THANK YOU to all those who participated in our Conference. Hope to see you at WEAR2016!

Canada’s Premiere Sustainable Fashion Conference.

Join fellow industry leaders and like-minded professionals to network and share best practices at Canada’s second annual World Ethical Apparel Roundtable (WEAR 2015), taking place on October 19th and 20th, 2015 at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto.

WEAR 2015 is a hub to share ideas and build relationships while tackling social and environmental challenges facing the fashion industry today. You will hear from global leaders and gain insights that will contribute to your business profitability and sustainability. WEAR 2015 will leave you inspired and equipped to take your work in the apparel/textile industry to the next level.

Building on the success of WEAR2014, this year’s themes will explore on-shore vs off-shore production, greening operations and logistics, supply chain transparency, and how to effectively communicate your CSR story. View the Agenda and Speakers below to discover all our thought-provoking panel topics.

WEAR 2015 is hosted by Fashion Takes Action (FTA), Canada’s only non profit organization devoted to sustainability in the fashion industry. FTA is driven by our mission: Changing the way we CREATE and CONSUME fashion. Since 2008, FTA has worked with more than 300 brands, designers and retailers in an effort to shift the way our clothes are made, and at the same time raising the awareness of mainstream consumers through events, campaigns, educational programs and social media.

  • IMG_8398
    WEAR2015: Tal Dehtiar of Oliberte Keynote Speech
  • Lima01
    WEAR2015: Made In – Manufacturing Impacts Panel
  • IMG_8444
    WEAR2015: Sustainable Textiles Panel
  • download (2)
    WEAR 2015: Networking Cocktail Reception – Sandra Marquadt of GOTS, Kelly Drennan of Fashion Takes Action, Kate Black of Magnifeco, Shannon Brown of Fair Trade Canada and Adria Vasil of Ecoholic


DAY 1: Monday, October 19, 2015

8:30 – 9:00     Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:20     Opening Remarks

9:20 – 10:10    Keynote 1: Laura Siegel

10:10 – 10:30  Break

10:30 – 12:00  1st Panel (choice of 2)

A) Made In: Manufacturing Impacts featuring:

Kathy Cheng, President of WS & Co
Robert Ott, Chair Ryerson School of Fashion
Rick Droppo, President of Canadian-Made Apparel
Oliver Madison, Founder & CEO of Me to We Style  
Moderator: Tarah Burke, executive board member, Fashion Takes Action

Canadian apparel brands and academics share their perspectives on domestic and offshore manufacturing, with a focus on economic impact, cost implications, talent control,  and the social and environmental impacts of each.


B) Greening Operations & Logistics featuring:

Karen Jalon, Sustainability Director at Cadillac Fairview Corporation
David Robinson, Regional Sustainability at Mountain Equipment Co-op
Melanie Dailey, Director at Summerhill

Anthony Santilli, VP Sales & Marketing at Bullfrog Power 
Moderator: Monica Da Ponte, Sustainable Business Consultant

With an emphasis on retail, panelists will speak to the environmental AND economic benefits of energy efficiency, waste reduction strategies, green buildings, employee engagement, carbon emissions, shipping and packaging.

12:00 – 1:00    Lunch – catered by Cafe Belong

1:00 – 1:30      Facilitated Networking, BMO Atrium

1:30 – 2:20      Keynote 2: Tal Dehtiar

2:20 – 2:40     Break

2:40 – 4:10     2nd Panel (choice of 2)

A) The New Narrative: Telling the Story Behind the Label featuring:

Howard Chang, President & CEO at Top Drawer Creative
Gayle Chong, Sr Project Manager at Globescan

Melani McLeod, Director of Strategy & Implementation at Me to We Style Moderator: Sabine Weber, Technical Lead Textile Waste, VisionQuest

Learn how to elevate your brand’s reputation, avoid greenwashing, share your CSR initiatives, embrace transparency in your storytelling and engage your customers in a meaningful way. 


