The ASBCI’s Beyond 2020 event series will conclude in May with a digital conference bringing together experts from across the supply chain, from product conception to consumer purchase, to discuss the route to a smarter future for fashion.

At the ‘Beyond 2020 – Survival of the Smartest’ conference on 12 May, speakers will look at what ‘smartification’ really means, and explain how fashion businesses can apply smart principles to ensure they’re fit for purpose for the coming decade and beyond.

“Experts will outline the imperatives of a new era for the global fashion industry as it grapples with the twin pressures of Covid-19 and the climate crisis,” explained ASBCI.

“These speakers will draw on their own knowledge and experience, as well as wider industry learning to examine the new technologies, strategies and skills that will help the industry forge a more sustainable future.”

At the event, the CEO of the Pepe Jeans Group Marcella Wartenbergh will be interviewed by Ton Wiedenhoff, Alvanon’s executive director for Europe, to discuss how smartification differs from pre-pandemic ‘work smarter’ concepts, and what organisations should be doing right now to ‘smartify’ their businesses.  

Keynote speaker Ed Gribbin, former president of Alvanon and now CEO of strategic advisory firm Gribbin Strategic LLC, will look at supply chain innovation in an age of disruption, such as how the fashion industry should respond to the climate crisis and the chaos of Covid-19, and how businesses can leverage the latest technologies to future-proof their operations.

In her presentation, ‘Smart Sourcing and the new manufacturing recovery’, Jenny Holloway from Fashion-Enter will discuss fast, flexible and sustainable local sourcing, including the importance of partnerships, the role of UK manufacturing in post-Brexit Britain and the technologies that can deliver this.

The digital journey and how the right technology can support the smartification of the fashion industry will be covered by Steffan Meiler from Lectra, while digital psychology expert Andrew Nicholson from Kulea will provide his insight into how the pandemic has impacted consumer behaviour now and in the long-term. Caroline Ellis from Advanced Supply Chain Group will then look at intelligent supply chains post-Covid, and how the sector can respond and adapt to the new retail demands.

Adam Mansell, CEO of the UKFT, will close the conference with his presentation on ‘The future of fashion – the big picture’ examining how the events of 2020 have changed the sector’s priorities, as well as the long-term impact of Brexit on UK fashion.

The conference will also include two Q&A sessions, where delegates can put their questions directly to speakers, moderated by conference chair Julie King, ASBCI’s event director.

‘Beyond 2020 – Survival of the Smartest’ will take place across two two-hour sessions on 12 May from 10am to 12pm and from 1-3pm – registration includes both sessions, and costs £25+VAT for ASBCI members and £75+ VAT for non-members. To book, visit