Managing responsible innovation for circularity in fashion: a new Think Tank in Rome for SDA Bocconi’s Monitor for Circular Fashion


The last Monitor for Circular Fashion Think Tank event, hosted by SDA Bocconi in Rome, welcomed industry leaders, innovators, and experts on the 5th of June 2024, to explore the latest advancements and strategies in driving circularity innovations within the fashion industry. Under the theme "Managing Responsible Innovation for Circularity in Fashion" the event provided a platform for insightful discussions, interviews, and updates on key initiatives shaping the future of sustainable fashion.


Francesca Romana Rinaldi, Director of the Monitor for Circular Fashion at SDA Bocconi, opened the event with updates on M4CF2024 initiatives, setting the stage for a day of dynamic exchanges.

"Technological innovation plays a crucial role in the green transition, enabling us to develop advanced solutions for more sustainable and circular materials, products and processes, leveraging on supply chain traceability. By bringing together visionary leaders and experts, we aim to drive forward the conversation and implementation of circularity, ensuring that fashion evolves into a more responsible and sustainable future." - said Francesca Romana Rinaldi.


The discussions encompassed a wide range of topics including material innovation, challenges and solutions in sourcing sustainable materials, Generative AI and Circular Product Innovation.


One of the highlights of the event was an interview with Jalaj Hora, Vice President of Innovation at Nike, who shared insights on managing responsible innovation in fashion, leveraging also on his previous experiences at Burberry. Hora's perspectives shed light on the pivotal role of innovation in driving circularity and sustainability across the fashion value chain.


“The time has come for designers, innovators, technologists, and sustainability professionals to think in a unified manner, fostering circular innovation. Technology, specifically Generative Artificial Intelligence, will be pivotal in this transformation, unlocking ease in carbon scoring, low-impact material selection, and designing for recyclability. This collaborative approach redefines fashion design and paves the way for a more sustainable future in the industry." Added Jalaj Hora


The event also featured valuable experiences from industry leaders such as Lutz Walter, Secretary General of Textile ETP, who discussed the role of the European Technology Platform (ETP) in advancing sustainable textile innovations and the role of technologies to advance material innovation for sustainability and circularity in fashion. “Sustainability and circularity are the greatest challenges for the fashion industry today. But many innovative technologies are becoming available and when combined with new business models that generate more economic value from less material production and consumption, these challenges can create enormous opportunities for innovative companies” claimed Lutz Walter.


Clelia Iacomino, Research Fellow at Space Economy Evolution Lab SDA Bocconi, shared insights from the Space Lab, emphasizing the integration of space technology for supply chain traceability in the fashion industry.

Chiara Solimini, Space Downstream Market Officer at the EU Agency for the Space Programme, presented the utilization of space tech for enhancing supply chain transparency and sustainability — a crucial aspect in achieving circular fashion goals.

Francesca Boni, researcher at Monitor for Circular Fashion, introduced the 3rd C-Factor episode, an initiative to promote circular fashion startups. The participants of this episode were Ponda, Proke, Vestis Lab, Fashion for Biodiversity, Epoch Biodesign, The 8 Impact and Befreest.

Concluding the event, Francesca Romana Rinaldi delivered final remarks, outlining the key takeaways and charting the course for future steps in advancing innovative circular fashion initiatives.

The Circular Fashion Think Tank event at SDA Bocconi Rome served as a testament to the commitment of industry leaders and stakeholders to drive responsible innovation and foster a more sustainable and circular future for fashion.


SDA Bocconi School of Management 

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