B) Sustainable Textiles: Fabrication & Sourcing featuring:

Rachel MacHenry, Professor at OCAD University
Kate Black, founder Magnifeco & Ecosessions

Shannon Brown, Director of Business Development at Fairtrade Canada
Sandra Marquardt, Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS)                  
Moderator: Adria Vasil, NOW Magazine

Gain a better understanding of the market for organic and fairtrade textiles, natural dyes,  the newest eco-fabrics and trends, certification schemes and closed-loop manufacturing.

4:30 – 6:30    Networking Cocktail Reception, Cafe Belong

Day 2: Tuesday, October 20, 2015

8:30 – 9:00     Registration and Continental Breakfast

9:00 – 9:20     Opening Remarks

9:20 – 10:10    Keynote 3: Andrew Morgan

10:10 – 10:30  Break

10:30 – 12:00  3rd Panel – Supply Chain Transparency & Traceability: The New Era of Responsibility Beyond Compliance Auditing featuring:

Scott Miller, Director of Business Development at SAC
Michael Lavergne, FTA Executive Board member, Author of Fixing Fashion
Andrew Savini, 
Global Supplier Management and Audit team at Intertek Moderator: Dr. David Doorey, Professor of Labour Law & Supply Chain Governance, York University

Moving beyond labour, panelists will discuss full and public supply chain transparency, what issues are holding us back as an industry and the facilitation of common standards.

12:00 – 1:00    Lunch – catered by Cafe Belong

1:00 – 1:15       Break

1:15 – 2:00       Keynote 4: Tasha Lewis

2:00 – 2:15      Closing Remarks

Keynote Speakers

Tasha Lewis, PhD., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Fiber Science & Apparel Design at Cornell University.

Dr. Lewis teaches in the area of fashion design management. Her research interests include the disruptive impact of technology in the apparel industry, the behavior of fashion brands, global and domestic apparel production (“glocalization”) issues, and the significance of social responsibility and sustainability throughout the apparel supply chain. Dr. Lewis has also worked in the apparel industry in areas of production, sourcing, and retail operations and maintains ongoing contact with industry professionals to inform her research. She is a faculty fellow of Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future and a research fellow in the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Research Initiative housed in Cornell’s Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics. Dr. Lewis also serves as a member of the editorial board for the Journal of Fashion, Style and Popular Culture.

Andrew Morgan, Director, The True Cost

Andrew is an internationally recognized director focused on telling stories for a better tomorrow. His experiences includes a broad range of work that spans narrative and documentary storytelling for both commercial and film projects. After studying cinematography at the the Los Angeles Film School he went on to co-found Untold Creative, a hybrid filmmaking studio where he currently serves as the creative director. He is a contributing writer for the Huffington Post and speaks regularly on the power of storytelling as a tool in the ongoing fight for human rights around the world.

Laura Siegel, Designer, Laura Siegel Collection

Laura is an award-winning fashion designer based in New York and Toronto. Her ethically handcrafted, textured pieces are designed in collaboration with artisans in Asia and Latin America. After receiving her formal design education at Parson’s School of Design in New York City and London’s Central Saint Martins, Siegel honed her skills in silver-smithing, knitting, natural dyeing, embroidery and accessory design with top industry professionals and skilled artisans. Her work has taken her to all corners of the globe, enabling her to work with international designers such as Megan Park, Life with Bird, Yigal Azrouel, Luca Luca and Arthur Mendonca. Siegel’s travels and insights into diverse design processes and unique production methods have shaped her ethically handcrafted collection while embracing artisans in third world countries to preserve their cultures and crafts.

Tal Dehtiar, Founder of Fair Trade certified Oliberté footwear

Tal Dehtiar co-founded MBAs Without Borders, an international charity that has engaged hundreds of business professionals to volunteer in over 25 developing countries. In 2009, he launched Oliberté, the world’s first and only Fair Trade Certified™ footwear with the mission of creating sustainable manufacturing jobs in Sub-Saharan Africa to ultimately reduce the continent’s dependence on foreign aid. Tal is a recipient of the Ontario Global Trader Award, CYBF Chairman Award, Oakville’s Entrepreneur of the Year, was nominated for the YMCA Peace Award, Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and Ermst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur of the Year; he was also named one of Fast Company’s Most Creative Business People. Tal received his MBA from McMaster University and has a BA from the University of Western Ontario.

