Better Cotton’s annual conference returns 26-27 June 2024! We’ll be in Istanbul, Türkiye, to welcome a multistakeholder, cross-commodity audience in-person and online for two days of action-packed discussion and debate at the Hilton Bomonti Hotel & Conference Center. 

Our agenda will span four complex and interlinked themes – Putting People First, Driving Change at Field Level, Understanding Policy & Industry Trends, and Reporting on Data & Traceability.  

Kicking things off across each of these will be specialist keynote speakers, who’ll set the scene for the sessions to come and offer insights on why they’re so pertinent to the sector’s development. Without further ado, let’s meet them! 

Getting things underway in our ‘Putting People First’ theme will be Aarti Kapoor, the founder and Executive Director of human rights agency Embode. At Embode, Aarti has overseen the growth of a broad portfolio in the highly specialised areas of labour rights, child protection and migration. With a 25-year career spanning government civil service in the UK, local and international NGO work in Asia, and corporate strategy globally, she will lead a thoughtful discussion about decent work and other social concerns in supply chains. 

That afternoon, attention will turn to our second theme – ‘Driving Change at Field Level’. For that, we welcome Lewis Perkins, President of the Apparel Impact Institute (Aii), a non-profit committed to identifying, funding, scaling and measuring the apparel and footwear industry’s proven environmental impact solutions. A sustainable systems pioneer, Lewis has over two decades of experience in sustainability, corporate social responsibility and philanthropy. He formerly served as president of the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute (C2CPII) where he founded and led the Institute’s Fashion Positive initiative.  

Starting day two will be our ‘Understanding Policy & Industry Trends’ theme, for which Dr Vidhura Ralapanawe has been appointed as our keynote. Vidhura is the Executive Vice President for Innovation and Sustainability of global apparel manufacturer, Epic Group, where he plays an instrumental role in delivering the company’s sustainability action plan. Over more than 15 years, his experience has spanned work on decarbonisation, the creation of ‘green factories’, resource efficiency and low-impact product design. 

To round out the event, Tülin Akın, founder of social enterprise Tabit will serve as keynote for our fourth and final theme – ‘Reporting on Data & Traceability’. A passion project born during her days at Akdeniz University, Tabit is Türkiye’s first agricultural social communication and information network and its first agricultural e-commerce system.

Tülin modelled Türkiye’s first farmer credit card, enabling farmers to find financial resources without incurring losses. By establishing the world’s first Smart Village, which provides applied technology training to farmers, she has enabled more than 1.5 million farmers in Türkiye and approximately 7 million farmers in Africa and the Middle East to come together with information and technology. 

Aarti Kapoor, Embode.
Lewis Perkins, Apparel Impact Institute
Dr Vidhura Ralapanawe, Epic Group
Tülin Akın, Tabit

We’re now just over seven weeks away from touching down in Istanbul for this year’s conference and we can’t wait to see you there. Tickets are still available to attend either in-person or online. Get yours via our website. 

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