Textile Transparency Toolbox

UNECE x Manchester Fashion Institute Industry Forum, 11 March, 9am-5pm

UNECE X Manchester Fashion Institute Industry Forum

On the 11th of March, 2022 Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University, in collaboration with the UNECE Team that has created the Textiles Transparency Toolbox,  held an industry outreach forum.  Already implemented in 18 countries, the Toolbox aims to enhance transparency for value chains in the garment and footwear sectors. This one-day outreach workshop and industry roundtable is the first in a series of events that aims to provide fashion industry stakeholders with the tools they need to drive action on transparency approaches on a national, regional and global scale.

This project aims to provide an opportunity for industry stakeholders to gain access to affordable and tested technologies and tools they need to advance progress towards more transparent supply chains. After years of research and countless contributions from over 250 industry partners, the UNECE has developed a Toolbox to guide fashion industry stakeholders with their supply chain transparency goals – including an affordable blockchain enabled platform. Consequently, the Manchester Fashion Institute at Manchester Metropolitan University, the UK’s number one sustainable university, in collaboration with the UNECE Transparency Team hosted this initial one-day outreach event to present this much needed innovation. Attendees learnt about the UN-brokered policy recommendations, implementation guidelines, an information exchange standard and call to action, known as ‘The Sustainability Pledge’, adopted at the 27th UN/CEFACT Plenary in April 2021 and how they can be applied in a real-world context, particularly in the light of Extended User Responsibility (EPR) legislation. Pioneers and experts from the UNECE Team presented the Toolbox and discussed opportunities for brands to take part in free pilot blockchain studies as well as the possibility of affordable, full implementation. The presentations were followed by a Roundtable discussion for fashion brands regarding the challenges and opportunities of their current transparency actions.

Participants included local and regional fashion and textiles industry suppliers, manufacturers, retailers, wholesalers, waste managers and industry bodies.

The forum and industry roundtable on the “Textile Transparency Toolbox” jointly organized by the Manchester Fashion Institute, and the Manchester Metropolitan University, in conjunction with the UNECE project “Enhancing Traceability and Transparency for Sustainable and Circular Value Chains in Garment and Footwear“, was filled with rich and fruitful discussions about the urgent call to action to improve sustainability in the garment and footwear sector. It highlighted the need to transition to circular economic models – a shift that can be realized with verifiable production data, delivered through improved supply chain traceability and transparency.

The sessions allowed a deeper dive into necessary and innovative tools for fashion industry stakeholders to drive action on sustainability and advance progress towards circular economy approaches on a national, regional and global scale. The event shed light on the importance of blockchain and AI technologies, tracing data along the supply chain to enable reliable and trustworthy information that allow consumers to make risk-informed choices and increase their trust. With this in mind, the UNECE aims to engage in capacity building programs, ensuring that all stakeholders along the value chain, including vulnerable groups, are able to implement advanced technologies. Let’s join forces to get to the critical mass we need to accelerate the sustainable transformation of this industry!


If you would like to find out more about the event and view some of the highlights from the day you can do so using the link below:

See the recording

Find out more about our research digitalising the Transparent Textile Supply Chain:

Find out more



9.00 – 9.30 Physical Registration


9.30 – 10.40 Institutional Introduction

Moderator Dr Hilde Heim, Manchester Fashion Institute Textiles Transparency project lead

  • Welcome by Manchester Fashion Institute, Head of Research Professor Fiona Hackney
  • Professor of Environmental Education, Deputy Pro-Vice-Chancellor Sustainability, Professor Liz Price (in-person)
  • Manchester Metropolitan University Centre for Advanced Computational Science (CfACS), Professor Yonghong Peng (in-person)
  • Manchester Fashion Institute Transparency project team member, Business and Trade, Barbara Shepherd (in-person)
  • Manchester Fashion Institute Student Ambassador – the digital transformation and the future of work in fashion (in-person)
  • UNECE, Elisabeth Tuerk Economic Cooperation and Trade Division, United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (Online)

10.40-11.00 Coffee Break


11.00-12.30 Module 1: Current Traceability and Transparency in the Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) region, garment and footwear sector:  Pilot studies: Sarah Meller, Head of Sustainable Production and Consumption TBC

  • WRAP UK, Sustainable textiles sector specialist, Textiles 2030, Catherine Salvidge (Online)
  • UKFT supply chain transparency funded project update and findings.  Where to next? Jacki Love (TBC)
  • Manchester Fashion Institute Transparency project research on supply chain transparency and objectives for the Northwest: Dr Hilde Heim (in-person)
  • MODULE 1 SUMMARY and Q & A. Moderator Dr Hilde Heim. See also questionnaire: addressing the challenges.


