Sustainability and Social Responsibility: Priority Issues at the Latin American Fashion Summit

This past 8 to 11 November, C&A Foundation sponsored the first Latin American Fashion Summit (LAFS) to discuss new and emerging challenges and business models in the fashion industry on the continent, and the tools required to give young designers increased opportunities to stand out.   

The summit was held in the Riviera Maya, Mexico and brought together over 200 fashion industry leaders and experts from Latin America, who spoke about technology, sustainability and social responsibility: key issues in the evolution of the industry. The summit also included workshops and working sessions for networking between attendees and relevant figures in the industry, such as the world-famous Colombian designer Esteban Cortázar, best-selling authors Ismael Cala and Kute Blackson, and renowned publishers Eva Hughes and Karla Martinez.  

C&A Foundation lead the workshop “Freedom in Fashion: Effective strategies in the fight against forced labor and child labor in the fashion supply chains”, on 9 November. Brandee Butler, Head of Gender Justice and Human Rights for the C&A Foundation, hosted experts including Tania Turner, Director of Programmes at Fondo Semillas; Mónica Salazar, Director of Dignificando el Trabajo AC (DITRAC) and André Campos, Coordinator for Repórter Brasil, who led a rich discussion on how to detect and prevent practices of forced and child labor in the supply chains, and how these issue arises systematically throughout the industry.  

We have to remember that children have their own voice, governments have to remember to keep them at the core while they are developing public policy  

Monica Salazar, Director of Dignificando el Trabajo AC 

The foundation also hosted a keynote panel called “Transparency: the word that is redefining the fashion industry”, focused on the transformation that this word has triggered in each link of the supply chain, from production to consumption. The panel was moderated by Jill Tucker, Head of Innovation and Transformation of the Production Chain for the C&A Foundation and included panel members Carry Sommers, Founder of Fashion Revolution; André Campos, Coordinator for Repórter Brasil;  Miguel Brito, Director of Textiles Brito; and Miguel Ángel Álvarez, General Coordinator of the Centre for Labour Reflection and Action (CEREAL).  Together, these experts addressed: what is transparency, why is it important for industry, what changes does it generate and what are the most challenging barriers for that transparency to become the new standard in fashion.  

Transparency is a global movement impossible to stop now. If emerging brands want to play in the global market, they will have to begin by being transparent  

Miguel Ángel Álvarez, General Coordinator of the Centre for Labour Reflection and Action

By helping to open spaces such as LAFS, C&A Foundation hopes to foster more discussion on the most pressing issues facing the industry and fundamentally transforming the fashion industry. 

For more information on the Latin American Fashion Summit, visit the website