Panel Speakers

Kate Black, founder and editor-in-chief at and founder of EcoSessions®

Kate Black has lived and worked in the major fashion centers of the world and written over 1,000 articles about designers and ethical fashion from her decidedly global perspective. She is the founder and editor-in-chief of, the digital source for eco-fashion and sustainable living. Kate is also the founder of EcoSessions® a global platform bringing together designers, industry and consumers to discuss change. She is regularly featured on the Huffington Post and is highly in demand as a speaker on ethical fashion at regional and national green living events. Her book Magnifeco – Your Head-to-Toe Guide to Ethical Fashion and Non-Toxic Beauty was released on September 29, 2015.

Shannon Brown, Director of Business Development & Commercial Relations at Fairtrade Canada

In her role of Director of Business Development at Fairtrade Canada, Shannon steers a team in creating business and retail opportunities in the Canadian market for an ever-growing number of Fairtrade products, including Fairtrade cotton products, originating from farmers and workers from 74 developing countries. Shannon’s background in International Development and Ethics has led her to be actively involved with the fair trade movement, food sovereignty, and global trade justice. Shannon has worked with Fairtrade for over 8 years.

Howard Chang, CEO, Top Drawer Creative

Howard is the founder and CEO of Top Drawer Creative Inc., a Canadian ad agency that specializes in the AHAA consumer (Active, Healthy, Affluent, Aware). Howard’s professional focus for decades has been on “The Art of Influence for Social Good” and his agency has recently been distinguished as the first ad agency in Canada to be certified as a B Corp. He is highly engaged in philanthropy and advocacy work, donating many of his and his agency’s time to worthy causes like CAN Fund, Share the Road, and the National Cycling Centre. Howard is also a passionate environmental advocate and commits to business practices that authentically integrate sustainability and the bottom line and has recently been inducted into Canada’s Clean 50.

Kathy Cheng, President of WS & Co.

Kathy Cheng is an innovator, groundbreaker and game changer. She is President of WS & Co., one of Canada’s leading full­service apparel manufacturers. She is also the founder of WS’s in­stock promotional apparel line, Redwood Classics, which provides branded merchandise and trending retail garments that are handcrafted in Toronto, Ontario. In addition to producing past Olympic apparel programs for both Roots and HBC, Cheng’s designer apparel can be found at upscale, internationally renowned department stores across the USA. Kathy’s fashion retail products, including an extensive range of lifestyle and sportswear pieces, have been featured in North American and international publications, including GQ, WWD, Vice, Complex, Flare, Fashion, Toronto Life, People, InStyle, Vogue, Esquire, Details, and The New York Times. In 2014, Redwood Classics Apparel was recognized for superior human rights and social responsibility initiatives by EY in its UN 2014 Global Compact. The same year, Redwood Classics was named by the Advertising Specialty Institute’s (ASI) Counselor Magazine as the top trailblazer in the promotional products industry. Redwood Classics topped ASI’s 2014 list of the top 10 fastest­growing ad specialty companies in Canada.

Gayle Chong, Senior Project Manager at GlobeScan

Gayle joined GlobeScan in 2014 and brings both market research and marketing experience. She has a background in sustainability and experience in both quantitative and qualitative research. Her knowledge of sustainability and brand strategy, along with her experience in stakeholder engagement, has been applied to the development of transformational consumer behavior change programs. Gayle has most recently been working with clients to help develop their integrated CSR strategies and frameworks.

