- Case Study: Bellroy design philosophies
Arc'teryx Employee, Diversity and Inclusion Consultant, and Founder of Incluskivity
Indra believes that in order for people to exist authentically in spaces, they need to be able to see themselves represented. With a passion for diversity and inclusion in the outdoors, Indra works toward better representation and accessibility to these spaces for traditionally marginalized communities. Factors like financial barriers and lack of representation leave traditionally marginalized folks out of spaces from a young age. If they choose to enter these spaces later on in life, psychological safety presents itself as a whole new barrier. If we want people to feel included, that means showing them that they belong, and elevating their unique story and experience. Indra is the founder of Incluskivity; an organization that elevates the stories of traditionally marginalized folks in snow sports and creates programming that diminishes barriers to entry in the snow sport community.
- The Representation Gap: Diversity, Inclusion, and Representation
Digital Transformation Lead, Fuerst Group (KEEN, Chrome Industries)
Kostika Spaho is an artist with an education in architecture. He met his life and business partner, Ica Paru in New York via Linkedin. The two got together at a cafe for business and instead, fell in love. They both share a strong passion for mixing art with technology and built their 3d-printed high heels company Ica & Kostika. Kostika also served as a 3D Specialist at Coach, now part of Tapestry, and continues to contribute as the Digital Transformation Lead at KEEN footwear. His main focus underlines digitizing physical products through the use of 3D tools and coaching cross functional partners to integrate such systems in their departments. The duo endlessly, brainstorm, experiment and plan for a future that automates operations and activates innovation.
- Closer to Fantasy
Zero Waste Systems Designer | Founder of Decode | Co-founder of @zwdo_collective
Danielle Elsener is a Zero Waste Systems Designer that has dedicated her life's work to proving zero-waste as a valid and robust design model. For over a decade, she has learned from industry, educational institutions, and self-run initiatives to understand how best to do this. What began as a love for puzzle solving through zero-waste pattern-making, became a way to fix the fashion industry’s biggest problem.
- Zero Waste Pattern Design Workshop
Fashion Designer, Ryan Amore Inc.
Ryan Amore is a Pattern technologist specializing in pattern development, grade creation & technical management. Graduating from the Ryerson School of Fashion, Ryan has worked with a vast variety of industry partners in roles such as Senior Pattern Engineer, Senior Technical Designer, Senior Technical Grader, Senior Fit Technologist & Technical Manager. Ryan Amore has had the pleasure of working with global brands such as Aritzia, Calvin Klein, Le Chateau as well as high-end clients such as Christian Dior & Zac Posen to name a few. Now, Ryan owns and operates Ryan Amore Inc, a technical development firm which works with corporate companies globally and high-end Design houses to help create, design, and propel their technical assets for production.
- Integration of 3D Technology in the Fashion Industry
Founder of Weft x Warp – Fabric Development Consultancy
Prior to founding her own consultancy Weft x Warp and collaborating with the digital design magazine and innovation collective SSEAMS, Ruth was a fabric development director at Lululemon. Passionate about materials, Ruth is a creative fabric geek, entrepreneur, editor and educator. Ruth has successfully led raw materials teams in the UK, Canada, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka, across the supply chain, from performance brands to manufacturers. She combines her network of connections, with practical in-depth knowledge of the fabric development, sourcing, validation and production processes, to make ideas come alive. She does all of this with a smile on her face, a love of human connection and lots of fun! When not innovating with fabrics, Ruth can be found teaching yoga, riding her bike and volunteering her time as a board member of the BC Apparel & Gear Association.
- Facilitator of Textile Panel: How to Build and implement Raw Materials Sustainability Strategies
President, KenDor Textiles
As KenDor’s President, Paul does much more than run day-to-day operations. With authentic enthusiasm, he simultaneously heads up the global sourcing and sales teams. Paul is often the first call for many seasoned industry veterans and new designers alike trying to find anything garment related.
