On the 18 June, at the Montcalm Hotel in London, the PCIAW (Professional Clothing Industry Association Worldwide) held its inaugural Summit for the professional clothing industry

There were 20 international speakers, introduced by PCIAW chairman John Miln and opened by board director César Araújo, president of Anivec and CEO of Calvelex. Adam Mansell, CEO of UKFT, presented on Brexit; Dan Murray, commercial director of Sedex, on an ethical supply chain; Leanne Howard, sales executive from Gerber Technology on size and fit; and Steve Zalkin, president of NAUMD, on the uniform market in the US. Each talk was presented to guests of the Summit with the intention of offering them exclusive advice and information to help further the success of their business.

The topic on everyone’s lips, and the most witnessed presentation, was on sustainability. The presentation, given by Cyndi Rhoades, CEO of Worn Again Technologies, was titled ‘A circular future for the professional clothing supply chain is on the horizon’. Her presentation asked the question, ‘If we ban plastic, what will we do with it?’ Less than 1% of end-use textiles are recycled into new textiles, making it imperative that the garment and textile industry considers the circularity of raw materials. Cyndi divulged how Worn Again Technologies take in PET flake and textiles, process them through sorting or solvents – to separate, decontaminate, extract and regenerate – and then deliver the virgin equivalent of PET pellets or textiles.

The focus, it appears, is on businesses’ consumption of end-use textiles as it becomes imperative that they shift away from raw virgin materials to those that offer the same quality with less of an impact environmentally. You can read more about the presentations by visiting the PCIAW website.

The association will be holding a second Summit on key topics in 2020. 

Leah Westcott Graham is editor at the PCIAW, the only UK and worldwide association dedicated exclusively to the professional clothing industry, its supply chain and associated industries.