Melanie Dailey, Director of Account Management and Development, Summerhill

Melanie is an experienced strategist specializing in sustainability and stakeholder engagement for the retail sector. Since 2007, Melanie has been responsible for designing and delivering innovative programs that address environmental and business priorities for companies that include TJX Canada, Lowe’s Canada, Costco Wholesale, Lush Fresh Cosmetics, and Square One Shopping Centre. Her work has resulted in annual cost savings for her clients of more than 5 million dollars, energy savings of more than 30 million kwh, and over 230,000 kgs of electronic waste recycled. Her employee engagement programs have ecouraged over 20,000 Canadians to take action to reduce residential energy and water use, manage waste appropriately, and lead a healthier lifestyle.

Rick Droppo, president and founder of Canadian-Made Apparel Inc.

Canadian-Made Apparel Inc. is a Domestic manufacturing operation in Cambridge Ontario. In 2013, The John Forsyth Shirt Company closed their 100 year old manufacturing plant where Rick and his wife Kelly had been employees for 20 and 30 years respectively. Rick and Kelly re-focused the factory resources and have built the manufacturing operation from 20 Canadian employees at startup to over 100 so far. Rick has over 40 years of experience in domestic textile and apparel manufacturing with Levis, Nygard, Tag Apparel, Paramount Hosiery, Angelica Uniforms, and Forsyth. He is firmly committed to ensuring that Canadian manufacturing workers have a voice wherever their jobs or their skills or their commitment are in question or in jeopardy. Currently Rick is also a Program Advisory Committee member working towards preparing the next generation of students at Centennial College for the Fashion Business and Management Program starting in the fall of 2015.

Karen Jalon, Director of Sustainability at the Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Karen Jalon has pioneered and continues to enhance CF’s national strategic sustainability framework. In her role with the company, Karen has overseen the design and implementation of industry leading sustainability initiatives including Cadillac Fairview’s GREEN AT WORK™ Program. Based on the first 5 years of the program, CF reduced its energy consumption by 16%, reduced its water consumption by 28% by 2013 over 2008 and achieved a waste diversion rate of 70%. Karen is an active member of the commercial real estate community and has contributed to the development of national industry-wide sustainability standards. She has been a longstanding participant in numerous external association task forces including those responsible for developing and refining LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) Building platforms. Prior to joining Cadillac Fairview, Karen worked hands-on with numerous commercial building design and construction projects and directed the Province of Ontario’s sustainable initiatives for its Real Estate portfolio. She is an Electrical Engineer by training and a LEED Accredited Professional.

Michael Lavergne, Author of Fixing Fashion: Rethinking the Way We Make, Market and Buy Our Clothes, member of UNCTAD/ITC’s Trade for Sustainable Development Advisory Committee, and board member of Fashion Takes Action

Michael is a recognized industry expert in responsible supply chain management and a 20-year veteran of the global apparel industry, having managed offshore sourcing, supply chain and compliance operations for leading brands, retailers and audit bodies across Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East.

Rachel MacHenry, professor at OCAD University

Rachel MacHenry has worked with traditional artisans in South Asia for many years, developing textile products for European and North American markets. Most recently, she has been involved with artisans in Haiti through the Brand Aid Project and currently is collaborating with BioDye India on a line of naturally dyed materials. She collaborates with artisan communities, working to sustain traditional skills and researching bio-regional materials such as plant dyes and local fibres. Her work has been available through Holt, Renfrew & Co., Selvedge UK, Takashimaya, Barney’s Japan, Anthropologie and other prestigious retailers and is in the permanent design collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, London, UK. Rachel MacHenry studied at Central Saint Martin’s, University of the Arts, London, UK. A former Studio Head/Textiles at Sheridan College, she now teaches at OCAD University.

Oliver Madison, Founder and CEO, Me to We Style

Oliver is the founder and CEO of Me to We Style, a social enterprise committed to providing ethically manufactured, domestically produced apparel. He has an AB in economics from Harvard College and worked in corporate finance at Brown Brothers Harriman’s in New York before he moved to Octavian Capital in Toronto. In 2oo5, Oliver, along with Craig and Marc Keilburger, founded Me to We Style, part of a family of organizations, including Free the Children, Me to We and We Day. The company has been profiled in Apparel Magazine and the Toronto Star and its products have been worn by employees at Telus, Enbridge, Longo’s, Fresh, Cineplex and CBS Studios, to name a few. In 2oo7, Oliver was on of 16 Canadians selected as an Action Canada Fellow.