- Textile Panel
Director, Higg Product Tools at Sustainable Apparel Coalition
As Director of the Higg Product Tools at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition (SAC), Joël is responsible for developing tools to help the apparel and footwear industry measure and understand the environmental impacts of products and materials. The Higg Material Sustainability Index (MSI) and Product Module (PM) simplify the life cycle assessment process to characteristics that are more familiar to material and product developers, enabling confident impact measurement and assisting in strategic planning. Prior to his work at the SAC, Joël held several roles at Mountain Equipment Co-op that spanned the material space - evaluating quality, performance, and environmental sustainability.
- Textile Panel
Chief Innovation Outsider, Outsider Innovation
I spent most of my early years outside, instilling an appreciation for our natural resources and beautiful places. While pursuing my Textile Engineering degree at North Carolina State University, I worked at REI, interacting daily with customers and outdoor gear manufacturers, which highlighted importance of the customer’s voice to a product’s success. Following university, I began working at Patagonia, Inc at the headquarters in Ventura, California. Through my time at the company, I gained extensive hands-on experience working with international and domestic textile and apparel manufacturers, testing and developing technical materials and product, and eventually I assumed responsibility for the material innovation strategy of the company’s most technical material and product. Inspired that companies can be successful through dedication to a multiple-bottom-line, I founded Outsider Innovation in November 2019, a company dedicated to the belief that better product is ultimately better for our planet and its people, more sustainable and profitable. Since then, I have helped companies develop and commercialize new products and technologies in the Textile, Apparel, and adjacent industries.
- Textile Panel
Business Development Manager, Lenzing
Sharon Denise Pérez is Business Development Manager for activewear and footwear for The Lenzing Group, an international company with 80 years of experience in producing high-quality wood-based cellulose fibers—LENZING™ ECOVERO™ Viscose, TENCEL™ Modal, TENCEL™ Lyocell and TENCEL™ x REFIBRA™ Lyocell. Lenzing is committed to the principles of sustainable management with very high environmental standards. As the most sustainable company in the sector, Lenzing’s quality and innovative strength set global standards for wood-based cellulose fibers. Sharon’s experience and background is in fabric research and development. She studied Fashion Merchandise and Management at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She is based in New York and when not working she enjoys exercising at Prospect Park, dancing salsa, and watching fútbol.
- Textile Panel
Co-Founder and CEO of Native Shoes
Scott Hawthorn is a Vancouver based creative entrepreneur who is the Co-founder and CEO of Native Shoes. Previously, Mr. Hawthorn worked for 10 years in Tokyo. Active in his community, Mr. Hawthorn is a co-founder and board member for Design Build Research Institute, a not-for-profit architectural design build school. He is a current Board member at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
- - PURPOSE
Founder of Hold It All Inc.
Chip Wilson is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, loving husband and a father to 5 boys. As the founder of Westbeach Snowboard and lululemon athletica, Chip is a globally recognized innovator in the field of technical apparel. He is widely credited with creating the “athleisure” retail category, now a $100-billion-a year global business. Chip is known for his people-before-product leadership approach. At lululemon, he created a unique culture by surrounding himself with like-minded individuals; creative, driven, athletic locals enjoying a work-life balance inspired by the West Coast. In 2007, lululemon athletica went public. Today they have a market cap of roughly $20 billion. Today, Chip is actively involved in Hold It All Inc. (HIA), a multifaceted organization that houses the Wilson family interests, including Low Tide Properties and strategic private equity investments. The HIA businesses represent a carefully cultivated collection of entities that each hold true to the Wilson family’s vision of providing components for people to live longer, healthier, more fun lives. In 2018, Chip released his business memoir, ‘Little Black Stretchy Pants: The Unauthorized Story of lululemon’ to provide context for building a cultural company. In his personal life, Chip and his wife Shannon are passionate about Vancouver and developing its creative and entrepreneurial community. Through their Foundation, they have supported local art and design initiatives such as the Wilson School of Design at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) and the Wilson Arts Plaza at Emily Carr University. Together, they also founded imagine1day which went on to merge with the WE Charity in 2017, and Whil, a subscription-based mindfulness platform. In 2019, the Wilson family partnered to buy and take private Amer Sports which owns several brands including Arc’teryx, Salomon, Peak Performance and Wilson Sports.