Module 2: The Sustainability Pledge and Toolbox

Get to know about the Sustainability Pledge and promote your action for sustainability and circularity.

  • UNECE for Europe, Maria Teresa Pisani, Acting Head Sustainable Trade and Outreach Unit (online)
  • MODULE 2 SUMMARY and trade and industry Q&A. Moderator Dr Courtney Chrimes

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch




Module 3: UNECE Call to Action – The Transparency Toolbox 

Objective: Understanding the purpose, outcomes and potential impacts of the UNECE international framework initiative in relation to Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) legislation


  • Project Expert, SDA Bocconi School of Business, Francesca Rinaldi (online)
  • Mulberry, Rosie Wollacott Phillips, Group Sustainability Manager (in-person)
  • Fashion Revolution, Liv Simpliciano, Policy and Research Manager (online)
  • MODULE 3 SUMMARY and trade and industry Q & A. Moderator: Dr Hilde Heim. Manchester Fashion Institute’s research goals and commitment to the industry including potential field secondment of experts (funded by AHRC).


Module 4: The Business Process Analysis (BPA), The Business Requirements, Data Model and Data Exchanges for Traceability and Transparency of Sustainable and Circular Value Chains in Textiles 


  • Identify key business processes, actors and the characteristics of reliable sustainability claims in garments and footwear
  • Technical deep dive into the business and data model supporting traceability of standardised electronic information exchange about sustainability and circularity performance

Workshop Presenters:

  • UNECE Project Expert, Virginia Cram-Martos (online)
  • UK Case Studies, UNECE Project Expert, Deborah Taylor (in-person)


15.00-16.00 Module 5: The Technology Model for Traceability and Transparency and Due Diligence in Textile and Leather 

Objective: Deep dive into UNECE blockchain system features and functionalities through blockchain pilots and address data privacy and security issues


  • The University of Applied Sciences and Arts of Southern Switzerland (SUPSI), Giacomo Poretti, IT Engineer Senior Researcher (online)
  • UNECE Project Expert, Andrea Redaelli (0nline)
  • Greater Manchester Policy advisor for IP Andrew Reith
  • Partner, Beyond Corporate Law, James Corlett (in-person)
  • MODULE 5 SUMMARY and trade and industry Q & A. Moderator Prof. Yonghong Peng


16.00 – 17.00 Roundtable Discussion: Fashion Industry Stakeholders and Participants Discuss the Opportunities and Challenges of Adopting Digital Supply Chain Transparency Solutions

Roundtable moderators: Dr Hilde Heim, Barbara Shepherd

Participants in Q&A:

  • UNECE Project Expert, Deborah Taylor (in-person)
  • SDA Bocconi School of Business, Francesca Rinaldi (online)
  • Partner, Beyond Corporate, Law. James Corlett (in-person)
  • Closing remarks, Dr Hilde Heim Manchester Fashion Institute Team


Dr Hilde Heim, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Communication, Manchester Fashion Institute, UK

Dr Courtney Chrimes, Lecturer in Digital Media (Fashion), Manchester Fashion Institute, UK

Barbara Shepherd, Principal Lecturer in Fashion Business, Manchester Fashion Institute, UK

Professor Yonghong Peng, Professor of Artificial Intelligence, Manchester Metropolitan University, UK



maria-teresa.pisani@un.org ; olivia.chassot@un.org – Communication: sarah.harris@un.org



h.heim@mmu.ac.uk; c.chrimes@mmu.ac.uk; y.peng@mmu.ac.uk






Dr Hilde Heim, Senior Lecturer in Fashion Communication

Arts and Humanities, Manchester Metropolitan University

Email: H.Heim@mmu.ac.uk



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