Sandra Marquardt, Global Organic Textile Standard and M+R Organics

Sandra is the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS) representative in North America, serving to promote and protect the standard. Sandra also developed and coordinated M+R Organics, a division of M+R Strategic Services, and is the former coordinator of the Organic Trade Association’s Fiber Council for which she helped dramatically raise the image and awareness of organic fiber products in the national media. While there, she led the development of the OTA’s organic textile processing standards, much of which became the basis for GOTS. Sandra is also president of On the Mark Public Relations which provides media outreach, event coordination, and research services on behalf of the organic and sustainable fiber and food sectors.

Melani McLeod, Director of Strategy & Implementation at Me to We Style

Melani brings more than five years’ experience working in the non-profit sector in sponsorship, fundraising & corporate partnerships. She has spent the last two years working as Director of Strategy for Me to We Style. As Associate Director of Sponsorship with Free the Children, Melani built the We Day sponsorship program from the ground up, scaling it from a single event in Toronto in 2009, to over 13 different locations globally today (8 cities coast to coast across Canada, 4 cities across the United States, and London, UK). Melani’s experience working on large corporate sponsorship programs, has allowed her to lend her expertise to Me to We Style’s business development goals, focusing on strategic partnership development. She holds a BA in Spanish and Latin American Studies and Fine Arts from the University of Waterloo and an MA in Translation from the University of Ottawa.

Scott R. Miller, Director of Business Development, Sustainable Apparel Coalition

Scott is the Director of Business Development at the Sustainable Apparel Coalition where he promotes membership and the Higg Index adoption. For over 10 years, Scott has been driving environmental projects to embed triple bottom line strategies across the hospitality, financial services and manufacturing sectors. Notably, Scott was featured in James Cameron’s Emmy winning climate change docu-series Years of Living Dangerously for his EDF Climate Corp work at Caesars Entertainment. He holds a Masters in Sustainability Management from Columbia University, a Bachelors in Economics from UC San Diego and LEED AP and master composter designations.

Robert Ott, Chair and Associate Professor in the School of Fashion at Ryerson University and Academic and Executive Director of the Fashion Zone and The Joe Fresh Centre.

Rober Ott holds a master’s degree in the Management of Technology and Innovation and an undergraduate degree in Fashion Design, Apparel Production Management, both from Ryerson. Robert is currently pursuing a PhD at the University of Leicester, School of Management investigating the resurgence of craftsmanship in contemporary fashion systems with a focus on bespoke tailoring and cordwaining. He is recognized for his extensive senior management experience with The Jones Group where he held a series of progressively responsible executive roles since he first joined the firm in 1990. Robert was responsible for directing product research and development, maximizing domestic manufacturing opportunities, supporting marketing activities, developing and overseeing an international business model, and re-evaluating the strategic positioning of corporate brands in Canada.

David Robinson, Regional Sustainability & Community Coordinator, Mountain Equipment Co-op

David has been with MEC 19 years, and is currently the Regional Sustainability and Community Involvement Co-ordinator for the Ontario Region. He is responsible for community partnerships, grant making, and donations, as well as working on improving waste diversion numbers within the stores. David was one of the founding members of the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation and was on the Advisory Committee for the Friends of the Greenbelt Foundation. He works closely with groups such as Cycle Toronto, Lake Ontario Waterkeepers, and Ontario Parks. Through his years at MEC he has seen a lot of change but the core values and the need to improve have always been consistent and are ingrained at all levels of the business.

Anthony Santilli, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Bullfrog Power

As Vice President, Sales Operation & Channels, Anthony is responsible for growing Bullfrog’s commercial business and leading the strategic marketing team. Anthony brings deep expertise in sustainability, branding, and management consulting to his role, allowing him to help Bullfrog’s commercial customers integrate their sustainability goals into their overall business strategy. He also advises clients on best practices in communicating sustainability initiatives to internal and external stakeholders, including employees, supply chain partners, and customers.