Q&A with Chip Wilson
People Manager, Native Shoes
Tiffanie is the People (aka HR) Manager at Native Shoes with the mandate to create a purpose-aligned and best-in-class employee experience. She has built a career growing Vancouver-based organizations, with a goal to create exceptional career opportunities for the people in her home city. Her expertise is to bring a progressive view towards employee experience, where growth, learning and engagement go beyond the 9 to 5.
- - PURPOSE
A graduate of the George Brown Fashion Program in Toronto, Ontario, Laela Blanchet has been working in the Ontario & British Columbia fashion industries since 1994. She is a skilled pattern maker, and has had extensive experience with all pre-production & production apparel and accessory manufacturing tasks from design & fit, to grading and marker making. She currently runs her own business called Dampkring Designs; offering pattern making & design development services to Vancouver’s rapidly expanding fashion industry since 2004. Laela has many years of both manual & CAD pattern drafting experience that she brings to the Computer Pattern Drafting classes she both wrote and taught at LaSalle College, formerly the Art Institute of Vancouver for 15 years. Laela is now the fashion coordinator implementing an updated and finely tuned new fashion program, called “Fashion Design with Specialization in Marketing” at the Visual College of Art & Design (VCAD).
- - How to Get the Idea into a Product I Can Wear and Sell
Senior Industrial Designer & Product Line Manager at Aqua Lung
My name is Ken Bontje and I have nightmares about every job I’ve had. It’s not the responsibilities, the environments or the peoples. It’s that there are SO many ways for things to go poorly and very few ways that things go well. I’ve worked in the creative departments of 5.11 Tactical, Town & Country Linens and Aqua Lung. They all have a path for successfully launching creative ideas. I’ve found that the trick is knowing the process inside and out. Then making sure the next step actually happens.
- - A Recipe for Successfully Being Creative
Leonard (Len) Brownlie, Ph.D
Leonard Brownlie graduated from Simon Fraser University with a Ph.D in Kinesiology in 1993. Len's doctoral thesis was titled “Aerodynamic Characteristics of Sports Apparel”. His Ph.D thesis was a survey of techniques to reduce aerodynamic drag created by the racing apparel of downhill skiers, cyclists and runners. Len has been an aerodynamics consultant to NIKE Inc. since 1998. NIKE has provided aerodynamic sprinting suits to track athletes at the 2000 - 2016 Summer Olympic Games and to long track speed skating teams and ice hockey teams at the 2002 – 2010 Winter Olympics, including athletes from The Netherlands, USA, Norway and China. From 2005 to 2010 Len was also a consultant to OwnthePodium2010 ("OTP") - Top Secret Program - a Canadian Olympic Association program that was designed to provide advanced apparel, equipment and wind tunnel simulation training to elite Canadian winter sports athletes. Through this program, Len developed unique test protocols and tested a variety of fabrics, race suits and equipment and coached athlete positioning in the wind tunnel in all Olympic winter sports. Len has also acted as the aerodynamics advisor to three Tour d'France pro cycling teams, and to the United States Cycling, Luge and Speed Skating Federations, Hockey Canada, Athletics Canada, Canadian Cycling Association, BellEaston Sports, Smith Optics, Sugoi, ANTA and Mustang Survival.
- - Aerodynamic Optimization of High Performance Apparel
Sales and Ops Professional
A management professional with 25 years of global experience working with fortune 500 and specialty brands, specializing in lean manufacturing, product, supply chain management, procurement, sourcing, and operations. Proven proactive leadership, vision, creativity, and successful strategic business skills to drive revenue and profit growth in highly competitive domestic and global markets. A strong relationship builder functions effectively as an integral member of a cohesive senior executive team. Proven ability to source, identify and capitalize on emerging trends and niche market opportunities.
- - The importance of understanding your S&OP (Sales and Operational Planning)
Steven Sal Debus
Product Design & Marketing Consultant
From founding the multi million dollar Canadian brand Modrobes in the 90’s, 2 successful pitches on Dragons Den and spearheading the explosive growth of local brand DUER, Steven Sal Debus has always focused on leading edge tactics to grab attention in an overcrowded marketplace. After managing 10 Kickstarter campaigns and raising over $1 million dollars he has learned a process that can now be applied outside the crowdfunding platform. In this presentation he will not only talk about how to explode your growth through crowdfunding but also other proven strategies to get your audience begging for more.
- - Crowdfunding Your Way to Success
Director of Operations & Relationship Management at Apparelmark
Andrew is one of the co-founders and original partners at Apparelmark, responsible for daily operational decision making and business development processes. Coming from a sales and marketing background, Andrew has blended the roles of communication, number crunching and critical thinking in his role as head of operations at Apparelmark. With daily crisis management of 10+ brands at any given time has given Andrew an invaluable insight into the apparel industry and what it takes to succeed in the harsh world of fashion.
- - Making Dollars and Sense of Your Clothing Brand
As a Sourcing, Product Development, Quality & Production expert, Max has helped globally recognized brands such as lululemon, Arc'teryx, Kit+Ace & Sugoi build resilient value chains and maximize opportunity. After 15 years of working at Top-tier organizations, Max now primarily works with emerging brands, social enterprises, educators & entrepreneurs driving positive impact for people, planet & profits. He has an undergraduate degree from Ryerson and an MBA from the University of British Columbia. When I'm not 'working' he can be found riding bikes, devouring books or spending time in nature.
- - Sustainable Sourcing
Merchant (Buyer) at MEC
James has a unique lense on the Go-to-Market process. From beginnings in a start-up, where he built and developed his own snowboard brand Class Five Snowboards, to working as a Product Manager at Mustang Survival, James has lived through the Go-to-market process on both sides. Currently, James works at MEC as a retail buyer, where he receives hundreds of product pitches every year. Through it all he’s seen the inner workings of top brands & retailers, and gained insight on how successful products are brought to market.
- - Go-to-Market - How to Build & Launch Products that are Amazing AF
Founder of Recloseted, a consulting agency dedicated to righting the harmful fashion industry
Selina is the Founder of Recloseted, a consulting agency dedicated to righting the harmful fashion industry. With Recloseted, she’s working with businesses as well as consumers to collectively march towards slow fashion. Selina scales sustainable brands through business consulting and educates consumers about slow fashion through the Recloseted Radio podcast, an e-book, and Recloseted's social media channels. When she's not working, you can find her on the mountains (she’s an avid hiker & snowboarder), unwinding at a yoga class, or trying new restaurants.
- - Converting Consumers to Buy Sustainable Fashion in an Era of Greenwashing
Founder of Weft x Warp – Fabric Development Consultancy
Ruth has three decades of fabric and raw materials experience from a variety of global companies, encompassing brands, manufacturing and education. Prior to founding Weft x Warp, Ruth lead the Women’s’ Fabric Development Team at lululemon. Here she showed her technical knowledge of athletic apparel fabrics to be one of the best in the industry, integrating her creativity, leadership and problem-solving skills. A true global fabric expert, Ruth has worked in Raw Materials Teams for apparel manufacturers in the UK, Hong Kong and Sri Lanka. Experience over multiple products and fabric types, has provided her with an international network of connections, and the practical in-depth knowledge of the fabric development, sourcing, validation and production processes. During her time lecturing in ‘Global Supply Chain Management’ at Nottingham Trent Business School and in ‘Global Textile Processes’ at De Montfort University, she pursued her love of learning and inspiring others, while perfecting her research and education skills. Ruth has a Bachelor of Sciences Degree in Textile Technology from the University of Manchester, Institute of Science and Technology, UK, and holds her designation as an Associate of the Textile Institute (ATI). She is also a certified 200-hour yoga teacher graduating from the Mind-ful-on, lululemon Yoga Leadership Teacher Training. Ruth lives in Vancouver, Canada with her husband and three children. Growing up in the UK, and having lived all over the world, Ruth deeply appreciates common human connections, within the teams she leads and the partnerships she creates. When she’s not mothering, working, or practicing yoga, she sings, goes to book club and cycles to raise funds for the Ride to Conquer Cancer.
- - Tips and Tricks when Selecting and Developing Fabrics
Creative Director at tentree
As Creative Director at tentree, Arthur Kononuk is responsible for helping guide the brand's strategic vision and product development. Arthur earned his start building international campaigns, brands and strategy in the advertising industry, He later decided to go back to his roots, starting an environmentally progressive lifestyle brand with his best friends. Over 6 years later the brand has grown to plant over 30 million trees creating a positive impact around the globe.