Andrew Savini, Global Supplier Management and Audit team at Intertek

Intertek, a leading quality solutions provider to industries worldwide, conducts 2 million facility visits each year, spanning 200,000 suppliers on behalf of 5,000 global buyers. Focusing on supply chain risk management relating to social, environmental, security and quality issues, Andrew has been instrumental in the design of conferences, such as the annual Ethical Sourcing Forum in New York and in developing new solutions to ensure customers are well prepared for regulatory changes. With business experience in upwards of 30 countries, Andrew has worked with companies in sectors including food and agriculture, electronics, textiles, toys, consumer goods, footwear, pharmaceutical and automotive. A native of Oahu, Hawaii, Andrew received dual Bachelors Degrees in Economics and International Relations from Tufts University and has also studied at the University of Hong Kong and Tsinghua University, Beijing.


Tarah Burke, executive board member of Fashion Takes Action.

Tarah Burke has a Bachelor of Arts from London College of Fashion and Masters of Arts from Ryerson University. Through her experience and research, Tarah has examined commodities from a design, production and consumption perspective. Her primary focus is the motivation behind production choices and the effect those choices have on waste, productivity, profitability and the consumer brand perception of apparel lines. After an extensive career in fashion and media, Tarah now works as a strategic product development consultant and teaches design, communication and sustainability courses at Ryerson University, OCAD U and Seneca College.

Monica Da Ponte, Sustainable Business Consultant

Monica is a strategic leader interested in driving social change. She has more than 15 years of progressive management experience in the profit, not for profit and government sectors including 7 years at WWF-Canada. She has led high performance teams, managed corporate portfolios in excess of $30 Million and helped raise millions of dollars for environmental conservation. Monica has experience and demonstrated success in strategic planning, fundraising, business and partnership development, employee engagement, and marketing. Monica holds both a Masters and Bachelor of Business Administration from the Schulich School of Business with a specialization in Sustainability and major in Marketing respectively.

Dr. David Doorey, Professor of Labour Law & Supply Chain Governance, York University

Professor Doorey is Academic Director of Osgoode Hall Law School’s Specialist Masters of Law (LL.M) degree in Labour and Employment Law in the Professional Development Program. He is Articles Review Editor of the Canadian Labour and Employment Law Journal. Prior to returning to academia, he practiced labour law in British Columbia and Ontario. Until 2001, he was Canadian legal counsel to the United Steelworkers of America. He was educated at Osgoode Hall Law School (Ph.D, J.D.), London School of Economics (LL.M), and the University of Toronto (B.A., M.I.R.). Professor Doorey’s research and writing is the areas of Canadian and comparative labour and employment law, labour practices management within global and national supply chains.

Adria Vasil, Author, Journalist and Green Living Expert

Adria is Canada’s straight-shooting green living expert. She’s the bestselling author of the Echolic book series: Ecoholic, Ecoholic Home, and Ecoholic Body. She’s been writing the practical and humour-filled weekly Ecoholic advice column for Toronto’s NOW Magazine for over a decade, answering reader questions about everything from greening your food choices, finances, and footwear to detoxifying your home, school, office, you name it. She has covered sustainable fashion issues in both her columns and her books. Prior to that, Adria worked in the non profit sector on labour rights issues in the apparel industry. She also owned a small Toronto-based clothing company.

Sabine Weber, Product Manager, Buyer, and Instructor

Sabine worked for nearly twenty years in Europe as product manager and international buyer for different brands in the fashion industry before she came to Canada five years ago. She discovered her passion for ethical and sustainable fashion while teaching at Humber College and decided to go back to University to earn a Master’s degree in Environment and Resource Studies at Waterloo. Her main focus has been to study the ways consumers manage their unwanted garments. She currently writes articles about textile waste and sustainable fashion which have appeared in publications like Alternative Journal Magazine.

A Big Thanks to all our 2015 Sponsors!