- - Hacking Social Media to Co-create
Founder and President of The Data Incubator
Michael Li is the founder and president of The Data Incubator, a data science training and placement firm. Michael bootstrapped the company and navigated it to a successful sale to the Pragmatic Institute. Previously, he headed monetization data science at Foursquare and has worked at Google, Andreessen Horowitz, J.P. Morgan, and D.E. Shaw. He is a regular contributor to Wall Street Journal, Tech Crunch, Wired, Fast Company, Harvard Business Review, MIT Sloan Management Review, Entrepreneur, Venture Beat, Tech Target and O'Reilly. Michael was a postdoc at Cornell Tech, a PhD at Princeton, and a Marshall Scholar in Cambridge.
- - Getting Started with AI and Data Science
Stephanie A. Melnychuk
Associate at Oyen Wiggs Green & Mutala LLP
Stephanie Melnychuk assists clients with all aspects of identifying, protecting, and benefiting from their intellectual property, with a particular emphasis on prosecuting patent applications in the chemical, clean technologies, pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device fields. She has experience in preparing and prosecuting domestic and foreign patent applications, industrial design applications, and trademark applications. Stephanie is a registered Canadian patent and trademark agent and is registered to represent Canadian residents before the United States Patent and Trademark Office. Stephanie represents a broad client base ranging from startup companies to universities and international corporations. She is passionate about obtaining the most strategic intellectual property protection for her clients. She enjoys working for startup companies who require creative intellectual property for a host of technologies, including: sporting goods, apparel, medical devices, pharmaceutical and veterinary products, chemical processes, pesticides, and many others.
- - Intellectual Property 101: Issue Spotting
Emily Miller Palmquist
Spanning over two decades, Emily’s career in Fashion is marked with consulting and leadership roles in Creative Direction and Marketing for both independent and global brands. Emily’s formal training began in Vancouver in 1998 with a Diploma in Fashion Design from Helen LeFeaux. Following this, she relocated to London, U.K. to study at UAL, London College of Fashion and apprenticed with both established and cult labels such as Roland Mouret, Fake London and Future Classics. In 2003, she was chosen by the British Fashion Council as a rising star to complete certification in Fashion Management under Industry Guru, David Jones. In 2013, Emily returned to education and achieved a Master in Fashion Trend Forecasting from esteemed Institute, Polimoda, then under the direction Linda Loppa. She is among one of the few graduates based in North America with this specialized degree. A serial entrepreneur, Emily has worked since 2006 as an independent Fashion and Trend Consultant based in both Toronto and Vancouver. In this time, she has maintained partnerships with some of the Industries top Think Tanks & Creatives such as Promostyl Paris, WGSN, Hilde Francq, Mode...Information and Shoesplanet.Com. In this time, Emily is has been sought to provide future and brand solutions to clients such as Lululemon, Aldo group, TJX Canada (Winners, Marshalls) and The Hudson’s Bay Company as well as countless Small and Medium Enterprises within the realm of fashion and consumer goods. Most recently, she returned to the West coast to spearhead Merchandising and Curation at award-winning startup, Respect your Universe and is currently the Interim Program Director of Fashion at LaSalle College Vancouver as well as Fashion and Trend Consultant to established and emerging brands. Emily is passionate about shaping fashion through branding, trend forecasting, sustainability and thought leadership. She continually enjoys working with individuals who make creative investments for their futures in the Industry.
- - The truth [is flexible]. Gen Z and the Future of Fashion
Apparel Business Specialist
Glynis is a clothing brand owner turned business consultant with 20 years apparel industry experience. Glynis developed and built her first business from start up to generate 6-figure sales in the 2nd year of business. Now she teaches people how to build a purposeful and profitable clothing business. She’s the founder of Chase Your Dreams, which offers sourcing, business consulting, and SEO services for clothing brands. She’s also the host of Apparel Business Summit, an online conference for designers and entrepreneurs in the apparel and textile industry. She has been featured in the Vancouver Sun, National Post, and The Globe & Mail.